Friday, January 20, 2012

On Carpe-ing the Diem

Aside from the posts I wrote during Ethan's first few months of life, this might be the toughest collection of words I've ever tried to put together.  Even now my heart is pounding in that God's-speaking-and-I-need-to-respond kind of way.  I'm not nervous, per say, to publish these thoughts but, rather, I feel a strong burden to get these words out and (hopefully) delight the Lord in the process.

I'm fairly certain that if you're reading here, you've read this.  I've read it multiple times since it began circulating Facebook a couple of weeks ago and have purposefully not shared it.  Many of you have, though, and please know up front that I am not judging you for doing so.

My initial reaction the very first time I read it was, "I will not speak that as truth in my life."  While the frazzled mom in me agreed whole-heartedly, the child of God - the core of who I am - wasn't quite as convinced.  I knew, deep down, that God himself wants better for my days than to live in a constant state of stressful chronos. 


The more people shared it, and the more I read it, I began to go against my initial rejection of it.  I found myself being comforted by her words and giving over to the emotions that often dictate my day-to-day.  Parenting is hard, and some days do just flat-out stink.  But, even still, something just didn't feel right.


I was on Facebook yesterday when I read this, posted by a friend:

"Call me crazy -- but I really do believe God has granted to me everything needed to bring order to my home and to raise respectful children who have ears to hear Him."

"YES!" - I felt my spirit scream. It was a quote, with a link to another person's wall, so I clicked through to read it in context.  What I found was one woman's commentary on the very article that's been stirring my soul over the past couple of weeks! I was blown away by how closely my thoughts had mirrored her words, and I just knew God was speaking straight to my heart. 

She says: 

"There is an article going around the web about parenting called "Don't Carpe Diem." I have seen it a few times this morning. I cannot NOT comment. So here are a few things that stood out to me.

When I read this article, my emotions were stirred and wanted to voice their agreement, but my spirit was NOT shouting "amen."

The way she has written her article implies we are subject and slave to Chronos time and *may* - if we are fortunate -- be blessed with a few Kairos "glimpses" along the way. My spirit grieves this perspective. The Word says He orders my days. That does not sound like I am to be swept away or frazzled.

To read her take, God has set us out on a difficult, grueling, frazzling, nail-biting, Mt. Everest climb. Again, if this is indeed her perspective, I grieve for her.

I'm not saying parenting is easy -- far from it, but the God I know "leads those with young gently," takes our burdens and carries our load, yet balances these blessings with instructions for us to sow with diligence both day and evening, and commands for our hands not to be idle. My difficulty, in a nutshell, is that she has chosen to take her perspective, I perceive to be rooted in emotion, as truth, instead of what God's Word says on the matter.

Call me crazy -- but I really do believe God has granted to me everything needed to bring order to my home and to raise respectful children who have ears to hear Him.
Another friend of mine posted a blog entry this morning -- ironically titled "Carpe Diem." He puts it this way: "... where I have thrown my hands into the sky, thrown my head back, and with a smile a mile wide on my face, said to the One I trust the most - I TRUST YOU! BRING IT ON! 'I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10' "

While we don't control diddly in life (except our decision to follow Christ!), those of us who do belong to Christ, belong to the One who controls everything. In that I find tremendous ease and enjoyment to this thing called life.

It's easy to give into our emotions - after all, they run on a downhill grade - but GOD calls us to step into the current and command it to go in a different direction through His power and presence." -Deborah Kirby, Joy in the Morning Ministries

THAT, my friends, is truth.  I've been so convicted lately of not spending enough time in God's word.  The result, of course, is not keeping His truths and promises close to my heart, and allowing myself to be influenced more by the words of others.  And, as I said to my friend, this is just one more nudge smack in the face from The Man himself.

Now, just to be clear.  Just as I am not judging any of you for agreeing with her words (I believe God spoke straight to my heart, using this particular post, for a specific reason), I am also not attacking the author of said post.  Since reading "Don't Carpe Diem", I've read a few more posts of hers and find myself enjoying her humor and style of writing.  Chances are, I'll continue to read - maybe even follow - her blog.


I'll be significantly more aware of what I'm allowing myself to accept as truth, and prayerfully finding myself drawing closer to God's truths in the process.


It's very likely I'll be carpe-ing the diem along the way.  He tells me I can, after all.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
 She watches over the affairs of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”
 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 

-Proverbs 31: 25-31


Dana E. said...

Hey Joye,
I actually hadn't read the article until you posted the link to it. I did see it circling facebook, but just reading the title didn't appeal to me. And I'm glad I didn't read it until you posted a different I can completely agree with you, but I have a hard time taking everything she said as the truth God has given us.

I don't have kids, and I can't vouch for how hard it is sometimes...but I also can't vouch for how rewarding it is either. I can say that the parents that are the most inspiring, and seem to be the happiest most frequently (to me), take everything with a grain of salt.

Allow the kids to be kids. No one has it all figured... no one. And if you expect a toddler to act like an adult then you are fighting a Mountain of extreme disappointment. You can expect your children to be polite, to have some manners, to not harm others...but if they're being creative with the items in the cart, so be it.

And as she said in the beginning, this only happens when she goes out. So maybe she just needs to send the list with the hubs and stay at home with kids, or visa-versa. But maybe going shopping with her kids is her Mount Everest, and she needs to eliminate that stress when possible.

I love everything this mystery commentator says...and she says it very well. Thanks for the post and for bringing light to the subject.

Tara said...

Great post Joye...I had actually read it (and even posted it FB =)), but you are completely right. We tend to get caught up in the emotional side of parenting and it "feels" like all she is describing. But when we tune our ears and our hearts toward the Lord again, we see clearly that our emotions are failing and lacking the truth of the situation. You are a wise woman! Thank you for sharing your heart with us =)

Jenny said...

PERFECT Joye! I'm so glad you posted this. I read this article once (on Facebook of course) and my intial reaction was sadness that a couple minutes a day of appreciating life and being a mom was what she strived for. This article really didn't sit right with me but I didn't really read it again and think about it until you wrote this post. Thank you for sharing!!

Jenn said...

Joye, this is wonderful. You are so right about how we need to be more deliberate in listening to God's word more than we listed to the words of others.

Here is the link to Deborah's blog:

She included her Facebook post in the blog.

Thank you for listening to the Spirit and writing this post!

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