Do you ever have those things in life that you purpose to change within yourself, but it seems sometimes that the more you purpose, the worse those very things get?
I don't know what it is about these kids of mine.
Really, these kids are pretty awesome. They are joyfully obedient, kind and willing. But they are also kids.
And then there's me, their Mama.
I'm the woman who has expectations of them that they will live their days without sin.
Today, the treasures and I made signs for our garden. I had a vision of how these lovely signs should look. My 7, 6, 4, and 2 year old do not have the fine motor skills to carry out my spectacular vision.
I sigh deep.
Siah looks up, "Why are you mad again?"
"Oh Si, I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be mad."
"Well then stop breathing like that."
This Mama sports a weak smile... apologizes... says she'll try to be more mindful of her deep sighs.
Three minutes pass and a brother brawl breaks out over the use of the red paint brush and I can feel my blood pressure rising, a volcano unable to stop itself from a disastrous eruption.
And I say it sharp, "Why can't we just be kind to each other! Is this what you want, a family that's nasty to each other all the time?? Do you get joy out of being a burden?? It's a paintbrush for goodness sake!"
Then I calm down for a mere second to whisper it under my breath,
"Why can't we just be a loving, kind family?"
And my Siah, he hears my mumblings and he answers me straight...
"Mom, it's because we all have sin in our hearts."
How does his seven year-old heart know, what my thirty-three-year-old heart is still unwilling to accept.
I know he's right.
I really do.
But I want so badly to figure out a way to make the truth, untrue.
I don't want to have sin in my heart.
I just want things to be different.
I want to have His words always on the tip of my tongue...
I want to see each and every situation the way that He sees it.
If I had His eyes, then wouldn't I also have His heart?
If I had His heart, my treasure's hearts would never be wrongly stung.
Again we repent. Restoration comes and we all attempt to move forward in our day.
But it doesn't take long before that struggle that has evaded all man-kind, creeps right back into the farmhouse.
We're putting paints away and The Spunky Girl meets My Siah at the door and he's yelling and she's yelling and tears are falling everywhere. I look up and she's lost sight of all self control and she shoves him right there on his chest. He's about to repay evil for evil but my sharp voice dominates the chaos and they are now both in their rooms, sentenced to silence on their beds.
I should have handled that one differently.
I should have shown His love with my actions... but instead I ripped hearts right apart with my words.
I should have remembered the way that He's so patient with me... I should have trusted that He can and will and is producing His very patience within me.
I had read it just the night before,
"The more we ponder our Lord's words about love, and the burning words His Spirit gave to His followers to write, the more acutely do we feel our deadly lack. THe Searchlight of the Spirit discovers us to ourselves, and such a discovery leaves us appalled. How can even He who is the God of all patience, be patient with us?
But the light is not turned upon us to rob us of our hope. There is a lifting up. If only we desire to be purged from self with its entangling nets....then our God will be to us a God of deliverances."
He's patient. He's perfectly patient with us least deserving of patience.
I get all flustered at their imperfections, when indeed, I am brimming over with barrels full of my own. Sometimes I wonder if I just might lose it on them as a means of taking my eyes off my own mess?
I often believe that I will be perpetually stuck in my own failures.
I cringe at the thought that my treasures will grow up with memories of a Mama who could never figure out how to actually live out the way that HE loves.
But He promises otherwise...
So, I'm asking Him to help my heart to believe Him when He gently speaks into me,
"Trust Me, My child," He says. Trust Me with a humbler heart and a fuller abandon to My will than ever thou didst before. Trust Me to pour My love through thee, as minute succeeds minute. And if thou shouldst be conscious of anything hindering the flow, do not hurt my love by going away from Me in discouragement, nothing can hurt so much as that. Draw all the closer to Me, come, flee unto Me to hide thee, even from thyself. Tell me about the trouble. Trust Me to turn My hand upon thee and thoroughly to remove the boulder that has choked thy river-bed, and take away all the sand that has silted up the channel. I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. I will perfect that which concerneth thee. Fear thou not, O child of My love; fear not."
Lord, that's what I find myself doing sometimes. I go away from you in discouragement.
Help me to trust your hand thoroughly to remove in me the very thing that makes me feel defeated... my own love of self.
The learning of Love... Love concerns you.
I find my Siah on his bed and I tell him straight out that I want nothing more than for the Lord to put only kind words on my tongue. I tell him how on some nights I cry myself to sleep asking the Lord to do a work in me.
Then he surprises me, "Me too Mom. I need the Lord's help to. I need His help to not be a burden to my sister."
Through the confessions of a child, you are perfecting what concerns me.
You are teaching my messy heart how to love like You love.
WE come together after the mess. We don't run away and hide in our discouragement.
We press in.
We finish up our signs and with the extra wood we make some reminders. We hammer LOVE, and JOY, and PATIENCE right there in between the flowers.
Lord, What is love?
"Love is that which inspired My life, and led Me to My Cross, and held Me on My Cross. Love is that which will make it thy joy to lay down thy life for thy brethren."
Help me to daily, hourly, learn to lay down my control, to lay down my life, for these treasures.
And that which I know not, teach me Lord.
All quotes from Amy Carmichael's "IF"... a positively superb read. Short, rich, convicting, and well worth any amount of time it takes to soak it all up. :)