I have, obviously, been quite silent on here lately. I shared about our exciting month of May, but beyond that I have just been kind of stuck with what to write about. Menu plans get old after a while, especially when I am not really mixing it up with too many new recipes. And then no new recipes on the menu means I don’t have any new recipes to share in a post.
I am reading (and it is taking me forever – finding quiet time to read is hard!!) Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life. WHAT A BOOK! Never have I felt such conviction while reading a book (outside of the Bible, that is). Sally shares, chapter by chapter, about “living with deep intention, bold faith, and generous love.” It seriously has gripped me on several occasions…almost like a smack across the face would. 😉 She really gets real about cutting the crap, not feeling sorry for ourselves, and getting out their and living Christlike.
Throughout the year, I have ups and downs (as I assume all moms do). Motherhood can almost make you feel crazy at times. You get into a good rhythm and feel great about your schedule and the kids’ behavior and all that you can accomplish in a day (which probably isn’t that amazing compared to most people, but still…).
Then you have an upset – someone gets sick. A child, for no apparent reason, acts out in the most annoyingly ridiculous way. Your husband has a bad day at work and it spills over into home life. Plans get cancelled. Last-minute plans or appointments come up and you aren’t all that thrilled with it. And a hundred other scenarios you can imagine…
Life just goes nuts.
And I just can’t recover.
I try the old routine – doesn’t work. I try a new routine – doesn’t work. I try reading other mom bloggers’ ideas and implementing them – doesn’t work. I completely shut down and then blow up on anyone that ticks me off – that works, but ends up making it all even worse afterward!
And I am led back to my Bible and the reminder of contentment. Philippians 4:12 says “…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,…” and then following verse (13) goes on to say “I can do all things through Christ…” Obviously, contentment is only found in Christ. Duh! Somehow I forget that every.single.time. And I also forget that contentment does NOT equal perfection.
God has NEVER promised this life would be a breeze, that motherhood would be overflowing with amazingness 100% of the time (if only!!), that marriage would be completely fulfilling every second of the day, or that we would ever have it all figured out! In fact, I can guarantee we will never have it all figured out. Only God will. While that should make me content – I don’t have to figure it all out!! – I find myself frustrated and unfulfilled when I cannot figure it all out.
Thankfully, each time I fall into one of these ruts, I am drawn back to God. It is like He taps me on the shoulder to ask “remember Me? I’m still here.” I don’t have to keep going on my own – in fact, I shouldn’t have ever been doing it on my own. Those routines, or lack of, was all me trying to just carry on as if I can do life by myself. When things are going well, I forget that it is because of God – HE is guiding and leading and directing. And I get all caught up in my awesomeness….and then I fall hard, and it hurts. A lot. And then I remember I can do nothing on my own but “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
NOTHING amazing in this life is because of anything I have done. I simply have to lean on God, follow Him where He leads and HE brings about amazing things. And sometimes things aren’t amazing. And it isn’t necessarily because He is punishing me (unless I have made a poor choice…not that I’ve ever made a poor choice or anything…), but He is refining me. He is leading me through the struggles and the challenges to help me to learn to rely on Him.
Life can’t be all roses and sunshine. How would we learn anything?! We would never know what it is to fully trust in the Lord. Sin exists, so life will have bumps and valleys and tough times. But God is faithful and will ALWAYS be right where we need Him to be. I can lean on Him. The struggles and challenges will still be there, but I won’t have to go it alone! He carries me through it. I will still experience the challenge, but I have the ability to experience peace and contentment throughout the difficult time. A peace that is ONLY available through Jesus.
And, let me tell you, it is AMAZING peace. I don’t think I would be writing all this if we had not gone through all the financial stuff last year. What a year! So many times we could have just put our heads down and quit. Just given up. But God, in His awesomeness, kept providing and showing us He was there. Each time we thought it was too much or too awful or too embarrassing, God would shine a little light on the situation and show us a blessing. He continued to provide and answer prayers (not always what we asked for, but turns out it was much better that what we thought would be best!). He continued to show us He was in control. And here we are, a year later….and so much wiser in our faith. Arthur and I have grown closer to each other and the Lord. I love being able to be one of those people who says “let me tell you about the time the Lord provided…” I love hearing those stories from people, and now we have a story! It really was not pleasant to go through, but I am grateful for the perspective and experience it gave us.
I feel like I am rambling now. 🙂
I just haven’t had a whole lot to say lately. I was in a rut with the kids. Kinda still am. I lose my patience ALL THE TIME with them.
We have a chore system (finally!) that seems to be working; we’re only on week one, so these nice feelings may change in a week or so. 😉 My husband is almost done with another online Bible class (praise the Lord! that was a challenging class!!). And I am finding my groove as a homeschooling mom (only took me like five years).
Life is good. Yes, there are still challenges and a lot of not-so-great days with my temper, but life is still good. God is good. He is refining me, working on me to make me pure, wanting me to reflect Him in my reaction and give Him praise in every situation. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (I Peter 1:7 NIV)
If you know Jesus, then you know how good He is. No matter what the trial, He is still good. And He will carry us through it – yep, we’ll still go through it, but we are not alone.
If you don’t know the Lord, I am praying that someday you would. (Today’s a really good day to meet Him, by the way!) He did so much for you and I. And He wants you to get to know Him. So, let me tell you about the time the Lord provided…