Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Routines and Distractions

This world of ours is filled with so many distractions and it takes much effort, at least on my part, to not succumb to being pulled this way and that by them. 
We have the distractions of all the responsibilities that are ours to tend, but that is only a part of it.  Check your email or snail mail and you have all kinds of snippets of things seeking to capture your attention.  Then there is the phone (UGH!).  And if you live with anyone else, you definitely will have a few extra distractions!  We need to learn which ones and if and when we are to give them our attention.

Each morning when I arise I have a little routine I go through.  It helps me to get focused.
Open the blinds, feed the cat, feed the fish, put water on for my first cup of tea, boot up the computer, change the day-to-day calendars and empty the dishwasher.  All of this happens before I sit down with Papa.  He and I both know that I can settle down much more easily if those few details are taken care of.  Besides my cat, Chloe definitely would not let me be if I dared to neglect her!  Of course there is, also, the fact that it takes me more than a few minutes to be fully awake!
About the time that I have finished the tasks my computer is up and running and I am awake enough to focus, so I sit before it with my cup of tea in hand.  I check my email for any new prayer requests, and read a commentary from "Slice of Infinity" and a brief devotional/prayer request from "Presidential Prayer Team."  With that Papa and I settle in for a while.  It is most interesting how what I have already read often indicates where Papa and I will be focusing that morning.

As you know, I happen to live with a few people and that means that my routine, which had been done with little or no interruption, is not quite the same anymore.  Oh, I still tend to each detail, but with a little zigging and zagging thrown in, as I move from spot to spot.
Matt, Mindy and Tim all leave at different times; one after another they appear to rustle up some breakfast and pack their lunch.  Much of my morning ritual is centered in the kitchen, so if I oversleep by just a little bit, it gets interesting.
My goal each morning is to have my time with Papa before I begin to encourage Ray to open his eyes and get up.  Otherwise I am popping up every couple of minutes to check on him and that would be disruptive!  After all, it is very rude to keep interrupting a conversation one is having with anyone, let alone the Living God!

During our time together I jotted down a few thoughts, which I will share here.
As I read a devotional by David Jeremiah, my attention was drawn to one comment. 
"Satan tempts us to bring out the bad; God tests us to bring out the good." 
How very true. 
I would add that whatever we are tempted by God will turn into a test, if we are willing!  
These temptations/testings can come in all sizes.  Today held a few little ones.

I was meeting a friend for breakfast, which meant that I had to move a little faster than usual to pull it off.  I had to coax my honey out of bed an extra thirty minutes earlier than usual.  I had to fight feeling guilty for changing his schedule to accomodate me.  
Would it be a temptation or a test?

Ray had therapy today and I needed to pack his gym bag, which he reminded me of as I was about to head out.  It was time to leave, but I had to take care of it.
I hate rushing and had to remind myself to relax after I began to fuss a bit!
Temptation turned into a test!

Stopping home after breakfast before running a few errands, I left my keys on the car console.  A few minutes later I attempted to leave, but discovered that the car had locked itself, with my keys inside!  Very strange and very unusual. 
I ran upstairs for the extra remote went to the window and hit the unlock button.  I heard the lock open and saw the lights flash.  All set.
Not really.  By the time I reached the car it had locked itself again!  So this time I took the extra remote outside and immediately opened the door as it unlocked!
What was the temptation?  To become impatient and fuss about it! 
But sometimes the enemy is just too obvious!

This afternoon I planned to work on my book, which I did.  However, I actually got to it later than I intended, as a distraction showed up that I was unable to ignore.
The mail had arrived and I like to sort it as soon as I bring it in.  Amongst the pile was the new phone bill.  I opened it expecting no surprises.  Boy was I surprised!
This meant that I had to figure it out right away!
I know... but I just had to do it!
Hey, I saved thirty dollars and eight-nine cents, to be exact, off the bill!

Was that a temptation or a test or neither?  If it was, how did I do?
I may never know.

Yes, I did get to the book.  Thanks for asking!  Many ask on a regular basis, which I know is Papa sending a few nudges my way.  Thank You, Papa!

Earlier, as I was headed down the road to tackle my errands, I was debating whether to include the butcher in my trip or just settle for whatever the supermarket offered.  I found myself headed to the butcher, which I took as the answer.  Two things happened that revealed Papa's hand in the choice.

The sweet lady who runs the butcher's cash register loves Papa too.  She is usually very cheerful and we always enjoy our brief conversation while she checks me out.  Today she asked me to pray for her as she was feeling very blue, which I did on the spot!  Our loving God at work!
The temptation would have been to give her some pat answer and go on my way without a word of encouragement.
I plan to call her shortly, as I recalled something else that I had noted in my journal this morning and want to share it with her. 
When the darkness descends, keep following; Daylight is coming and it will be dazzling!

While driving to the butcher I noticed a young woman slowly walking toward me on the side of the road.  She was wearing a full backpack and was also carrying a good sized satchel and looked like she was carrying some unseen burdens too.  Since I am not the most observant person, when I do actually take note of someone or something, I know it is the LORD'S doing, so I told Him that I would offer the girl a ride, if I saw her again, on my way back from the butcher.
There she was still walking as I came up the road. 
I pulled over and asked if she would like a ride.  Her expression, which had been unhappy changed and her face lit up!   She smiled a beautiful smile and said, "No, thank you!" I blessed her and drove away.
That's all.  Nothing big, but who knows?  Papa knows and to the young woman it just might be a big deal.  All of us need to know that we have value and that someone cares about us.  Maybe she needed a reminder that she is noticed.  Maybe not.  Maybe Papa had other reasons, but it doesn't matter to me.  I was blessed because I love to be on mission with my Loving Heavenly Father.  Even when it is only a small detail in my day of distracted rountines! 

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