Balance Finding Kaye

Staying prepared – in season and out of season

THE highlight of my day/night was visiting the grocery store in preparation for our upcoming weeks’ grocery and Thanksgiving.

I really love a good sale, and when I say this, I don’t mean spending money, I mean preserving it.

Over the past few months, I’ve tried to more attentively respond to the balance, rest and peace requirements that the Lord has placed upon our home in this season of our lives – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially & more. Learning to let go of a few things by relinquishing “good habits” you’ve been in tune with for quite some time and attaining and working towards even better ones is somewhat a process of persistence.

From week to week, I look forward to the planning that accompanies this new, sweet place in our lives, gathering information, storing it and plucking from my storehouse when God requires the use of it. It sounds “easier said than done,” and, yes, some days it’s a project of pursuance to remain persistent; but somehow, I look forward to this prepared place and excitedly approach it – even when I grow weary, even when I may worry.

A Season of Preparation

With the changing season, the busyness of Thanksgiving in the air, Black Friday, the travel plans of many, and Christmas just on the cusp, just the thought of being out among an even busier setting of chaos can be a bit arousing. So I set my sight on getting my Thanksgiving and weekly grocery getup out of the way beforehand.

I planned my stores, my deals, savings, points and rewards, envelopes and cash system for the next two weeks, set a budget and stepped out like nobody’s business.

Hubbie: “You ready?”

Me: “Yeah, let’s go!”

I peeked at my final few deals for this week, online and app-carted my next week deals (i.e., tomorrow based on my sale paper, LOL), grabbed my newspaper, ran out the door and excitedly caroused the aisles gettin’ my pre-Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dinner and post-Thanksgiving household groceries. Boy, was this my kinda fun!

***

So why a ‘season of preparation?’ Ants, squirrels, birds, bears and other animals prepare in the season prior to be ready for and unrestricted by barriers in the season ahead. It seems an unlikely thing to call this a season of preparation, as we should have, based on nature’s response, prepared for the Thanksgiving/Fall season in the summer – perhaps even September or October, right?

Wrong.

As the natural seasons show us signs of the coming season ahead, so does God give us clues, nudges and insights on how we should prepare for “what’s next” in our lives.

So, it’s not so much in that we should have prepared way in advance for Thanksgiving; it’s how we’re responding to God’s instructions and preparing in the nowthis season – for what God has called us and assigned us to in the next season…of our lives, which is relevant to us both spiritually and naturally.

1At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

– Matthew 25:1-13

How can this scripture help us prepare in our everyday lives?

As with the parable of the ten virgins, amid the busyness of life it is easy to forget, to get caught up, to put things off or to even just go with the flow – to do this instead of that, to let our weariness or same ‘ol habits get the very best of us.

I’ve been here before. Sometimes, we make it all too easy on ourselves to be here again.

But often times, these consistent inconsistencies within our lives create room for future detriment. And it pushes aside a Godly process for a process of our own. A comfy one.

Sometimes, doing things differently than our “every day norm” helps get us to a better place. Perhaps we didn’t realize how quickly we “threw in the towel” and reverted back to our comfy norm.

How can we stay prepared?

By being like the five wise virgins. As women, there are so many things that God impresses upon our hearts – even as life’s busyness stirs all around us, even as the tugs to “just do it this way for now” or “next time” pull hard.

Perhaps as a wife or mother you’re a great organizer; a great teacher; a great conversationalist; a great listener; a great cook; a great crafter; an incredible business woman; a great athlete; a stellar homemaker. Know that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). If God speaks it to you, then He’s given you the power and the strength to see it through.

As He speaks to you and impresses things for your home upon your heart, respond to His nudge; nurture your response to God; place your concerns in Him; and continue to be at your best for Him – and for your home.

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