Wednesdays with Jillene: the basics

[Last week I put out the full disclaimer and will remind you again that Calah is two weeks old and since I am living and breathing “baby mode” you’ll probably hear about that a bunch. Life will return to a focus other than the baby at some point, but for now, enjoy.]


“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”

They say that to you at the hospital almost as soon as the baby is born. Mothers you don’t even know will be sure to pass on that advice even if you only meet them in the Walmart check out isle. It’s great advice, no doubt. When I had my first baby, maybe with my second too, it was potentially possible advice to follow.

Except for a small hang up.

See, when the baby sleeps you actually have a chance to get things done with BOTH of your hands. There is food to eat, laundry to wash/fold, phone calls to make, thank you cards to write, showers to (finally) take… so the whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” thing can easily get thrown to the wayside.

But having a newborn baby is a tiring thing and it doesn’t take too long until the lack of sleep really catches up to me… and in more than just a “dark circles under your eyes” kind of way! I mean in a “head throbbing, unable to make decisions, super cranky and emotional” kind of way. It isn’t pretty folks, nope not at all.

So it was only a few days into Calah being home that I resolved I needed to get (even a small) nap in the afternoons. If you know me even a tiny bit, then you know how hard it can be for me to make the CHOICE to ignore everything else that I could be doing so I can sleep for a little while. I soon encountered the limitations of my body when I’d awaken from a sleep I didn’t intend on taking… ‘cause my body just gave out and napped despite my intentions.

Even though I know that sleep is one of my most basic needs, I sure can struggle to make the basics a priority. I was thinking yesterday of the parallel to our walk with God. We KNOW that God is a priority. But often it is hard to put that most basic of relationships first in our lives. There is just so much that can get in the way, so much which can SEEM like it is important.

And, for me, I can too often come to believe that I make God a priority in my life by the things I choose to do. Be it going to church, taking the time to care about other people, have my devotion times, seek to worship God… there is so much “to do” in our relationship with God. Please don’t misunderstand me, all of these things are important but they aren’t the most basic. Because, sometimes, in all the “doing” we do we distract ourselves from the reality of the WHO we are doing it all for… we make our relationship with God about us and what we can do instead of about who God is…

So today, I have a few scriptures for us to focus upon to remember the basics. Allow the truth of God’s character (His goodness, mercy and love) to fill your soul and feed your most basic of needs.

Ephesians 2:1-10

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

My prayer for us today comes from Ephesians 3, “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”



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