A few weeks ago, my mom was holding one of the twins and said, "It's so strange that babies need to eat every two hours. I wonder why God designed us that way?"

And I replied, "I don't know, but when I rededicated my life to Christ and was serious about it, I remember needing to read the Bible about that often. I was just telling someone that the other day."

It's true. When I was seventeen and confessed to my parents all the crap I'd been dealing with (cutting, depression, reading porn), and really started seeking hard after God, I was fragile. I remember feeling like I wouldn't be able to make it through the gentlest sort of outings. Going to the zoo or a bridal shower really rattled me; I felt strange and out of place. I wanted to spend every day, all day, at home. I spent almost all my free time reading the Bible and journaling. I'd journal seven or eight notebook pages, front and back, a day sometimes. I'd read chapter after chapter; I fell asleep reading Kings and Chronicles, I'd wake up in the middle of the night, read more chapters, wake up in the morning and read more.

I wasn't reading out of guilt or anything. I just honestly felt like I couldn't make it through the day without reading the Word that much.

And my twins are like that now. They wake up from naps and in the middle of the night, crying because they're hungry. They cry like I haven't fed them in days, when it's only been two or three hours. They just need to eat that often right now.

Over time, I was able to go longer without reading the Word and I didn't feel so rattled by going out to do things. I wasn't experiencing less of a need for the Word of God; I was experiencing a greater capacity for it. I could retain things longer and I was growing up. I still need to "eat" every day, but I've got more of it in my head to meditate on, too. And eventually, the twins will be able to go four hours...five hours...all night...without eating (so looking forward to it, too, let me tell you).

Isn't it amazing how God uses every part of life to teach us something? The Bible does compare us to infants; God doesn't leave the potential for analogy untapped. 1 Peter 2:2-3 says, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."

We have to eat that often to grow up, just like my boys.

But then there are warnings, too. My boys are at a time in their lives that it's okay for them to eat as often as they do. If they're still eating every two hours and waking up that often overnight when they're one, or two, or five, something is wrong. But we put ourselves in that position as Christians. I put myself in that position sometimes. Hebrews contains a rebuke concerning this, in chapter 5:11-14:

"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

Sometimes, I think I'm kinda here right now. I feel like in some ways, I need to retrain myself to distinguish good from evil. This is especially true in my choices in music, TV, movies...mostly, my entertainment diet. I feel like sometimes I'm not as discerning as I used to be, and I notice this more with the twins around. My reluctance to watch something while they're in the room is especially telling on me, I think.

I sort of starve myself spiritually, unfortunately. I'll wait until I feel like I can't go another minute without reading the Word, and then I'll rush through a chapter or two. I'll do it when I remember to, when it's convenient for me. And what does it say about the mature person and solid food? About distinguishing good from evil? They "who by constant use have trained themselves" are the ones who are ready for solid food.

So the problem is that I need to make myself eat when I should, or I'll just keep sliding backward until I again hit that point where I find myself needing to eat every two hours. My boys are really good at letting me know they have to eat because they have to. I need to be the same way with my inner man; I need to let myself know that I need to eat and then I need to DO IT.

So, what's my problem? I talked about it a little in the very first post on this blog, way back in February. I get lazy. I have a weak will. It doesn't mean I'm easily bowled over by others; it means I'm easily bowled over by me. My flesh gets its way more than it should (which should be never). In children, a lot of people call this tendency in children a "strong will," but I think otherwise (for children and for myself).

Charlotte Mason, the educator, says this about the will:

"The baby screams himself into fits for a forbidden plaything, and the mother says, ‘He has such a strong will.’ The little fellow of three stands roaring in the street, and will neither go hither nor thither with his nurse, because ‘he has such a strong will.’ He will rule the sports of the nursery, will monopolise his sisters’ playthings, all because of this ‘strong will.’ ...

"But, all the time, nobody perceives that it is the mere want of will that is the matter with the child" (Vol. 1, p. 320).

Yep, that's me. My boys, too, actually. We suffer from an extreme "want of will." In my boys, it's innocent-- they are too young to understand, to know better, to act otherwise. In me, it's a sin. James 4:17 is pretty clear on that point. ("If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.")

When it's been three hours and my boys are shrieking and I tell one of them, "Just be patient, I'm getting your brother," and he doesn't stop crying to just be patient and wait for me to get his brother, its because he lacks the understanding or the ability to will himself to stop crying. I'll keep saying it, anyway, because it's something to say and I think just talking to them calmly helps some. No problem, though; he's not doing anything wrong.

But when I hesitate to stop watching something or refresh Facebook fifteen times instead of reading some scripture in the morning, when I search aimlessly for stuff on amazon.com instead of vacuuming my living room, it's because I'm acting weak-willed. I'm not willing myself to choose the right thing when I know what the right thing is.

Sometimes, it's not even a matter of content with my entertainment. Sometimes, it's just a matter of quantity. And let me tell you: I left the computer alone for a good part of yesterday and actually cleaned half of my apartment really well, and at the end of the day, I knew I had done some real work, and really enjoyed sitting down to read some of a Hardy Boys book (it's my quick-read before I start on something bigger again).

So, this post feels like it's been a bit of a mess because it's just been all over the place, but I guess I had more on my mind and heart than I realized. To sum it all up: I know when I will myself to choose the right thing, I'm a happier person, even if it's the harder thing. Whether that's doing the dishes (which I'm about to go do), reading some of the Word instead of some statuses, or being more discerning about my TV viewing, I know on the other side of it I've had a better "meal." When I let my flesh rule my life, I'm about as miserable as a toddler without a schedule.

And living like that isn't good for me, makes me less useful to God, and hurts my husband and my sons.

Thanks be to God for His grace. :) Tomorrow is a new day and "the Spirit himself intercedes for us...in accordance with the will of God" (Romans 8:26-28). He works all things for good and has made, will make, everything beautiful. And that encourages me, even when I know I'm a mess.