It amazes me how many times a teen has to be reminded to do something.
Here is an example: on several occasions, my 16 year-old daughter, Breeanna, has been left to her own accord while her father and I are out shopping or working. When we leave the house we try to make sure things are in order so that we don't have to worry about dirty dishes or laundry when we return. In almost every instance that we leave her at home with a clean sink, we inevitably return to a sink full of dirty dishes.
Now, I can honestly say that Breeanna has been told on more than one occasion that if you dirty a dish you should clean it. She has also witnessed me throwing a huge, hollering fit when I come home from a long day of work to find HER dirty dishes in the sink. So, what I'm trying to say here is that Breeanna knows that Mama don't like to come home to no dirty dishes in the sink! I've yelled and I've threatened. I would go into more about how I should have punished her more severely to change this behavior but this blog is not about that it is about this...
In my adult mind, I do not understand why when she puts a dirty dish in a clean sink or when she walks by the pile of dishes building up she does not think to act upon her love for me and DO THE DISHES!??? That's how I feel about it! I feel like when she completely ignores something I've already discussed with her SEVERAL times before, then she is just purposely choosing not to love me when she chooses not to do the dishes! As you know, it is not just the dishes, it's the hamper full of dirty clothes or the hamper full of clean clothes that she hasn't put up since last week--the list can get quite long but I'll spare you the details.
So the question is; Is my daughter purposely choosing not to love me, is she just ignorant of her surroundings, or is there something more going on here?
When I really think about it and put myself in her shoes, I realize that she is busy with the things on her mind. Her priorities are not the same as mine; so, even though she may get reprimanded for her ignorance it is not enough to change her priorities.
So, now the question is: well, who determines our priorities?
The answer is: We do!
I am a person who likes to make lists and so is my daughter (go figure). If it is not on our lists, then it probably is not going to get done. When I make Bree a list of things to do for the day, including doing the dishes, it usually gets done. Now, this doesn't mean that Breeanna's priorities go undone. It just means that she will have a better experience when I get home from work if she takes care of my priorities before hers.
During my quiet time this morning, I was able to read three chapters in a book I just started. The first chapter was about putting God first, the second was about how important prayer is. and the third was about the freedom of choice God gave us.
In Chapter One, it's about learning to put God and his ways as a priority in our lives. One of my favorite verses (that I have a hard time living by) is
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33 KJV
In Chapter 2, it talks about how important communication with God is on a daily (multiple times daily) basis.
In Chapter 3, it reminds me that God gave us free will and the power to choose how we will live and what will be on our "lists" for the day.
AND THERE IT IS!!!!
Now, let me compare myself to my teenager....
What does God have on his priority list that is not on mine? What do I spend my time thinking about? What do I spend my time doing? Am I purposely choosing not to love God when I ignore his list for me? Am I purposely choosing not to love God when I ignore sharing his love with others?What is God's TOP PRIORITY? (See The Greatest Commandment) So, as we can see God's top priority is that I love him with everything that I am and love my neighbor as myself. Ouch! You got me! All I can do at this point is say, "I'm sorry Heavenly Father that I have ignored the dirty dishes, even though you have told me time and time again, even though you have shown me how to wash the dishes, even though I love you, I'm sorry that I've chosen to not make your priorities mine. I ask in Jesus Name that I will see the dirty dishes, that I will not ignore them and that I will do the dishes gladly because I love you with all my heart, mind, soul and strength." In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!
Living Loved by You, Living Freely by your Son and Dancing because your Holy Spirit Moves me, your daughter,
P.S. Thank you Lord for giving me a list to follow, thank you for your blessings, thank you for giving me free will, thank you for my ability to make lists and prioritize things in my life and please help me put your list ahead of mine because, as we both know, I cannot do it without you!