I am often a house divided. In fact, I spend most evenings running through a list of how much I’d like to change, and how determined I am to change it. Wake up early, be more present, read to them, spend time in silence, turn off your phone, be prepared, be gracious, go slowly, don’t raise your voice. I fall asleep often totally sincere in my confidence to wake up on the other side of the night a new person—better, more efficient, more loving, changed.
But 19 times out of 20, the day goes on like it did a hundred times before . . . and nothing’s changed. I’m wasting my time, I’m losing my temper, I’m scatterbrained, I am unkind. And I grumble and I chastise myself and sometimes I even say “How foolish . . . .” How foolish to spend so much time convincing yourself it could be any better.
But I realize something important about that one day out of the 20 (probably something more like one day out of 100). Those days are only different because I am undivided. My intention is pure and my prayer sincere—not my will, but Yours. All too often, I seek change so that I can spend more time being happier. I find myself complaining about how tired I am of the stress of our lives or how disconnected I feel from my children or from my husband and I want to change it. I mean, I want to be faithful, but mostly I just want things to change, to be better. It makes me realize that the days when it all falls apart, I am nothing more than a house divided.
I have one foot there and one foot here, and so I mope and I fuss about my own inability to tackle my little battles. But my intention isn’t unified or even good, and so it fails me, every time. The interesting thing about the days when I feel the grace of God so mightily and so closely is that they are still days that “don’t go right” . . . but it doesn’t matter anyway, because my goal was wholly one. “All my prayers, works, joys, sufferings . . . .” And I am still happy. My purpose was singular. I am not divided. And I am happy.
Funny how that works, huh?
I want to work harder at my own sincerity, so that I can be a whole, unified sanctuary, really only wanting the will of a God Whom I know to be good. Be a strong house today with me. When we are, we move mountains, just like Abraham. When we are, even our weakness is strength, like He promised.
Blythe Fike is the wife of Kirby and mother of 5 smallish kids. She homeschools and loves the quiet life in small town SoCal. You can find out more about her here.