Walking Within My House

Thanks, you guys, for your comments on my last post and for the emails some of you sent to me. I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who struggles with brokenness, busyness, boundaries and another “B” word that I couldn’t remember until my sweet friend Gretchen reminded me, “balance.” Yeah, that’s what I’m needing! Some balance! Thanks, Gladitude Gretchen who keeps me Grounded. (I don’t know what the deal is with all the alliteration lately. Just ride it out, if you can. It shouldn’t last much longer.)

We spent most of Memorial Day in the garage. You’re jealous, I know. Every move I try to take less stuff with us than we brought or at the very least, the same amount. That means I have to sort and toss and give away and reorganize. I tend to start with great energy and enthusiasm with very decisive movements. I was telling Gretchen that apparently halfway through the process, my body releases some sort of paralyzing chemical that makes me incapable of making simple decisions about random pieces of junk. At the beginning of  the day, I have to exercise great restraint not to throw away our birth certificates. (How often do we actually need those things anyway?) By lunchtime, I’m having second thoughts about that smocked outfit that I put in the giveaway pile. (Shouldn’t I at least try to consign it somewhere? Or should I try to save it for my children’s children to wear?) By early afternoon, I’m in tears over whether I should keep a smiley face that one of the Littles drew on a used Applebee’s napkin. (I’m pretty sure it might have been the first face that one of them drew.  When they become famous I’ll wish I had that napkin for their museum exhibits.) By late afternoon, I’m walking around random piles I’ve created, high on Sharpie fumes, trying to remember who I am and how I ended up in this garage surrounded by all this garbage. So now my garage looks as upside down as the inside of my house. Oh, how I love moving!

I did find a scrap of paper today that turned out to be quite a treasure. On it I had written part of a Bible verse. I remember writing it down after Bible Study one morning. I had the most incredible privilege to lead the most amazing group of ladies in Bible study when we lived in Louisiana. I’ll have to tell you more about them later because I don’t have time right now, so remind me. My friend Kim had shared this verse with us and I just had to write it down because it really made me stop to think. Today when I found it, it made me stop and think again. It fits in perfectly with where I am in my walk right now. I looked it up in several different translations/paraphrases and I liked what it said in all of them!

The verse is Psalm 101:2b:

“I will walk in my house with blameless heart.” (NIV)

“I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.” (NASB)

“I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” (NKJV)

“I’m doing the very best I can, and I’m doing it at home, where it counts.” (The Message)

That’s what I want. That’s what I’m working toward in my life. I especially love the way The Message interprets this verse. It doesn’t matter how I live my life where the world sees me if I’m not living it with excellence in my own home. If you’re a frustrated perfectionist like me, that “perfect” word that the NKJV uses could throw you for a loop. Fear not (she said biblically)! The word for perfect means “whole and complete.”  Like just about everything else in this life, it’s a process. A daily decision, if you will. Today I choose to walk with integrity in my home. Today I choose to do my very best here with my family, where it counts.

My dad has been a Southern Baptist minister for over forty years. One of my favorite things about him is that he is the same man at home that he is standing at the podium on Sunday mornings. He doesn’t lead us in hymns or praise choruses at the breakfast table, but other than that, he’s the same man on Tuesday afternoon as he is on Sunday morning. He walks with integrity in his home. I think that’s one of the reasons why he’s had close to 42,000 entries in his CaringBridge guestbook. People love and respect him. They know he’s the real deal.

So what does it look like when I walk in integrity in my own home? For one thing, I think it means that I don’t use a tone of voice in my house that I wouldn’t use if company were here. I try to ask myself how I would feel if another adult spoke to my child the way I am speaking to him/her. If I wouldn’t allow anyone else to talk to my child that way, why is it okay for me to speak to my child that way? The same is true about the way I speak to my husband.  I want my words to encourage him, not wound him.

Another way I can walk with integrity at home is to make the best use of my time. Since my last post, several of us have talked about how we sometimes treat the computer as if it were our favorite child. I was glad to know I’m not alone, but having company in my faults doesn’t excuse me from them. I’m embarrassed that I’ve lost count of the times my children had to take a back seat to Mom’s computer time. A friend of mine was telling me that her kids have asked her to do something for them when she’s finished “working.”Working? I’m not working, I’m socializing…or looking at decorating/homeschool stuff,” she said to me. I knew all too well what she was saying. I need to remember that this blog and my emails are not my job. They’re a fun distraction, but they’re dangerous if they distract me from what’s most important in my life: my faith, my family, and my friends.

I’m realizing that I need a plan. I’m not a “schedule every minute” kind of girl. I literally threw the book Babywise across the room after I read it because I knew it would never work for my temperament. I need some flexibility. That said, I also need stronger boundaries so that my computer time doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. I’m curious as to how you all have settled this in your own lives. I know that some of you have regular unplugged days.  Do you have other ways to keep yourself from spending too much time in front of the computer? I’d love to hear your ideas.

I have a few more ideas about how to walk with integrity within my house, but I need to make best use of the rest of my time that I’ve allowed myself for the computer this morning. That means I have to go now. I’d love to know what you first thought about when you read Psalm 101:2b. How do you best “walk the walk” in your home? I’d like to come back to this idea and add some more ideas and I’d love to know some of your suggestions.

So you have two assignments: How you keep yourself from sitting in front of the computer today and how you walk with integrity in your home. Now stop reading, start thinking and typing! I’ll be back later to check your work. I have to go see if I’ve left a Little somewhere in the garage piles.



