Thursday, December 4, 2014

Positives, Grace, and Advice

I would hate to focus on the negative happenings since my last post, such as chronic temper control problems, horrendous housekeeping, scanty suppers, fend-for-yourself breakfasts and lunches, lousy Latin, and tears because I can't do it all.

It's healthier to focus on the positive, such as:

  •  62 days of school completed (it seems silly to count days of homeschool where we learn every day, but we do our best to abide by the law).
  • One kid who knows the better part of 12 weeks of CC memory work (Latin is lousy) and another who is close behind.
  • Ever-so-slowly improving attitudes.
  • An increasing number of friendships here in Oklahoma.
  • Two days in a row of reading from our Story of the World book.
  • The ability to sit at this computer at 2:58 p.m. and stay awake (!!) along with a few other results of teeny, tiny baby steps toward better health.

The biggest positive of all is a little epiphany I had recently. I realized that, like a good Primitive Baptist, I am fully confident in God's grace as it applies to my eternal salvation. I realize my weakness, and I rest in His strength. However, when it comes to raising my children, my actions (frustration, anger, hopelessness, perfectionism, imagining the worst possible outcome for every situation) show that I do not believe God's mercy and grace is sufficient for me in the area of motherhood. I conclude that my kids don't have a chance because of me when I should be thanking the Lord that my kids do have a chance in spite of me. I worry that they will "turn out bad" because of my lack of diligence when I should realize that I have never been chastised to the point that I actually deserved. God has been merciful, so I have to believe that he will continue to be. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." Ps. 23:6.

Paul, after asking God to get rid of his thorn in the flesh, wrote that God's reply was, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." II Cor. 12:9. Oh, man, has my weakness been made clear to me in the last year! It has been ugly, but it has been necessary. I believe it has been providential. Never, until now, have I been able to understand why in the world Paul would glory in his infirmities! Only when I acknowledge my infirmity in a humble way can I recognize God's strength that carries me through one more attitude problem, his mercy in, I trust, allowing my children to "turn out okay," and his grace to cover my motherhood sins every day.

Advice to myself: Thank God for his grace. Repent and accept forgiveness. Be thankful for the positives and stop dwelling on the negatives. Realize that God didn't make a mistake when he gave you your particular children (Thanks for that, Mom's Night Out).

1 comment:

Leslye Leigh said...

I needed this today. I've been feeling like such a failure with my boys, and I'm just so afraid I'm messing up with them. I need to trust that they will turn out ok despite my failings.
Miss you!