Yesterday was not a good day.
Well, let's be honest. Yesterday was a horrid day.
If I had pulled my hair out, I would be bald now. Probably not even have eyebrows.
The kids and I did not see eye to eye pretty much all day. I quickly vented in a journal and prayer when they were in their beds, refusing to take their naps. I journal very honestly and at the end of my prayer, I felt like things would go better.
Actually, things got even worse. The whining, the tantrums, the interruptions, the yelling...like I said, not a day I'd want to have company over.
Last night, I started toward bed, totally defeated about my day. The impatience, unkind words and frustration swirling around my memory, almost taunting me of how horrible of a mother I had been that day. How do I let these little ones get the best of me some days? Why can't I just be better?
I just happened to open up an old Bible study I started who only knows how long ago and never finished. I thought, "Well, I guess I'll give it a try again" and went at it. It had me going through Galatians 5 and, wouldn't you know, everything this passage of Scripture said was just for me at just that time. I knew so well then that I hadn't "happened" upon anything but that God had placed this in my lap right when I needed it.
Galatians 5 is all about the freedom that we have in Christ and that we don't need to keep ourselves in bondage to old behaviors or attitudes. It spoke of the issue at the time: circumcised vs. uncircumcised and living by grace. Paul wrote in there that to try and follow the Law was an act of the people falling away from grace. This is not a statement that they were losing their salvation but, instead, that following the Law was refusing the grace that Christ so freely gives us. We are rejecting the freedom, the power of living in His Spirit and we try and attain righteousness on our own.
I find it particularly hard to live in the Spirit's power. My flesh is so strong sometimes...most of the time...and it drives me crazy. I wrote in my prayer yesterday that I would just love for my heart and my flesh to be united for once. My journey through motherhood would look much different than it does now if that were the case.
Patience would abound, my lap would always be full, I'd never get tired of being touched (insert sympathy for my husband here), my words would be sweet and my behaviors would not react to others' behavior but would be in response to the Spirit's leading instead. In all things, I could find it joy.
The thing is, I try so hard to be this way and it just never lasts long.
God provided an answer for that too. At the end of my study, the author writes,
"I find it interesting that God's remedy to living in bondage to the flesh is not trying harder to get our act together, but instead to seek more intimacy with the Father and walking more closely in the Spirit."
I just think this is perfect. Basically, I'm trying to live by the Law, if you will, trying to do it all on my own and get my act together. Instead, I should just spend more time with the Father, recognizing that the more I'm with Him, the more He'll rub off on me and shine through me...without me having to make a conscious effort to not blow my top off.
Today has been a much better day. But even in a prayer I just uttered, thanking God for how this day has gone, I automatically said, "If I could just be more patient like this every day...I need to work on that."
I stopped. That's not the answer.
So I changed it to, "I just need to keep in constant touch with You so that I can love my kids with the very best of me each day." The thing is, somedays I have a lot to give and other days I don't have much. But the Spirit is always ready to fill and overflow. If I can just keep in step with Him, I'll never have to go to sleep at night thinking of how I short-changed my kids that day.
I'm always amazed at how easy God makes things and how difficult we make them. He just wants us to come to Him every time, regardless of the situation. How easily we forget that Jesus gives us all the answers we need!