I just checked. There are five unpublished (and unfinished) blog posts in my queue. Most of them have a title, along with a short paragraph, maybe two. Nothing more. Just random ideas, barely starting to shape up into something worth sharing.
Not five minutes ago, I sat with my laptop in front of me, gazing at the blog posts waiting to be written. Surprisingly, my main emotion wasn’t guilt, though if I am honest there was this small pang of guilt starting welling up. But I swallowed hard a time or two, and soon enough it all settled down again as I forced myself to remember that writing is not my only job.
My last post was published on July 15th. I haven’t managed to write another full blog post since, though I promise it isn’t for lack of wanting to write. Trust me … I want to write!
Isn’t there always a “but?”
I laughed right there because this is something I always caution my children about doing. Whenever I reprimand them for neglecting a chore, they want to respond with, “But Mom …” I shake my head, hold up my hand, and say, “There’s always a “but” to stop you from doing what you know you should be doing. It’s your job to not let the “buts” get in the way.”
Let me just go ahead and say it: The BUTS have been getting in my way!
It doesn’t even matter what the buts are or why they are preventing me from writing. Sometimes, but not always, our excuses are valid. It’s what I wrote about in my last post about having Blogger’s Guilt. (By the way, that post was deemed “share worthy” by Faithful Bloggers and featured on their website! Here’s a link to view it there: http://faithfulbloggers.com/struggling-with-bloggers-guilt/)
BUT … truthfully, most of the buts I’ve been using lately have been more because of my own laziness. I’m out of the blogging habit and I’ve grown complacent in regards to my desire to be diligent about writing for God.
It’s been a strange summer in my home. The typical schedule and routine has been thrown so far off course I don’t even know how to get us back on track. And yet here we are at the end of summer vacation and starting to ease back into a life of order. Homeschooling is back underway as of this morning. My summer babysitting job is drawing to a close at the end of this week, as well. No more camps. No more overnight visits with friends and family, especially on week nights. It’s time to get back into the daily grind.
And that includes me, too! In addition to all of my other jobs as wife, mom and teacher, I am planning to return to a diligent routine of writing every day. Not only because I desire to get back into my regular writing schedule, BUT because I need to write daily as it helps me focus on all of the things God has called me to do in my life.
Did you notice it? There was another BUT … and it’s actually a good but, because not all buts are bad.
Do you know what my favorite BUT is? It’s in the Bible, located in Ephesians chapter 2. To really get the wonderful effect of this BUT, you have to read the verses 1-3 before you get to the verse with the BUT.
Here are a couple of key points from verses 1-3:
You were dead in your trespasses and sins … (verse 1)
… we were by nature children of wrath … (verse 3)
In other words, like all other humans born on this planet, I am prone to being bad. My very heart leans toward self-centered, wrong behaviors. (If you are a parent, you realize you didn’t have to teach your baby to hit or bite or throw a screaming fit. You did, however, have to teach how your child how to share and how to use manners and how to be kind to others.)
As much as I try, I cannot be perfectly good … not even on my best day.
Now comes my favorite part, verses 4 and 5:
BUT God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
God knows I cannot be good on my own. I can try and try, and still will fall short of His perfection. So He made a way for me through Jesus Christ.
Trust me … this is the best BUT ever!
My life is never going to be perfect. I’m going to struggle with doing what I know is good and right, and being selfish. I’m probably going to give into a temptation of some sort, if not later on tonight then tomorrow for certain.
It’s only because of the “BUT” God has offered that I have hope to live a life on this earth that is worth living … as well as the hope heaven’s perfection in the next life.
This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:5
If you haven’t accepted God’s offer, I hope you will take the time to consider it. I’d love to tell you more about how this wonderful BUT can change your life, just as it has changed mine.
11 thoughts on “BUT …”
So true my dear. No guilt! Just keep pressing on!
You are always my favorite encourager, Jon! Glad God joined us up for life. 🙂
I think we can all very easily fall into not making regular posts, you miss one and then it becomes easier to miss the next, it is far easier to get into bad habits than good ones. Self discipline is one of the fruits of the spirit, but, it does require us to make a response. Reading this I started to wonder, when was the as time I mentioned God in one of my Blog posts?
He is the most important thing in my life, but it is so easy to forget that and carry on as if we are in charge. Thank you for the reminder.
Self-discipline and self-control have never been my strongest fruits! Neither is consistency, though that one isn’t specifically mentioned … however, I believe it is a natural outcome of being self-disciplined. 🙂 God asked me to write, and now He is using it to help me grow more like Him. I love how He works all things for our good, even when it requires lots of work and effort on my part.
I wondered what happened to you Paige and now I know. I love the message of this post “but”. We always have, and always will have a “but” to insert. But, as you quoted “He is rich in mercy”. What a Savior we have. I’m so thankful we don’t have to depend on our own goodness!!!
I’ve been missing reading and writing so much, but got caught up in just life. Initially, it was a lot of good “buts” … yet far too soon it all turned to just lack of focus and direction. I’m thankful for that mercy too! (And I am looking forward to catching up on a lot of blog reading … yours is one of my top ones to go read! I’m grateful for your consistent example.)
Well, I’m glad you’re back. I’ve been in NYC with Jews For Jesus for the past 28 days. I just arrived home yesterday. It’s been a busy summer.
This is a powerful comeback post! Thanks for showing the negative and positive side of this three letter word that changes everything!
What is so crazy about this particular post is that as I sat there reading over all the unfinished blog posts in my queue, I told the Lord I didn’t know how to get back into writing on my blog. I felt like I had nothing to say. And then God literally gave me a comeback post … I mean, as my fingers typed He gave me the words because when I sat down and started to type I had no idea what I was going to write about at all! By the way, that happens to be my favorite way to write. I love it when my fingers do the typing and my brain is completely mesmerized by the words appearing on the screen because I had no idea I was going to type those words. Truthfully, all God-written and not at all Paige-driven.
I smiled when you said you had five unfinished/unpublished posts. Mine are empty “Pages” documents … although I did put a couple of them in there … BUT … it made me feel guilty. 😉 Very creative. Enjoyed this very much!
Thank you, Dianne! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has lots of unfinished writings. 🙂