This Mama life is hard.
I love it.
I hate it.
Well, let me clarify... what I hate is the overflow of my own heart towards my precious treasures. I hate the way that I use tones with them in ways that I would never use with others. What I hate is the me that I can be when it's just me and them and the basketful of sin that has it's home in this Clark family bunch.
If you wanna know what had me flailing and floundering in my harsh tongue, well, it was truly the lamest thing ever. It had to do with bubbles, and pretend make-up, and the sunroom, and a little certain someone who happens to be on the flighty, spacey side of things.
It's just bubbles and some pretend make-up, right?
But it's not just the bubbles or the make-up.
I know in my heart of hearts that every act of disobedience from my treasures is an opportunity for me to teach truth, offer hope, and display grace. I know this. Everything in me wants to only speak words that are helpful for building others up. I know that the Lord promises to gently lead those with young. I know that it's His kindness that leads me into relationship with Him. And yet here I am, flying off the handle over bubbles.
They're all in bed now, and I'm left in tears face down on my own bed. My Joey's there, and I'm confessing that I'm so ashamed of the way that I've treated them all day long. (The bubbles were merely the last straw.) And I go on through my choppy breathing about how I'm so afraid that our kids are never going to know or want to be with the Lord because their Mama hardly qualifies as a good example of Christ and the way that He loves.
And fear and doubt creep in. Wanna know what my greatest of all fears is? It's not snakes or death... It's that I would be the reason that my children chose not to give their lives to Christ. I know I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I should live in grace more often than I do.
But this is a big deal.
Their hearts are a big deal.
This career of shaping souls is a big deal.
All the ways that I choose to live my moments, add up. And those moments turn into memories. And memories shape choices. And if I am their main, tangible example of Christ??? How will it all add up for them? I can feel the heavy weight of it all even as I type these words.
And of course my Joey... He's got some wisdom inside of him. And his arms are around me and my tears are soaking his chest as I'm weeping over my sinful heart. And he says it...
"It's the very way that you know your need for Christ that will always lead our kids into a life that wants to love and serve Jesus.
You WILL fail. It's a given.
It's your humility after the fall that shows them the right way.
It's never gonna be your lack of sin. You fail, yes.
But then you make it right. You confess your sin to them, you ask their forgiveness, you pray, and then you try again.
You are constantly telling them that our struggle with sin, is the very reason why we need Christ in the first place.
And that's where you need to live... In the hope that we have in Christ... Not in the guilt of your own shortcomings."
And my Joey, he's right. I can not, and will not ever be or become a Mama without sin. I will A-L-W-A-Y-S be a sinner. It is inevitable, my sin with always find a way to show it's ugly face.
And what I need to be striving for is not unattainable perfection, but rather bathing myself in gratitude of God's very own Son, standing in my place. And I need to believe with my actions and my words that the Father really does see His perfect son when He looks at me. I need to stop drowning my heart in condemnation of myself, and instead nurture it with a constant drip of His never failing abundance of hope.
It's Christ who's gonna raise my kids and bring hope and salvation to them. He is the source, and I am merely His servant. How prideful of me to think that it was ever all up to me. And what a privilege, that despite my sinful self, He's chosen me and my children for each other, to refine us all, and draw us all near to Himself.
Recently My Siah and I were left alone on the couch doing our daily reading about some of The Greats and I'm in mid-sentence and he says it loud and slow and in complete awe...
"Oh -my -goodness!! Mama, do you see that?? Does God make the coolest things or what?"
I look up from the pages and there spanning the sky is the most glorious rainbow that I have ever seen. Our farm is HIGH above sea level and up here the skies seem so tangible. The rainbow felt close. And my Siah, his eyes were wide open and his jaw was dropped. He was gazing upon God's glory. This Mama messes up multiple times a day. And still, even still, My Siah... He recognized His Father's glory.
Grace. Sweet, sweet grace.
Lord, I confess my pride in thinking that but for your mighty hand, I could do this soul career on my own. Forgive me Lord, and draw me further into your grace, the one place where I can truly grow strong. For I continue to hear your voice that whispered to Paul and now into me...
'My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.'
And I agree with Paul when responds to Your voice...
'Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.' (2 Corinthians 12 MSG)