Do as I say, not as I do.
Yesterday afternoon I was tired. Physically, I was not doing so well. I could feel a cold coming on, my throat was raw and my nose was running. I just wanted to crawl into bed and rest.
But my children were full of energy and joy, delighted to be outside in the cool fall weather. We ended up staying outside for almost two hours.
I tried to keep my spirit joyful and patient, to keep giving thanks to God and pray for resilience- but I could tell I still was on the brink of losing control (I couldn’t let go of what my self- or flesh- wanted in that moment, which was to be inside in bed).
When we were getting ready to head inside, I was stripping down my son from playing in the sandbox, and trying to keep him from running away from me with no clothes on, and thinking about the bath that was necessary and the work it would require (again putting off my rest, highlighting my tiredness in my mind).
Meanwhile, my daughter was covered in sand from the sandbox, and instead of listening to me and waiting till I got her clothes off or shaken out- she went straight into the house, tracking sand everywhere.
I got a little shrill and felt my self-control slipping… and then I somewhat reigned myself in. I said to her, “You need to listen to me when I tell you to wait outside.” Then I said, “Mommy is sorry my tone got upset, but I am very tired and not feeling very good.”
As soon as those words left my mouth- I saw the hypocrisy in them.
I tell her that even when she feels a certain way, she can choose whether to act on that emotion– yet I give into those emotions and then make excuses for my bad choices.
If I am tired, that’s an excuse for me to be cross.
If I feel sick, then I’m allowed to be impatient with my kids.
So, if she is having a bad day, that’s an excuse to hit her brother.
Or, if she’s upset, that’s an excuse to throw a temper tantrum.
The hardest and most humbling moments as a Mom are when my children reveal to me unresolved sin in my life.
I make excuses for my behavior all the time.
Instead of disciplining myself and humbling myself before God and being obedient to the Holy Spirit- I give into my flesh and make excuses for my bad choices.
I have just started reading another book by Andrew Murray called Abide in Christ. Yesterday I read these words about Matthew 11:28-29, and they brought comfort to me in the midst of my discouragement and conviction of my sin:
He now not only says, “Come unto me,” but “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me”; become my scholars, yield yourselves to my training, submit in all things to my will, let your whole life be one with mine–in other words, Abide in me. And then He adds, not only, “I will give,” but “ye shall find rest to your souls.” The rest He gave at coming will become something you have really found and made your very own–the deeper abiding rest which comes from longer acquaintance and closer fellowship, from entire surrender and deeper sympathy.
My life is still so motivated by “I.” As long as I am inward focused and not God-focused, I will not find this abiding rest.
Yet even in this conviction, I find hope. For I know that as I seek God daily and genuinely desire to surrender my will to His, He will be faithful to work in me. As I seek to know my Savior- that longer acquaintance and closer fellowship that Murray talks about can be found.
It is something worth striving for.
Abiding rest in my Savior.
I still don’t know what that life will look like- I have so much to learn. But I could not hope for a better teacher. None so kind and loving and wise as our God.
Oh Lord my God, you are deserving of all honor and glory- for you alone are Holy. Thank you for continuing to lead and guide me in your Truth. For convicting me and increasing the yearning in my heart for more of You. Sometimes I don’t understand myself. I know that I desire to do Your will, and yet I find myself slipping into sin and discouraged at how easily I can lose you in the space of a day. Continue to teach me the discipline of abiding in You. Of finding my strength, not in my own resources or perceived gifts, but in You alone. Continue to humble me and bring me low, oh Lord, keep me desperate for You and Your Word. Today Lord, guide my steps. Let all I do bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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