Friday, September 20, 2013

What Motivates Mom?

I bought an app a while back called "Motivated Moms." It's a program that takes all the chores in my house, from daily chores like dishes to less frequent ones like cleaning light fixtures, and assigns them to specific days.  Each day when I get up, I have a chore list. It's set up in such a way that if I keep up with the daily chores for a few weeks, I'll be able to keep my house maintained with less effort, so I can focus on more important things. 5.99 is expensive for an app, but it was worth it to me.  

There is one thing the app won't do, though.  It doesn't make me want to do the work.  It certainly gives me an organized way to keep the house clean, but as far as I know, there is no app to cure laziness.  

Perhaps my new app won't help eradicate the sin of laziness in my life, but reading Proverbs is a great way to start.  I've gone through this dense book of Wisdom several times in the last few months, and every time the verses about laziness pierce my heart.  

For a long time in my life, I've been lazy.  It isn't necessarily a laziness that is obvious to all. I don't sit around, my husband fanning me with palm leaves and my children bringing me bon-bons.  I do enough around the house and with the kids to avoid the appearance of laziness, but in a thousand small ways, I've been a sluggard.  I've sent the kids to get their own pajamas at bath time because I didn't want to climb the stairs.  (I told myself it was to teach them responsibility. Ha.)  I've read "just one more chapter" until I've spend virtually all day reading a book... one I've read before.  I went for six years with virtually no regular exercise.  I did enough to get by, but I was really a slob.

Then I read Proverbs. First, I was uncomfortable about what kind of person a sluggard really is.  A sluggard is an idiot that no one respects.  She is like "vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes" to people around her (Proverbs 10:26).  A sluggard is a wrecker and a know-it-all (Proverbs 18:9; 26:16).  She's so lazy that she will dip her chip in the cheese dip and won't even muster up the energy to eat the chip! (Proverbs 19:24, my paraphrase).  Seriously, a sluggard does not sound like someone I want to be around, much less be! 

As I continued reading, I became concerned about the obvious parallel Solomon paints between laziness and poverty.  

Proverbs 10:4  A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

Proverbs 24:30-34  I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. 

Each and every verse (also see 21:17; 19:15; 13:4; 20:13) hit me like a punch to the gut.  I knew I couldn't hide behind the notion that my husband is the breadwinner.  Proverbs 31 tells me that the husband of an excellent wife will have no lack of gain.  It then goes on to enumerate all the things an excellent wife DOES.  I am just as responsible for productivity in my house; my laziness can lead to our poverty, even when I don't work outside the home.  If I am too lazy to cook supper, we eat out more, which is hard on the budget.  If I'm not diligent about meal planning, food spoils and goes to waste.  

So what's the solution?  This time, the answer is pretty obvious: Get off my rump and do something!  I may have a lazy day here and there (in the midst of writing this post, I picked up a NEW book, the bane of productivity), but that doesn't have to throw me off track for good.  Solomon also tells us the righteous will fall seven times and rise again (Proverbs 24:16).  

That is what I have done.  Setting productivity goals works well for me.  I started the couch to 5k program.  The nine week plan will probably take me closer to 25, but the goal is to finish it and run a 5k.  (Pray for me!)  The Motivated Moms app gives me daily goals for housecleaning.  Both of those programs have in common the breaking down of large tasks into manageable pieces.  Being diligent to complete those chunks of activity has kept me from being a sluggard.  As for those small things: I went upstairs to get the baby's clothes this morning instead of asking the 6 year old to do it.  I know the difference between being a sluggard and delegating tasks.  

None of these programs, though, were the true cure to laziness.  The true cure was reading God's word, being touched by it, and making the decision to follow more closely what He requires of me.  Next week, I'll be discussing some other verses in Proverbs that jumped out at me.  In the meantime, I encourage to dive into the Word.  You never know what changes you'll make. 

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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