Barometer

      According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, a barometer can be a tool that indicates fluctuations.  It can also mean a standard or test.  Yes, yes, of course it’s most commonly known as a tool to aid in the forecasting of weather, and perhaps that definition will suit my purposes, too.  Let’s find out.

     You see, I read a quote over the weekend from one of my favorite bloggers.  Leila, at Like Mother, Like Daughter, said this in a recent post:

“So much of how we live the spiritual side of our lives as mothers and wives has to do with how we live the feeding and clothing side.”

     That statement has really had me pondering and thinking as I’ve gone about the tasks in my home ever since I read it; and I’m adding it to my Commonplace Book, as well.  Can thinking about this statement serve as a sort of barometer – a standard, test, or a tool indicating fluctuations?  Can pondering that statement serve as a barometer to interpret the “weather” within our own homes.  I believe it can! 

      I’m not sure that this is what dear Leila had in mind when she typed that statement; but the Lord uses the words of others to minister to us in different ways, does He not?  I am so thankful for her faithfulness in writing from her heart.

     When I consider my almost 32 years of marriage and three decades of being a mom, here’s what I’ve discovered to be true.  If I’m joyfully serving my family, I’m generally joyful in my walk with the Lord, too.  If I’m doing a crummy job of tending to the needs  and relationships within my family, I’m generally doing a crummy job with tending to my relationship with the Lord.  If I’m taking care of my family and home in an indifferent manner, then my Bible reading and prayer life are lackadaisical, too. 

     It’s an interesting connection, don’t you think?  And one that I could argue from either side, meaning, does the attitude about our spiritual life spill over to our family life, or does the family life spill over to the spiritual?  And can that change from day to day, season to season?  Whichever way the spill over happens, and I’m pretty sure it spills both ways, we should be watching that barometer carefully! 

     Let’s consider this quote from Paul David Tripp’s Broken-Down House:

          “In biblical terms, ministry is not about a time or place.  It is a heartfelt willingness to respond to the spiritual need that God puts in my path, anytime, anyplace. . . . . I must view every dimension of my life as a forum for ministry.  Marriage is ministry.  Parenting is ministry.  Friendship is ministry.  Living with neighbors is ministry.  Work is ministry.  Life is ministry.”

and this a page or two later in the same book:

          “It (Scripture) challenges me with the reality that nothing I am or have belongs to me.  I do not have a life divided into God’s part and my part.  It’s all “God’s part,” the whole thing.  He purchased it at the cross, when he redeemed me from a life of hopelessness on earth and eternity in hell.  My life does not belong to me in any way, shape or form.  God owns me and everything my life contains.”

     We’re to do all things for the glory of God.  All things!  Even such ordinary, routine things as eating and drinking are to be done for His glory. (see 1 Corinthians 10:31).  So, it’s all one thing.  It’s all God’s.  It’s all for Him, including the work we do in our homes.


     So, Leila’s statement, “So much of how we live the spiritual side of our lives as mothers and wives has to do with how we live the feeding and clothing side.”, can be a very useful barometer.  It can be a useful gauge of how we’re doing in this business of glorifying God in all that we do.  It is, after all,  much easier for us to measure how we’re doing in the “feeding and clothing” business rather than trying to measure our lives in less tangible ways.

     Here’s the deal – We can’t lie to ourselves that things are great when our homes are in chaos and our children our hungry.  We need to be careful, though, because we can deceive ourselves into thinking that things are going great just because the house is clean and the laundry is put away.  What sorts of attitudes went into that clean house and folded laundry?  Were the tasks done joyfully or begrudgingly?  And what about the kids?  Were they barked at or ignored in the process?  Are they treating one another with kindness?  How are their hearts?  After answering those questions, can we still say that God was glorified in that cleaning and laundry?

     What is your barometer telling you today?  In all truthfulness, mine is saying that there is plenty of room for improvement.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

Thanks to my Dani-girl for today’s rainy day photography.

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4 comments to Barometer

  • Well, this sobered me right up, Cheryl. Thank you. I mean that.

    jAne

  • ouch!  my toes are smarting…but thanks, I needed to “hear” it.

    things have been hard here; and sometimes, when it’s “hard”, I equate that with “impossible”:  as in, “why try?  you can’t get it all done anyway.”

    but things that are hard, or slow, or tedious, or monotonous, or complicated are not impossible…just challenging.

    thank you for challenging me to face my challenges with a bit more purpose.  after all, there’s more going on here than just washing dishes and sweeping floors.  I know that, of course, just needed to be reminded.

    thanks!
    Alesha
    Obtaining Mercy

  • Hi Cheryl!  Wow, so God is great!  Praise Him!  Because I was actually sitting down to find bread machine recipes and some how landed on your blog about Whole Wheat Bread… and then this!  I was so encouraged by this post.  My heart needed to hear it today.  And it only got better as I read!  I whole heartedly agree that we do need to consider our mind set, intention and heart as we do the things we do.  True that God should be glorified in all we do!  A true blending of the “spiritual” and “real life” (so to speak) side of our lives is what I believe needs to happen.  I agree that both spill into one another and the important thing is to focus on Christ and Him crucifed as the central intent… all else springs forth from there!  Thank you for writing this post.  I am not one to blog or even read blogs, but I am going to bookmark your page!  You seem to have the wisdom of experince and the Holy Spirit as your helper and we can all use someone with that type of insight to speak into our lives.  (Sorry for writing a book!) Take care and I pray that God would bless all you do!

    cheers, sarah

  • @monkeyboys1 – Sarah – thanks for stopping by and thank you even more for your encouraging words.