Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Fine Art of Spinning Plates

Before delving any further into the subject of habits, I am compelled to ponder the fine art of spinning plates. Wikipedia defines plate spinning as "a circus manipulation art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling off. Plate spinning relies on the gyroscopic effect, in the same way a top stays upright while spinning." It also states that the unbroken world record for spinning plates was 108 simultaneously spinning plates. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

Well I, along with throngs of mothers world wide, would like to challenge that world record. In fact, we DO challenge that world record every single day. And I would like to state that there is no gyroscopic effect that keeps my plates spinning. If I don't spin them myself, they come crashing to the ground.

When considering habits, there are hoards of habits I would like to develop and hoards more that I would like to get rid of. I would like to habitually bake my own bread, cloth diaper the baby, visit my family, line dry my clothes, prepare nourishing meals, grow a spectacular garden, raise a thriving flock of chickens, play the piano, keep in touch with friends, sew to wear and sell, keep my floors spotless, pack lunches for my husband, train children flawlessly, make yogurt and kefir, educate The Fabulous Four in the 3R's as well as geography, history, science, a second language, music, social studies, and art, volunteer at the homeless shelter, attend a bible study, take nature walks with the children, bake, drink 64 oz. of water a day, read, pray for Craig, launder for a family of six, dust, exercise, groom the dogs, grow beautiful flower beds, knit, take my vitamins, pray for my children's future spouses, read God's Word, clean the bathroom, have tea parties with my daughters, listen to praise music, water my houseplants, visit the elderly neighbors, take the dogs for a walk, .....

Okay, okay, do you get my point? My list of appealing habits is endless but my ability to spin countless plates isn't. The truth of the matter is I only have 24 hours in my day and I can only spin so many plates simultaneously. So when considering the habits I would really like to develop and/or maintain, I need some direction. Otherwise, my plates will come crashing down in an overwhelming heap before I even get started.

Ready for some encouragement? Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye". Oh wonderful!!!!! That is exactly what I desperately need when considering my habits. So before I fashion my own lofty list of habits I want to develop, before I go tossing spinning plates up into the air, I need to come before the very One who knows how many hairs are on my head and simply ask, "Lord, what habits would YOU like to develop in me?" In Psalm 32:8 lies a promise: God will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. And by the way, did you know that the word "eye" in Hebrew is translated "presence". God is so good!

I know I'm getting a bit long-winded, but if you are pondering your habits along with me, would you join me in asking the Lord to show us what habits He would like to develop in us, instead of us just willy nilly pulling desirable habits out of a hat? If we seek His direction first, I am most certain that the plates we do spin, the habits that will become our character, will do much more than get the laundry done. I believe they will bring glory to God!!!


Leslie said...

Oh my, Ericka, you have struck a chord. My sisters and I have just been discussing habits (which came from a discussion on motivation, or lack thereof). Your found Scripture is PERFECT! The Lord has used you as He is working in you! How great is that? Thanks for sharing your heart, dear friend.

Sharon said...

Thank you!!! As always your way with words hits home with me! Love you friend!