As homework for our Bible fellowship class this week, we’re supposed to come up with a list of the ten things we want most in the world, and then evaluate whether our reasons for wanting those are of the world/selfish or of God. In no particular order, here’s what I’ve come up with:
1. I want my boys to grow up to be Godly men, to be strong in their faith. I want them to fulfill the purposes God has for them, whatever those purposes may be.
2. I want my house to be a place of hospitality. Right now, it so often feels like chaos and madness (and I know that goes with the territory of having two boys!), and there are more days than not where I’d just be embarrassed for anyone to see what it looks like. Not that I’m going to start throwing lavish dinner parties all of a sudden, but it would be nice not to have to shove things in the closet if someone stops by, or maybe be able to have a friend over for coffee.
3. I want a better schedule than the one I’ve got now. Between commuting and working, I spend approximately 11 hours away from my family every day. I leave in time to get Thing One to school (Brian takes Thing Two to daycare – we divide and conquer), make the nasty drive to work, work a full day (generally without taking a lunch break, so I can leave work at a sensible hour), make the nasty drive back home (really, can’t there be at least part of my drive that doesn’t stink?!), and make it home at about 6:30 every evening. I feel like we’re prisoners of my schedule. It makes it difficult for us to take part in weeknight activities at church, and it no doubt contributes to the fact that my kids’ bedtimes are later than I’d like. By the time we get them to bed (usually both aren’t asleep until 9:30 or later), I simply don’t have the energy to do much other than collapse into bed. I’d love to have more time to take part in outreach opportunities during the week. I’d love to have dinner ready and on the table earlier, and have time with my family of an evening that isn’t devoted to preparing dinner/getting homework done/getting boys bathed and wrangled into bed. So I think this is one of those wants that has some selfish motivation and some Godly motivation, too.
4. I want to find a way to help Thing One not struggle so much in school, and in life. He’s been diagnosed with ADHD, but I’m not really sure that’s what’s really going on with him. Yes, he lacks focus at times, and his organizational skills are less than stellar, but so many things out there seem to manifest as ADHD, and he has so many quirks that don’t seem to fit with ADHD, that perhaps that isn’t what’s going on with him. He’s nine. He shouldn’t come home saying he hates school – that just breaks my heart, and some days it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around, as I was at the total opposite end of the spectrum (I was one of those kids who were smart and ridiculously good at school, and I cried – yes, cried – if I had to miss a day). Thing One is smart, don’t misunderstand – he’s very intelligent, and I know it’s not a lack of intellectual capacity that’s making school difficult. But it loses something in the translation from his mind to his paper, and getting it to the paper (and then remembering to get the paper turned in) is what gives him fits. The other night, it took a solid hour for us to get through nine math problems, one homework assignment. (You see now why our evenings may be devoted to getting just the essentials done, and not always preparing ahead for the next day!) He’s got other quirks and curiosities that are probably better discussed in another post. I just wish I could help him get through school a little bit easier – it shouldn’t be this hard to be a fourth grader.
5. I want to lose some weight and get in shape. Can you say you want something if you don’t really work to attain it? I usually manage not to make terrible food choices, but I”m not real strict about it, and I know I’m not always consistent with exercise. But I would like to be healthier and in better shape (note I did not say “skinnier” – I’ve made my peace with the fact that my clothing will likely always have a tag with a double-digit size on it, and that’s OK). I want to be around to see my boys grow up and see the grandchildren I may have one day. I want to be in good health to take part in activities as my kids get older, and to enjoy the years with my husband after our boys are grown and gone. So yes, I can say I want this. I just need to do more to make it happen.
6. I want a concert grand piano and a music room to put it in. (This probably falls more in the category of “wishful thinking” rather than true wants!) I’ve played since I was very young, and it would just be the height of wonderfulness to have a grand piano of my very own. No Godly motive here, I just want one. Black, of course.
7. I want more financial resources. Not to spend on myself, so much, but so that I can reach out and meet needs as the opportunity arises. That sounds like a want with a Godly purpose, right? Well, perhaps God doesn’t think so. Does he know me better than I know myself? (Of course He does.) Perhaps I haven’t been unfailingly generous with the resources that I have now, so that He doesn’t yet feel I’m ready to be trusted with more. (This ties in with the part of The Resolution for Women that I’m reading right now, so I expect there will be another post on it later.)
8. I want to take the boys to Disney World while they’re still young enough to enjoy it. Thing One is going to be 10 (!!!) in just a few months, so we may be getting close to the age when he ceases to think family vacations sound like a good idea. I’d love to have the opportunity to share the Magic Kingdom with them while they’ll still like it and have a good time.
I can’t think of two more things to go on the list right now. If they come to me later, I’ll come back and add them. Some of my wants have some Godly motivation, some don’t.
So. What’s on YOUR list?