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Sunday, June 12, 2011

So Be It!

I'm pulling this one out of the archives because it is just so appropriate at this time and season in my life. It was actually written in January when I had first started blogging and it was, in fact, my third article posted. I cant believe so much time has passed and I feel like I've grown so much in that period.

Having attempted the 31 Days to Clean Challenge, among several other of my 'improvement' exercises, some I've been doing in tandem, I have to acknowledge that I am not being realistic in my expectations of myself.

I've tried to have 'organizational skills', I've tried to discipline myself with 'schedules' etc. The truth is.. this season of my life is about taking care of my family.. and LIFE happens. Nothing ever goes according to my plans or schedules.

If I were to let that upset me, as it has on occasion, I'm unhappy, flustered and my nose is put out of joint. I'm actually happiest when I'm making sure that everyone else is happy.. if that means a crazy, messy house , so be it.

If that means dropping everything because one of my children needs me to pick her up from school because she's ill, so be it. If it means losing some sleep because my eldest, the night owl, wants to talk when I come down for some water in the middle of the night, so be it.

I am happiest when serving my family.. that's my role..however God chooses that service to be, so be it!

We just purchased a new bale of toilet paper and after a rousing game of 'toilet paper wars', when we were supposed to be cleaning the house, I sighed at the chaos and mess that still existed. My two older daughters were heading off to the movies and they weren't going to clean until later in the evening. I felt a little irritated at the time wasted.

 Ah, but a little voice spoke up, replaying the scene, the raucous laughter, the sight of my husband hiding round the corner for the youngest to come and bomb him, the eldest, getting deep into the game (she's never played since she was away at college when we came up with the idea), toilet paper rolls showering down from upstairs where my youngest was hoarding the ammo. This voice whispered truth to my tired soul... 

These are the moments in life you will treasure in your heart, these are the moments your girls will relate to your grandchildren some day.. not that your floors were always spotless.. not that you nagged them to clean!

Amen Father, Amen! So be it!   (Another round of toilet paper wars tonight? I have some avenging to do)

Shine Where You're Planted.. originally posted January 2011

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with how much you have to do? I've been feeling like that lately. All  my chores just piled up this week because I had a few hiccups in my usual routine. I've been feeling like a disorganised failure. I've been frazzled and short-tempered and not sure where to start attacking the mountain in front of me. I've just felt like giving up.

Until this morning, I haven't been able to go to my quiet place and spend time with Jesus,  my source of comfort, counsel, peace and strength. Well, I went to visit Him today and got a little tap on my wrist! As I was pouring out all that has been troubling me, the chaos in the house, the children's behaviour, the bills to pay, the decisions my husband and I have to make, He ministered to me, gently, with wisdom and kindness and I received so much counsel. Then... I felt Him saying to me, "Go be my light, shine on the many dark areas that you come upon.. begin in your home.. be a light to your husband and children - your light is for them first, then for others.

BOING!!! Big lightbulb goes off in my brain!

Am I being a  light to my family? What do they see when they look at me. My behaviour lately has been so lacking in gentleness and kindness. I've been criticizing their behaviour and becoming angry at them when they don't do what they are supposed to. I've judged them. I grumble when things don't go my way. They've heard me complaining about how much I have to do and cant do because of x or y. I am impatient and intolerant of the bad drivers on the roads and I say derogatory things about them in front of my children.

Am I teaching them by my example? Am I showing them how to shine brightly for Jesus? I had to acknowledge that I'm not! Back to the potter's kiln for me! Jesus in His usual gentle manner, doesn't actually reprimand me, He lets me figure it out for myself and draws me to Himself for healing after I've recognised my faults. Jesus is saying to me I'm not SUPERWOMAN! I can't do everything... but having a perfectly cleaned house and ordered lifestyle, while desirable, is not what being a light is all about.

It's my relationships and how I treat my family and others. Its the responsibility He has called me to, to create a loving home environment and to nurture those little souls he's blessed me with and put into my charge for a short while. My children are not going to remember whether the floors were clean, but they may just remember the day Mom and Dad had a game of  "Toilet Paper Wars" with them. (my youngest, the four year old, came up with this one... throwing rolls of toilet paper at each other). It's how I can touch other people's lives by my example... and I've just been reminded that it all starts at home. You've heard the saying "bloom where you're planted", well my version is "Shine where you're planted".

Lord, forgive me for not being a light right where you've planted me. Help me, Lord, as I surrender this to you now. I place myself back into your potter's kiln. Mold me and shape me, remove from me the impurities of impatience, intolerance, lack of gentleness and kindness, self-righteousness, ignorance, resentment, anger - all that keeps me from being your light. Help me to change my attitude to my family and others, yes, even those who are inconsiderate drivers of the road. Help me to reflect your light so that I can truly shine brightly for you and be a light to my family and others and an example for them that will lead them all to you, the Source of all Light. Amen

After I said this prayer I went to the bible for instruction, confirmation and God's direction. Guess what I got... Proverbs 31:10-31 The Perfect Housewife! I sure do recommend that you read this one, though I'm sure quite a few people follow along with the Proverbs 31 Series.

Among all the ways in which a wife is valued by her husband and, certainly not to minimize the capable, efficient, hardworking traits, are these:

Proverbs 31:11 "Her husband's heart has confidence in her, from her he will derive no little profit"
Proverbs 31:12 "Advantage and not hurt she brings him all the days of her life"
Proverbs31:18 "She knows that her affairs are going well, her lamp does not go out at night"
Proverbs31:25 "She is clothed in strength and dignity , she can laugh at the day to come"
Proverbs 31:26 "When she opens her mouth she does so wisely, on her tongue is kindly instruction"

My take on it is this, I can have all the great organisational skills, be thrifty, manage my home with an iron hand but what good does it do if  I execute it without kindness, gentleness, without joy, without bringing peace and happiness to my family? 

Serious food for thought...

Thanks for joining me today and I hope that you will be able to shine where you're planted today.

God Bless!


Sarah beth said...

Really enjoyed the thoughts your shared here!

I wanted to thank you for your encouraging comment, God bless you!

[Sarah beth @ http://hislovingpresence.blogspot.com/

Lisa Maria said...

Thank you Sarah beth! God bless you too!