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11 responses to “Walking Within My House

  1. Great post, great thoughts…..through all of this blog stuff, life stuff…there is growth. I think of how what the enemy means to use to destroy, the Lord uses for good. It’s awesome that we are recognizing how our time is being sucked away(and various other things). I think that is the first step toward growth…recognizing and then changing(instead of tearing our homes down…scripture?)

    I’m pleased to say that I’m not “working” as much. I’m trying to recognize when I’m getting “sucked in”….stopping and giving my boys/husband/house my time instead. I wonder actually just what “work” they think I do on the computer..and I sure wish I got paid for it. Loved what you shared about how you speak in your home…wonderful reminder.

  2. I needed to hear that verse today… I want to be the same person in my home that I portray to the rest of the world.

    Great encouragment about the tone of my voice, too.

    As for the advice, this is hitting a little too close to home (as I mentioned last comment) to give any wise and good advice. I’m still, myself, figuring out how to create that “balance” in my life. And I think I’ve been doing a better job, but I can’t exactly tell you HOW I’ve done it, other than just constantly reminding myself “have a taken care of my top priorities and responsiblities FIRST?” and if not than WHAT am I doing on the computer…

  3. You’ve left footprints on my mouth and heart today, Whimz. But that’s okay. God put them there with you.

    Integrity for me is in baby steps because i’m highly distractible and am a low self esteem achiever if left to my own devices. Why make goals of any kind, right? I’ll just fail. So, first, integrity means focusing on my Focuser. In order to send those lies elsewhere, and drink in the Living Water. Then, it means literally, setting my timer so that we don’t live in a pigsty. I don’t want that for my children or for my husband, who works so hard each day. And in terms of my mouth…oy veh. That’s a hard one. For me, at this stage, it means mostly abiding Thumper’s axiom: If ya can’t say something nice…don’t say nothin at all.

    And in between it all? Breath prayers of: “Thank you, Jesus!” and “Help me, Jesus”.

  4. Beautiful verse. Great post.

    I’ve been trying to limit my computer time to my lunch hour when no one else is home and after the kids go to bed. Unless I am alone in the house altogether or I really am working on a project for our ministry.

    I loved what you wrote about your dad, for my dad is a minister and now I’m married to one. Integrity. I like that.

    I am saying a little pray for you and the moving bit…I have so been there and done that. The longest I have ever lived anywhere was 7 and a half years and that was two years ago. I think I am now a pack rat because of all the moving I did as a child.

  5. This was an amazing post. Husband and I have lately been convicted of how we are interacting with the kids. Are they bearing the brunt of our stressed out-closing school-packing up for summer moods? What you said about how I’d feel if another adult talked to them as I do HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD and is exactly what God has been saying to me. I have confessed to my kids, they forgive as they always do, and I am moving forward in faith that God can change even me.

  6. carpoolqueen

    I read this earlier then went right out and blew it within 10 minutes of the kids getting in the car. I think I’ll write that on a big card and tape it to my dashboard.

  7. Wow.

    My toes hurt from being stomped all over. I am in the midst of this battle right.this.second. I am working with Jesus on my computer issues, and trying to be the mom and wife I need to be to my men. It’s tough. But I am slowly feeling my attitudes shifting. That’s a total God thing, because left to my own power…my children would eat nothing but chips and cereal and would wear last week’s underwear. Because I would be too busy typing about it to pay attention.

    Praying for your daddy.

  8. I hear you. I don’t want my childrens’ memory of me is my backside as I stare at the computer and they stare at me. For me … I’ve decided that I’m going to take a computer fast for June (with the exception of email because I do work from home for my church). No bloggin’, tweetin’, etc. and make some new habits. (They say new habits are made in twenty-one days and since there are 30 in June, I’m hoping that’s enough. 🙂 ) I start homeschooling my precious 5yo in August and I want to be there 100% for her … not just 100% when I don’t have a new blog post to read or write or my email beeps or whatever.

    (((Hugs))) These are good things and good changes. Doesn’t mean they are easy. 🙂

  9. I think this scripture demands I spend more time with it. Need to post it somewhere…

    by the way, this was an absolutely delicious post. I soaked in every single word. I know God’s talkin’ to me too, for I heard just yesterday morning, a pastor on the radio saying, “Would I talk to my wife this way were her father in the room? How about our Heavenly Father?”- and I realized I need to watch that I talk to my husband less snippily and more kindly~ this post just drove the lesson home.

  10. I’ve been thinking on your past 2 posts and still haven’t been able to formulate a response. I just have to say that I seem to start each day with better intentions than the one previous. I like your verse from today. I’m a scripture girl — I love to meditate on the Truth, so I have that one in my craw for today. I need to watch my words to my family.
    As for the blog world: I’m pretty new to this whole thing. I started as an outlet for all the feelings I had swimming in my head and heart. It has been nice to connect with other like-minded ladies. We have always served in churches that seem to have an abundance of “baby Christians.” While it has been neat to build on a new foundation, it has been a desert time for me because the lack of accountability/personal challenge. So, reading blogs like yours today serves a purpose in my life. Hubby knows I blog – he does, too – and he supports it. My parents and sister do not blog and think it is CRAZY that I do. They do not read my blog.
    As for balance – I try to get my blog stuff done before 9 each morning, then allow myself an hour in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. My weakness is FB. I need to better manage my time there.
    Okay – I’m done hijacking. 🙂

  11. My goodness, what a great post.

    I think that, for me, with everything going on, I had no choice but to walk away from the computer and therefore, realized what a time sucker it really is AND what in the world was I doing all that time?

    So, I got much needed perspective and this just affirmed that the Lord is speaking to my heart.

    I absolutely love your words about “how am I walking in my home?”…I’ve got some thinking to do after this post and some prayin’.

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