Selfishness

I’d like to think I’m generally grateful for the many blessings in my life, and that my eyes and heart are open to seeing more of the good than the bad. Yet, the last few days the exact opposite has been true. I’ve been blinded by a severe case of the “I want’s” and the “Gimmees”.

At first, I thought I would write about what it is I’m wanting, and why it’s SOOOO important. But, the truth is, it’s not that important. Somehow, though, the enemy has completely distracted me from what is good in my life and I’ve allowed myself to get seriously upset about some things I don’t have. Yes, things. Like, material possessions.

And admitting that is hard. Because I don’t want to be selfish. I don’t want to be angry about a possession I don’t have right now. But I am. I am frustrated to the point of tears and I’m tempted to stomp my feet because “I deserve…” but that’s not the truth.

The truth is that I am extremely blessed. I am surrounded by children that I love and that love me. My husband works hard to take care of us. He loves me well and accepts me for who I am. He supports me and my crazy hair-brained ideas. The truth about what I deserve is that I deserve death, because I am a sinner. But, by the unmeasurable grace of God, I am saved. Christ bought me for a price.

This doesn’t make the selfishness go away immediately, but it puts it in perspective so I can dry my eyes and clean my house. And, I think the main reason I wanted to write this is because sometimes I feel like my writing is too idealistic. And honestly, I’m a real wife, mom, woman, who struggles with real life issues, too.

What are you struggling with? How will you overcome your struggle?

What the Goal is not…

I had a huge epiphany about parenting – maybe this only struck me like a ton of bricks, but maybe you can relate too?

 

I got my parenting goals a little confused. Somehow, I thought that because I’ve accepted Christ, and am covered by His grace and forgiveness, that I could pass perfection onto my kids. Not that they would be forgiven because I am, but because “I got it” I could teach them to not need it. Without ever truly thinking it out, I think my goal and parenting plans included raising kids that were perfect. But that’s not the goal, at all. In fact, that’s not even possible.

 

My kids will make mistakes, daily. And my job as their Momma is not to cover up, avoid, hide from, or pretend like mistakes don’t happen. My job is to remind them of why we need Jesus, why His sacrifice makes a difference for us, and how much He loves us. My job is to teach them to seek Jesus daily, asking for forgiveness, and grace.

 

I also get to teach them to share grace with others. Something tells me, that even if it were possible and I raised perfect kids, they wouldn’t be so pleasant. If they didn’t need grace, what would teach them to give grace? We all need grace. We need the grace from our Father in heaven; we need grace from friends and family, and even strangers. My kids need grace from me and I, equally, need grace from them.

 

We make mistakes daily, and I think the greatest thing we can teach our kids about mistakes is to respond properly to them. We can teach our kids to recognize mistakes, and to seek forgiveness from God, and from the person whom they offended. We also get to teach them to forgive themselves, and more importantly, to accept forgiveness from God. This is something I will have to be very intentional about as a parent, because I have a hard time accepting forgiveness. I struggle with extreme guilt over things that have long been over.

 

How do you respond when your kids make a mistake? How can you change or improve your response to help them grow?

 

Hypocrite or Human?

As some of you may know, we are back in church. I am really thankful to have a place to worship with other believers, with my family, and a place that makes us feel welcome. During praise and worship one Sunday morning, I was looking around and thinking how amazing it is that so many different people, with so many different stories, have come together to worship God, under one roof.

And I wondered how many of the Christians around me had ever been called a hypocrite for one reason or another. I know I have felt like one at different times in my life. Heck, I’m nine months pregnant and I’m not married. Talk about something that made it hard to walk back into church. But I told a friend some years back, that was pregnant and not married, “The only difference between your sin and theirs, is we all know exactly which sin you committed.” It doesn’t mean anyone else is less guilty, or less of a sinner. It just means mine is obvious and can be judged that much easier.

Thankfully, we’ve not had anyone throwing stones. In fact, everyone has welcomed us with open arms, prayed with us, and helped us grow in our walk with God.

So, back to the hypocrite thing…I know that there is a huge gap between knowing what is right, and doing it. It’s pretty easy to know the right thing, and many “right” things are more or less easy. But some are not. Some are down right hard, feel impossible, and we fail. And as Christians, there are people looking at us, expecting us to not fail.

So, how many Christians have been considered hypocrites, when really, they are just human? Saved by grace, sinners just like me, that are trying. They know many of the right things, but sometimes struggle to do them. They aren’t truly looking down their nose at anyone. They can walk back into church each Sunday, not because they know they are perfect, but because they know that God has grace for their mistakes.

What do you think?