I am, I can, I ought, I will

A Charlotte Mason school I toured once had this slogan posted in every classroom.  It’s a succinct reminder of how our choices should be rooted in our duties and ultimately our true identity.

I have become convicted of how passively I’ve coasted through the past few weeks.  I have done laundry only because I had nothing else clean to wear.  I have cleaned up the books on the floor only because they made me trip.  At five o’clock, I have “planned” dinner menus that could be assembled with minimal effort and ingredients.  I’ve sat at the computer to check my e-mail, clicked on a few other favorite sites…and before I knew it, Abby’s nap was over and she needed my attention again.

And then I wonder why I feel like my house is slowly falling into disorder and why my projects do not get done!

I need to let Charlotte re-introduce me to intentionality.  For example:

I am Abby’s mother.
I can purchase and prepare a variety of nutritious foods for her to eat.
I ought to encourage her to make healthy choices through opportunity and example.
I will serve her 18 of 21 meals at home in a week.  (That’s one dinner out, and two lunches out.)

I am responsible for the order and cleanliness of our home.
I can keep the house clean and organized.
I ought to clean things before they become biohazards, and organize spaces before important things and people become lost in them.
I will clean something that is dirty and bring order to a space that is disheveled every day.

I am an impatient parent, a selfish wife, a lazy thinker, and a selfish friend in my own strength.
I can receive supernatural wisdom, strength, and love from God.
I ought to seek Him through His Word, the Bible.
I will make time to read the Bible every day.

As it happens, today is the start of Lent, which is the season of giving up something good to make space for something better.  I’ve chosen to fast from some of my worst time-traps (Facebook, etc.) in the confidence that I can use that time more intentionally.  Even if I need “down” time, I’ll be better off reading a book or catching up on my letter-writing than browsing the statuses of the folks I used to know in high school.

Once again, a prayer:

“I wish, therefore, O my God, to build all my trust upon Thee.  As Thou canst do all things, deign to implant in my soul this virtue which I desire, and to obtain it from Thy Infinite Mercy, I will often say to Thee: ‘Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thee.‘”

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One response to “I am, I can, I ought, I will

  1. I really like this post. I need to take these words to heart, as well.

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