Monday, September 15, 2014

The Middle

So my family has a new favorite TV show, The Middle.  I have enjoyed it for years but in the past few months the rest of the crew has gotten on board. So we have been binge watching The Middle almost every night (the eldest just started another episode while I type).
Yes, currently our DVR has over 30 episodes of the show either waiting to be watched, or re-watched . . .don't judge!

We are huge Patricia Heaton fans and really the show just cracks us up.  The Heck family is just dysfunctional enough to make you feel pretty good about yourselves, but close enough to reality for us to relate.

And I love it because, yes you guessed it, they're messy!  They forget things (birthdays, anniversaries, . . . sometimes children). They mess up, mix up and sometimes give up, but never on each other.

Instead they wrestle with the same cultural myths we so often judge our own lives by:
The Perfect Family
The Perfect House
The Perfect Job
The Perfect Kids

They, like the rest of us, drop the ball, get distracted by the little things, struggle to make ends meet, are plagued by the "what ifs" in life, and worry about what others think of them.  How often do we as families get caught up in that?
What if Johnny gets cut from the team?
How are we going to pay for that insurance bill?
Do we live on the right side of town, will they like us?
Do we spend out of our budget to keep up with our neighbors and friends?
Do we sacrifice peace for prestige?

Matthew 6:25- 34 pretty much lays out where God stands on these issues (my thoughts in itallics)

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 
Ugh no! and yet how much time do I spend worrying? There is a new app called Sleep Cycle. It charts your sleep habits, REM, etc and then tells you how much time each night you spend spend in each. It also tells you how much of your time is spent in bed. I have been using the app for 9 days and have currently spent the equivalent of 3 days in bed. This is depressing enough (especially since I am still exhausted) but I was wondering what would happen if I could chart how much of my time was spent worrying? I am pretty sure I DON'T want to know.
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?  
Ouch, so little faith. I don't mean to be without faith. But if I am honest, when I am worrying, faith doesn't even factor into the equation. Because if faith was in the equation, then well, there wouldn't be a need to worry. God has always provided and He promises he always will. But I have to sacrifice my idea of perfect, for His.
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I am pretty sure the Hecks would agree with that; today's troubles are enough for today.
 So I will continue to enjoy watching them battle their everyday battles, ones I can relate to (sometimes too well).  But in my own life, when I am feeling defeated, overwhelmed, discouraged I am going to cling to His promise.  Seek Him first, live according to His priorities, and He will give us all that we need.

Gotta run - the family has started an episode without me!

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