Apparently my but is really big

It’s almost noon and I am struggling through this post … still. Like I have been struggling through the three drafts I have begun and discarded.   My quest for simple is apparently going to be a little more complex than I had expected. I suppose I simple-mindedly had believed that it would be a matter of discarding unnecessary items and modifying some scheduling around the house.   I figured I would have to learn to say, “No,” more often and that there would  be time when I let of good to experience God’s  best.   Pursuing simplicity seemed to be the next step in my pursuit of a lopsided life.   It made sense and, at the beginning it wasn’t that difficult.

Until I read this, the second controlling principle of simplicity offered by Richard Foster in his genius book, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth:

Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you. (90)

So, I began writing ….

Draft 1:   Big things – like pornography, alcohol, drugs … things that affect others.   That draft got trashed pretty quickly.  After all, this year of simple is about learning what God is wanting to do in my life, not about making broad statements about others.

Draft 2:  Sanctimonious things – like watching television instead of engaging in conversation or buying children things instead of spending time listening to them … and while that may be something the Lord leads me to write about later, it wasn’t the post for today.   Trash.

Draft 3:  Heart things – like wanting to keep up with appearances and have all the cool toys … sorta dealt with that last week.  Trash.

And so, here I sit, dog happily chewing on a treat under my feet, coffee warm in my favorite mug right beside me, fingers clicking away at word number 290 and dreading, heart literally pounding, at what the Lord has shown me to write.

I’ve had this inner dialog with Him about it.   Sorta sounds like this:

“But, Lord, that isn’t really that big of a deal, is it?”

“But, Lord, I *know* there are much more serious issues in my life than this!”

“But, Lord, seriously?  How is this really making a difference?”

“But, Lord …”

And yet I keep coming back to it … the subtle conviction I’ve felt over the past few days as I engage in it.   It has drawn me in … and I find myself longing for more time to do it … thinking about how I can do it better … staying up later than I should doing it.

The “it,” you ask?

I’m embarrassed to admit it … in fact, I almost decided not to tell you … just to allow you to fill in your own personal “it.”  Yet, the more I contemplated, the more I prayed, the more I waged this inner battle, the more I realized that it really does always start small … a little diversion, distraction … something that is harmless gains control of the heart or mind … and so, as I share the small beginning of my own “it,”  perhaps you will realize there is an addiction in your life too.   Something that steals time and attention from the things that matter … something you long to do and even fail to do those things that should be done in order to do it.

And so, I’m sharing that a simple little game has become an addiction for me.  I joked last night with my husband that I don’t need to play an new games because I’m already addicted to one … and as the words came out of my mouth, my heart broke.   It’s a letter game … making the most words out of a group of letters – sort of like boggle for my Kindle.   I love it  … and I play it all the time.  All. the. time.

Why have I spent so much time on this post, this confesssion?  Because I really, deeply, desperately believe that it does always start small. And before we know it, a hobby or game, Twitter or skyping, it can be anything … but that small thing becomes the addiction in our lives.

So, today, I’m letting go of my but … deleting the game from my Kindle. And every time I think about how I’d like to play just one quick game (that is impossible for a competitive person like me who wants to beat my last score every. single. time.), I’ll pull out my Colossians memory cards.

What about you?   Do you need to reject anything in your life?

How big is the “But” that keeps you from doing so?

Join the sweet Jessica today at Muthering Heights for more thoughts on “How big is your But?” {And she’s giving away a copy of the incredible One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  You MUST read this book.}

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I totally LOVED what you shared here! It does start small and oftentimes with the most stupid of things, but it does work itself into an addiction that controls or at least robs us. Thank you for the vulnerability to share what you thought was small–because I believe it’s a very big “but” for most of us! 🙂

  2. I just love this, Teri Lynne! I have found that the smallest things can trip us up the most! Thanks for sharing your heart, friend!

  3. My “but” is TV. I watch too much news in the morning and mostly HGTV in the evening. I waste huge amounts of time with that stupid box. Today I will start spending as much time in prayer each day as I spend watching TV.

      • I know…it has been forever! I’m staying crazy busy with these 3 kids. 🙂 Actually, my biggest BUT problem started after Darcey was born and had so many health problems, so I’m still working on that. God was already dealing with me about so many things when I found this series so I’m thinking it wasn’t a coincidence?! He’s so faithful to give us what we need, even in the middle of me resisting the changes.
        Hope you’re doing good!
        Tyra recently posted…Baby Bloopers!My Profile

  4. Yesterday and for a couple days before I had a VERY big but and it was coming between dh and myself. I read your post, I was convicted, I prayed and I apologized. I did not mention to dh anything about my big but. I was afraid if he agreed that yes indeed I did have a big but that the arguing would start up all over again. 😉

  5. So needed to hear this today! I’ve recently made a big heart change… finally choosing J.O.Y. over angst, depression, fear, darkness. There was a lot of letting go of things and I am still clinging to a few. Your message opened my eyes to the need to let it all go. Whatever it is we’re holding on to can’t hold a candle to what God wants to bless us with when we let it go! *But* I am such a slow learner!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TeriLynne Underwood, Cherie Froelich. Cherie Froelich said: RT @terilynneu: Apparently my but is really big […]

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