Earlier in the week, I lost it.
While all of my children are magnificent creatures, each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve learned over the years that God most definitely uses our children to sanctify us.
The afternoon started as it usually does…my three-year-old’s shoe was nowhere to be found. We were in a hurry and needed to get to my older daughter’s dress rehearsal. Eventually, we did find the shoe, but we missed the practice at the first venue and went straight to the second.
So, I was kind of rattled. After we dropped my older girls off, my three-year-old began whining that she needed to go potty. I had made sure that she had went potty right before we had left, and I wasn’t about to unload all of us into the theater.
I told her that we would hurry home and she would be just fine.
So, she began to whine. About everything. Before long, her beloved bear flew over the seat and whacked her brother in the head. This isn’t some soft animal, but a heavy Fur-real friend. The music wasn’t just right, and I didn’t unbuckle her at the exact moment that she wanted me to, so she fussed about that. To top it all off, I had the audacity to open the door instead of allowing her to.
I had had enough.
So, I yelled. I try really, really hard not to yell, but this time I had thought it through. I had tried reasoning with the child for twenty minutes and nothing had worked, and so I thought maybe she would respond if I raised my voice.
Well, it actually did work, but I felt terrible. I ended up apologizing to Makynlee as I remembered something I had learned in a workshop during the Teach Them Diligently Convention.
God places each storm in our lives for our sanctification. We have the choice to worship God or ourselves during these storms. What are we going to chose?
Wow. I realized that more often than not I chose to worship myself by being frustrated or reacting negatively, instead of stopping to thank God for the situation and worshiping Him through it. Now, it might sound silly to praise God for our storms, but if we look at our problems through the perspective that the Lord is using them to make us more like Jesus, than it truly seems like the right thing to do.
The purpose of this blog, and the purpose of my life really, is for my mothering to be Gospel-centered. What I mean by that is, that in all things, I hope to keep Christ as my focus. It also means that I hope to model the sacrificial love that Jesus has for us.
My love will never truly be like Christ’s love, as long as I’m in this body. But through Jesus’ grace, I yearn to press on towards Him, and to model His love to my children.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
As mothers, we must press on. We must press on towards Christ, and put aside all of the weights that slow us down.
This is why I normally try my best to not focus on the messy parts of life here, but instead, offer encouragement about pressing on towards the prize. I catch a lot of flack for that, since I guess the “cool” thing to do is to air our mothering complaints to everyone. I recently came across a quote by John MacArthur, and it stung a little!
“Nothing that disappoints or dissatisfies you and me could ever compare to the incalculable disappointment and offense our sin is to God. We are the worst offenders, so we have no room to complain about anything or anyone. And the instant we’re inclined to gripe or grumble, we need to remember just how offensive our sin is to God, and the boundless grace and mercy He’s shown us in spite of how unlovely we are to him.”
Wow! I believe that if we applied this principle to our mothering, it would be life changing!
If we begin to look at our children through the lens of the gospel, we will change to serve them better. We really must die to ourselves in order to live the way God would like us to. And it’s really hard, but we can win the battle with our flesh by God’s grace.
I would like to sign off with a prayer found in The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Ladies, let’s pursue God with our whole hearts as we mother our children, and always.
“Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
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