Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's a new day...

It's a new day.  Well,  it's actually the second new day of the new year.

I could make a list of all the things I'd like to do this year.  Eat healthier.  Lose fifteen pounds.  Make exercise a part of my routine.  Give and help more.  Read the entire Bible.  All of those things are so completely tangible, things that can be measured with amounts or percentages or tally marks.  But when I read over the list, something feels so shallow about them all.  Even about reading the entire Bible... that's one that's been on my list for a few years now, and I wonder if it's more about the fact that I would be able to say I've read every word than about drawing nearer to God.

And so, I want to think about things that, perhaps, can't be measured that will increase the value and enjoyment of my day to day life.  Like, say, accepting myself as I am instead of comparing myself to others all the time, especially to the personalities I see on social media.  I'm not the only one who finds herself in the bottom of the comparison pit after I've perused my news feed.... we all have friends who run 38 miles a day, cook an organic meal for dinner after they've worked 12 hours, and organized a craft with their five children before tucking them in at bedtime while reciting their family's weekly Bible memory scripture.  Oh and she took lovely photos of all of it and posted each one to Instagram (and, of course, cross-posted Facebook, too, so you can look at each pic twice).  And then I realize that my kids ate canned ravioli for dinner, that I haven't exercised in three years, and all my Instrgram photos in the past month have been of the dog, the only breathing soul that I feel really likes me.

Of course, I exaggerate.  But that is what my mind does as I look over snapshots of life on Facebook and Instagram until I've created a single perfect woman in my brain from all the best-ofs I see posted.  This perfect woman is unobtainable, unrealistic, yet still I beat myself up trying to achieve what cannot be done.

What would my life look like if I set out every single morning of this year striving to simply be me, the best me I can be, the closest to who God purposed me to be on earth?  Even if my kids are eating Chef Boyardee for dinner and I haven't put makeup on in two days.  Even if I feel I'm not making a hill of beans difference in any one's life.  Even if.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!  I cannot even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!    {Psalm 139:13-18, NLT}

King David, the simple shepherd boy with mighty faith, grew up to make a lot of big mistakes.  But in his lovely poem about how God made him, I think David nails something that we could use in modern times.  David believes God saw him form in the womb, long before anyone else knew he was there.  That God, sovereign and holy, purposefully knit David's very being together.  King David believed that God saw his days and knew what his actions would be before he filled his lungs with oxygen the very first time... that He saw David pick up the stones that would slay Goliath AND He saw David lust after another man's wife and plot murder against an innocent man.  God saw the good and the bad, and yet He kept on knitting, piecing together a man that would be talked about until the end of time, a man that would pen a beautiful poem I cling to when I feel insecure or unvalued in this confusing cruel society.

And that is beautiful.

What would my day look like if I focused on being who God knit me together to be?  It's hard.  My brain is constantly bombarded by messages telling me I'm not measuring up.  But, I find myself asking this question lately: What am I using as my measure?

Dear Lord... help me and whoever else reads these words keep focus on who we really are in You... Your creation, perfectly knit together with purpose here on earth, knowing that You are pleased with what You have created... Amen.