We spent the weekend out of town for a niece's birthday party, came home Saturday night to no water because the water pipes leading to our home froze. I spent Sunday at home instead of going to church so I could wait on a call from the water district to come fix the situation. Monday was a holiday, so my husband got to stay home and we decided to not do any school so we could have a family day and catch up on laundry and things around the house. So, when Tuesday morning came I felt behind. Very, very behind.
Tuesday is our co-op day and I have certain goals I want to reach before we head over to church around 10:45 a.m. This Tuesday morning was quite simply chaotic and stressful. I had to discipline a child, I couldn't find a school book, I needed to finish packing lunches for the day, and my sink was full of dirty dishes. The missing school book was what caused me to fall apart. I began speaking out loud for both of my girls to hear things like...
"If I could get the house organized better. I wouldn't lose school books. I am a terrible homemaker."
"If I would have gotten up earlier this morning I'd have these dishes done and the lunches packed. I am a terrible homemaker."
"If I had more self-control and patience, I wouldn't get angry so quickly at my children. I am a terrible mother."
I probably spewed off 2-3 more negative labels about myself in the course of this meltdown, but I stopped when I saw Lauren and the tears streaming down her face. I sat down in a chair, reached out my arms, and she came and sat on my lap. My negative self- talk, my self-focused pity party had hurt my daughter's heart. She said, "Mommy, you are a good mommy and you take good care of us. I don't like it when you talk like that." My heart broke for so many reasons at that moment. Instead of crying out to God to calm me and strengthen me, I chose to explode in a self-focused tirade and it did not help me and it hurt my daughter's heart in the process.
We went to co-op and the 2nd period I have free. I sat in a classroom all alone and ate my lunch, pulled out my Kindle to read the 3rd chapter of Lysa TerKeursts' book, "Unglued." Some ladies at my church are reading this book right now and meeting to discuss a few chapters at a time. The 3rd chapter of the book literally brought me to tears because it basically described my morning and how us women tend to speak to ourselves in a way we would never dare to speak to someone else. We beat ourselves up and let our messes define us and how that enslaves us and makes us "prisoners" as the chapter is appropriately titled.
My mind is constantly in a battle. Focused on the Lord one moment and focused on myself the next. Letting God reign one moment and the in the next moment self rears its ugly head again.
Do I need to work on some organization projects in my home? Absolutely! But does that make me a failure in life? Nope.
Do I need to sometimes get up earlier in the morning? Yes. But that does not make me a failure on those days.
Do I need more self-control and patience? Oh yes. But thank the Lord His mercies are new everyday and He is faithful to prune me so I can grow the fruit of patience and self-control in my life. Not in my own power, but in His power (Lamentations 3:22-23 and Galatians 5:22-23).
So, I am going to break free from these labels I put on myself and exchange them for the labels Christ has given me. I am His child, He has a plan for me, He is the author and finisher of my faith, and He has given me everything I need to live a godly life for His glory. Grace, grace, grace, how thankful I am for grace.
I am thankful for my Tuesday morning with Jesus -- mess and all. I am thankful He met me in my mess, cleaned me up, put me back on my feet so I can walk away from my sin and forward with him. I'm thankful for TerKeursts' reminder in the first chapter of her book that "There is a beautiful reality called imperfect progress ... progress wrapped in grace ... imperfect progress."