Monday, September 13, 2010

Time to stop flitting about!

On this journey toward FABULOUS...the most important area in which I can improve is in being a woman who follows God fiercely. Then, I need to focus on absolutely cherishing my family. So, I've been working on spending time consistently in my Bible and showering love on my husband and daughter. As I spend time in the book of James and trying to avoid acting selfishly in my relationships, I can't help but realize the next step on this journey is to reach out to the world around me. And, this makes me think of fruit flies. Fruit flies, you ask? Sure, I mean, don't you think of fruit flies whenever you begin pondering ways in which God can use you in the world despite the chaos of your daily schedule? No? Just me? OK, then, I should probably explain. The Traceys have had an infestation of fruit flies. Over the past week or so we've gone from a few pesky insects to dozens and they're bugging us beyond belief. (Pun intended, of course.) In fact, as I'm typing, one of the little buggers keeps landing on my screen and flitting around just enough to keep my from being able to see the words I'm producing. Oh, ho, ho, flit while you can, little one. Your days are numbered! You see, I've done some research on fruit flies and found out what it takes to eliminate them from your home. I've poured bleach down the drains, I've wiped, I've scrubbed, and I've come across a powerful concoction. One woman on-line wrote about a simple solution she mixes together to trap fruit flies when they become a problem for her. She mixes 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 2 Tbs sugar, and 1 tsp dish soap; stirs it without creating bubbles, sets it out in a custard cup and waits for the little bugs to be drawn to their (sorry if it sounds harsh) death. And, whoa, does this stuff work. We've put out a few containers of the super mix and have found so many little bodies floating in it in under 24 hours! Even our 4-year-old has been squealing with delight, "Mommy, we caught more bugs!" As satisfying as this has been, I've also been observing the little guys and their behavior around the secret concoction. I've determined that, although it must has a powerful draw on their sense of smell, somehow they seem to know that if they go all the way in, they'll never be able to fly back out. I'm probably reading too much into how they get so close, almost close enough to touch the liquid, but then skitter away, only to return a few seconds later. Each time they draw nearer and nearer. I told Jeremy this morning it's almost as if they're thinking, "I really want to dive in to this stuff. It smells SO good. But, I know it will mean the end of me! And, since I don't want to die, I should stay away. But, I just can't!" And the next time I come to check, there they are floating belly up. Jeremy said I was being kind of morbid. And, he's right, but I saw a profound likeness between the flies' behavior and my own. For me, the all-powerful and intoxicating mix that beckons me relentlessly is the trap of doing nothing. And, its lure is SO strong. With a busy schedule full of work, Mommy-hood, cooking, tidying up, social obligations, paying bills, laundry, and so on...doing nothing is very attractive. When I have an evening or a rare weekend free, doing absolutely nothing calls out to me like that vinegar solution calls out to the fruit fly. I know that if I dive all the way in I could see my passion to help others die as my once-soft heart becomes hard again. But, still, I'm drawn to the trap. Now, of course there's nothing wrong with taking a Sabbath, just spending time with God and my family. But for me, it seems that plopping down in front of the TV or to watch a movie with Jeremy or even to read a chapter or two from a novel takes up the majority of whatever free time I have. And, you know, I think it's more than I realize considering how quickly time goes by and one program turns into two, or three, or four. So, here's the question:  Isn't there at least one day a month where I could find a couple of hours to do something for someone else? I don't know what exactly because it will probably involve bringing a preschooler along. I just know there has to be something I can do to make a difference in this world I live in. My husband has signed up to be a mentor at Charter Oak Elementary in Peoria. He'll eat lunch with his assigned student twice a month and try to be a listening ear and let the grade-schooler know he's important. Since I spend my lunches with Alyssa, this won't work for me right now. Of course, praying for my community is important and I've so enjoyed spending time fasting and praying for Peoria and its violent crime issue over the past Labor-Day week. Prayer is an important way to make a difference and one that I need to work into my day a lot more regularly. That's definitely one avenue toward impacting the world around me. Then there are the causes we support financially like Compassion International, Campus Crusade for Christ, 91.5 WCIC, and our own church. And, of course there's the volunteering we do at church, too. But, I'm ready to find that tangible way I can make a difference in the real spite of my busy life. That way in which I can fade to the background and provide support to someone else who's touching lives in my city. Maybe I can work a couple of hours at a Mission Mart or help with a meal time for the South Side Mission. Alyssa could probably even help with something like that. What I know for sure is that it's time to stop flitting around the lure of doing nothing. It's time to spread my wings and fly into a world that's beyond my comfort zone and allow Jesus to use me as His hands and His feet, right here in central Illinois. As I've spent time parked on the New Testament book of James, I've been constantly reminded that faith without works is dead. And, I don't want my faith to die. Are you with me on this? Maybe you've already found a way to get into the heart of your city and make a difference while balancing your busy life. Please...SHARE! Any and all ideas are welcome. Or, if you just want to say you're ready to start looking for that way to break free from the lure of do-nothing...I'd love to read your comments! FABULOUS women believe they can impact their world...and actually do it! I'm so excited for us to begin this faith-in-action adventure together! In the meantime, sleep well my FABULOUS friend!

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful Jill when we find places outside of our homes, churches, and families to lend our hearts and hands.
    I have never wandered too far from the comfortable places I know. And when I did, it was never a long term commitment.
    One things for sure I can't share anything if I'm running on empty. Just like a good eating plan, or exercise plan I need a consistent prayer plan. When I'm in God's word daily in some form, I'm equiping myself for those planned or spontaneous opportunities that come along.
    So to be a doer of the word I have to reading and listening to God's word.
    And when I see people doing larger scale things I need to remember ,whatever I do, do it to His glory. Don't compare. I know there are plenty of needs out there going unmet. Sometimes it may be
    just a smile, only a touch, or the words of encouragement. It all has a great impact on lives.
    My prayer is that I be alert to the needs of people I encounter as I go about my day to day life.
    And lastly for me, letting go of my agenda, and learning to trust God has the "Perfect-Plan!"
    I know it, but I need to live as if I truly believe it!