Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Difference

I have made a lot of analogies on this blog relative to our role as parents and what it teaches us about God's Love. Interestingly, one of the biggest lessons I am learning right now is that this analogy only goes so far. Unfortunately, I am learning this lesson as a result of blowing it.

There is a long list of reasons why the last couple of days as a Mom have been hard. The kids and I all have coughs and sore throats, Daddy is working all weekend, our house is freezing cold due to the heating challenges of a drafty old home, the holidays have us hyped up and without sufficient structure and the cold weather has meant less time outside. It hasn't been horrible. It could certainly be much worse, but it just has not been much fun around here.

The result is that I have been grumpy and the children have been, well, behaving like three and a half year olds. Truthfully, I have been behaving a bit like a three year old in response in a few ugly moments.

Everything feels like a battle for control or a test of my resolve and consistency. It is emotionally exhausting. Their whining and requests have been met with irritability rather than joy. Each time I catch myself, I feel guilty as a result--which just adds to the cycle. I don't want this to be my attitude as a Mama! I have just wanted to lock myself away in my room, turn up some music and run away from the chaos and constancy of the activity--just for a little while.

It occured to me tonight as I was praying and asking God to forgive my bad attitude and restore my love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control that this is where the analogy ends.

Praise God that He doesn't lose it with us because He's having a bad day. Thank you, Father, that your goodness and lovingkindness cannot be shaken by circumstantial things like illness or irritability. Heavens knows I have done my share of testing, complaining, whining, rebelling, ignoring your commands. I am often a spiritual toddler. Yet, your mercy and grace and love remain.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19

The difference between where my analogy ends and the greatness of God's love begins is the essence of our faith isn't it? Grace and forgiveness when we blow it. The recognition that we can't do this life alone--not well anyway.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23

Here's to tomorrow!


Courtney said...

Oh I couldn't agree more. thank you for putting it so well with words for a gentle reminder. How Great is the LOVE of our Father? unlike anything we could ever know (and certainly unlike what we can consistently give to our children!).

JP's MOM said...

What a beautiful post!

Your words are an excellent reminder...thank you.

Lisa said...

Thanks for your honesty. As I read your post, I was just reminded of the beauty of God's call to acknowledge our sin and failure, and to run to His perfect grace and love. I'm so thankful that "all the fitness He requires is to feel our need of Him"...a line from one of my favorite songs. Anyway, it was great to meet you yesterday. I know your life is never boring, but you are very blessed with your beautiful little ones. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Mayhem And Miracles said...

I have always loved, loved, LOVED your blog and I recently mentioned that I finally figured out why - all of your thought processes and realizations, not to mention some of your life's circumstances (hubby who works more than average hours, three little ones in close proximity, organizationally minded and challenged through children) are so similar to mine at your phase in life. Only you are learning all the same lessons the Lord so graciously taught me with a lot more grace than I did. I can SO RELATE to what you mean about feeling like it is all so CONSTANT that you can barely breathe sometimes. What I didn't expect at all - was to miss that. O.K. I don't miss all the toddler crankiness, but I am sad A LOT at how quiet the house is while the kids are at school and I'm VERY MUCH struggling with not feeling as productive. I don't feel that the Lord would have me return to work yet. My kiddos still need me. But now that their needs are more random; I struggle with how to appropriately fill my time while I wait on their needs. I don't know if that makes any sense. But I wanted (I NEEDED) that time to myself, and now that I have it a little more, I miss the automatically KNOWING how I was to be spending it. I pray for you in this time. It's hard. I know. But now I'm beginning to have glimpsese of wonder at how much harder it will be when I've devoted 20 years to them only to have them fly on. :( In case I didn't already mention it, ahem, I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I learn so much as I remember the feelings that I didn't have blogging to record back then. I plan to print several of your posts alongside mine as I compile a book for my kids when they eventually leave the nest. Your posts so accurately state my feelings of the earlier period of my kids' childhoods.

Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing this! I have been feeling the same way lately and have just been letting Satan steal my joy and lay on the guilt. His mercies are new every morning and I need to remember that! Thanks again and glad to hear that your family had a nice Thanksgiving!

Rachel Brooke said...

thanks for your honesty, I enjoyed the truth of this post.