Romans 15:5-7 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. ” NIV
Today sweetheart and I finally had a day off together. It has been so long since we have been together without children and grandchildren, we didn’t know what to do first. So like any good couple left alone for the morning, we went to breakfast! Well first we went to the bank, the glass store (broken window), Home Depot, the post office, and Target. How’s that for a well spent morning off? It was nice to have some adult conversation and we tried (without success) to talk about things other than children and grandchildren. It was a productive morning all around. Now sweetheart is off to get mulch and I am going to tackle the housecleaning as we are expecting a houseful this weekend.
While at Target, I remembered that our old toaster oven had finally breathed it’s last. While sweetheart was perusing the home improvement aisle, I went in search of something to make our breakfast on the run days easier. We are a family that consumes truckloads of bagels as you can put an entire menu on a bagel and call it a meal. So I knew the toaster had to have wide slots. Other than that, I was pretty open to suggestions. Wow! Did you know there are over a dozen kinds of toasters ranging from about ten dollars to over fifty!!! For a toaster? Who are you kidding! It toasts bread. That’s about it. Unless it can get the bagel off the counter and put it into it’s own slot, I see no reason to spend that kind of money for a kitchen counter clutter monster. Well, unless of course you are talking about my coffee maker but we shall leave that conversation for another day. I settled for a nice little chic black number that fits between the breadmaker and the knife holder. Fourteen dollars and some change and I was out of there. OK, well not really. Fifty nine dollars, 3 cards, 6 spoons, contact lense solution (liquid gold obviously), cortaid for my poison ivy (yay me!), and said appliance. I mean really. Who can go into Target and just get what they went in for? Excluding my sweetheart and every other man on the planet obviously.
As I unpacked my new toaster and put my old one in the garage (you never know when I might need a broken toaster), I thought of how much similarity there is in my shopping habits and my daily devotions. (stay with me here, it will make sense) I used to need a great quantity of bells and whistles to study the Bible. It wasn’t a simple process. I had to attend classes, be taught how to study, read everyone else’s version of how it should be done. I had to have my Bible, my book on how to study the Bible, my pens for marking, my list of things that I should be studying, and a bag to carry it all in. I had to have my schedule for Bible reading and my checklist of reading dates to make sure I carefully checked everything off every day. I haunted the bookstores to make sure I had the latest and greatest up to date tools for Bible reading. If someone said I needed it, I bought it. Yet as my bank account grew smaller, my emptiness grew larger. I wasn’t getting the simple fact of the entire matter. I just needed to read His word. Daily. That was it. Nothing fancy, nothing big. One scripture, one chapter, one page. It didn’t matter. If I didn’t have my markers and my notes, it didn’t mean a thing. I could still just simply read the Bible. Not in order, not in someone else’s words, not on a timeline.
I used to shop for everything new and exciting. Everything that the world said I had to have. Now I need very little to get by. I have what I need and I need what I have. As I have grown up and realized that my needs are simple, I have also come to understand that my Abba’s requirements are also very simple. Believe in Him, read His words, follow His commandments, be a member of a church family, give of all I have, be the best wife and mother I can. He loves me in my mess and in my joy. He doesn’t expect me to be successful before He will love me. He just wants me to simply try my best.
Don’t get me wrong. I still sometimes forget and go beyond the simple. Like my be all, end all Keurig coffee maker. And my dozen devotion books. Oh and my really cool spiffy marking pen with the little pop up sticky note thingy on the end of it. I still sign up for every Bible study class and every event I can. I volunteer for every holiday greeting event. Yesterday at church they announced that we were having twenty five Easter services. Together youngest daughter and sweetheart turned to me and said “NO!!” before the words could even leave my mouth that we would help. Sigh. Keep it simple. That’s my new motto. Just don’t put anything shiny in front of me and we will be good!