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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stepping Heavenward?

Could I be? Being a mom has made me realize how incredibly deep my sin issues go. I never thought I would yell at helpless little children. But, oh! How they provoke. And , oh! How I respond just like another toddler.

I speak my directions.
They ignore me.

I repeat my directions, with a slightly raised voice.
They continue their disobedience without batting an eye.

I yell.
They cry.

I get the "wisdom whacker".
I correct them biblically.
They cry.
I cry.

And then my husband walks through the door and wonders what is wrong with me. My poor family.

Beau and I have had some blessed time to talk over the past two weeks. The children and I have gotten to accompany Daddy on his work trips. He has had meetings over at the coast after providentially gaining new business over there. We use our time in the car to discuss anything we want because the kids are usually sleeping. As we were winding down our last trip, I bit my lip and asked him what I could be working on to be a better wife and mother. I have felt the waves of depression and anxiety building up over the last few months again. I have not been making time to really study and meditate on Scripture and subsequently feel like I am slipping in other areas of my life. So I was bracing myself to hear what I already knew was the truth- that I need to cut down, once again, on all of my activities to bring order and peace to my home. I hate that. I like being busy. But only until my family and my spiritual health starts suffering for it.

But my husband only had one thought- and lots of grace. He noticed that my discipline with the children has been lacking. I will raise my voice or get frustrated instead of obeying Scripture and biblically disciplining my beloved charges. He told me not to worry about working on many different issues right now, but to be more, well, disciplined with my discipline.

Not surprisingly, both the Lord and my earthly lord were right. (Beau better read this post). We have had two days of peaceful, obedient children and a mother who consequently feels as though she is mentally setting down. I was congratulating myself on being so awesome when I suddenly realized Who should be getting the glory. I have been crying out to God for weeks for some peace and rest with Jackson and Rebecca. He has given it to me, and given it freely. And He gives so much more. At the hardware store today, Rebecca simply grabbed my shirt and give me a big hug. Where did that come from? It brought tears to my eyes. No one wants to live with a contentious woman. God's Word shows me how to fight that battle. I am thankful that He is showing me, once again, that my path to sanctification is still there. He is faithful to me and I love Him because of that.

I am almost finished with the biography of Elizabeth Prentiss, who wrote Stepping Heavenward. Here are some of her thoughts. I have been thinking about them on and off today:

"God never places us in any position in which we cannot grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing; but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everthing seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress.".

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.


Jana said...

i wish i was still in Bako so we could be friends. :) i treasure your humble heart and am challenged (even at a distance) by your willingness to ask the tough questions of yourself. i appreciate your honesty.

Brandy said...

Oh, Jennifer, I feel your pain! I remember once reading a wise (and older!) mother's words. She said that she had to pray for God's grace every morning and then again and again throughout the day. At that time, we were doing pretty good and so I was a little mystified by her saying this. I mean, I thought that even though I relied on Him, I had it figured out.

And then I didn't have it figured out anymore.

And now I get it, the praying again and again. But you know what? I see Him working. I see His grace flow through me to them and I am so glad because He takes so much better care of them than I do, you know?

God is faithful, but it helps when we see our own need for Him. I know you will be fine because I know how well He takes care of His children. Thank you for your post, friend...

HDMac said...

You have a great blog and i love your sewing projects. :)

And that verse "create in me a clean heart" is one of my favorites and my daily prayer. :)


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