It seems like more than ever before I am thankful for God's grace and forgiveness to me as a mother. And feel the huge responsibility to somehow tell my children about it, and show it to them. Right now I feel like Carson's stage is the hardest so far, but I think that's probably a little skewed because we forget how "bad/hard" the past was and only know what we are in right now!
It seems a few times in the past weeks I have specifically been praying and focusing my mind to call on God to help me react with kindness, love, forgiveness, to unselfishly deny my desires to be fulfilled by other's being nice to me and to be a light to people around me including my kids, but not only them. And literally less than 5 min later I'm bombarded with trying social situations or a temper tantrum from a 3 year old and I react in frustration or annoyance or even anger sometimes. It's ugly and sad and heartbreaking to admit it. And I failed!
There have been many nights I go to bed thinking about my thoughts from the day and attitude from the day or my reactions to my children's sinful behaviors - defeated and burdened and saddened by how I handled things.
But that is when I have to claim the Gospel. That there is nothing whatsoever good in me. But God in his love for me, reached down, died for me, forgave my past/present/future sins against Him. That he loves me no matter what, that he called me, adopted me and is blessing me. (pretty much read the whole book of Ephesians if you want to verify that theology :) ) And he gives me the grace to pick myself up, to look to him, to call on him to forgive. He forgives me, so I must forgive myself. And move on to the next day. To rest in his love and through that show it to others, especially my two wonderful sons. I have to remember that I do not deserve his love but he still loves me. I am a mess, a sinner, and angry at times, resentful - but he still LOVES me and Forgives me! And so I must be that way with others around me.
Who am I that any good can come from me. But I must depend daily, minute-ly upon God's power working through me to react in love with a very trying 3 yr old, or obstinate 2 year old, or a social situation that is difficult for me.
So here I am, a mother, a daughter of the King, a wife, and coordinator for Children's ministry. A sinner and ashamed daily of my thoughts and reactions. But I am loved and forgiven by a holy, righteous God. I will try to confidently live life in that truth and hopefully God's love can be shown to those around me. Not I, but God be glorified b/c I know more than anyone else only He can use this wretched sinner as His light, in the lives of these small children or the people that surround me daily.
Never before has a Sunday morning gathering spurred me to be so thankful for God's forgiveness to me and to live in light of that than here at our gatherings on Sunday mornings. I am always refreshed and thankful leaving the services. And for that I'm thankful - I leave worshipping my God and I think that's how it is supposed to be.
Tonight we leave on a weekend getaway, big birthday bash! :)