Category Archives: Heart

War Within

 

 

 

I have a war within. The battle is between my old self and the new self. The old self wants to hold onto things of this world. Things like comfort and worldly treasures. Things like dreams of a peaceful life where everything is perfect. I am perfect. I am always happy. I am a perfect mother with lots of energy and I take time to plan wonderful outings with my kids and we make crafts and laugh all the time. I never lose my temper but always sweetly correct them and help them to see the error of their ways to which they respond in sweet voices, “OK, Mommy. I understand.” Then they go on behaving perfectly. The old self holds onto the idea of a perfect home; always clean, sunny, organized, children’s artwork proudly framed, love notes left on the counter, healthy homemade treats waiting to be eaten, delicious smelling foods waiting to be eaten. And of course I have the perfect home in my dreams. I know exactly what the floor plan should be and there is perfect land that this sits on and the breeze always gently blows the curtains and the children always giggle as they run barefoot in the yard and the flower garden always is in bloom.  The old self holds onto the dream of being a perfectly attentive wife who always serves, listens to and encourages my husband. He loves me in the dream because well, I am perfect. To make it even sweeter I wrap it all up with a perfect bow. Because special details never escape the attention of the perfect woman.

The new self looks in the mirror and says that’s not real. That’s not how this life works. You are NOT perfect. You CAN’T be perfect. Only God is perfect. He makes you good. He fills you with love for your children and your husband. You must look to God for strength and wisdom. You must look to Him for meaning. When the reality of this sinks in I struggle. I don’t like to not be perfect. In fact I hate it and I fight it. I want to be perfect. I WANT to be perfect. I stomp my feet. I throw little tantrums in my head and sometimes out loud. I whine. I cry, but why not, Lord? Look at me. I am good. I do good things.

Reality always comes knocking when I think life is going well. Actually, life is usually going well. Reality comes knocking when I think I am doing just fine. I tell myself, I am good; I am keeping it all together. I planned meals for the next two weeks. I have the laundry all done and put away. I can do this. I even squeezed in a craft with the kids. Then extra things come up and the laundry gets neglected and I don’t have the energy to pick up the house and I have three lessons to prepare for teaching the little children at church so I don’t have time to do a fun craft with my own kids. I feel stressed by all that is my schedule and all that is my husband’s schedule. I don’t get a break because there are weekend classes for him and Army Reserve drilling and my plans have to be nixed. I am mad. Life isn’t fair. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be! I am not feeling happy, my house isn’t perfectly cleaned, I don’t have time to shop for ingredients for making healthy homemade treats. I don’t feel like dealing with child size drama because I have my own thankyouverymuch.

I am not perfect. My life is not perfect. This makes me mad. This makes me sad. This makes me want to crawl under the covers and pretend it isn’t so. Life isn’t fair I whine to myself. I don’t pray. I don’t get to go to Bible Study and connect with other women and hear encouraging Truth taught because I am in charge of caring for the precious little ones. So I whine about that. I might even throw a little temper tantrum in my mind and in God’s hearing about how that’s not fair either. What about me!? I want to be perfect and if I could just have this or go to this or have a life like so and so then I would be perfect! Don’t you see?!

God loves me. Even when I yell and whine and throw fits. He loves me. He calls me back to Him. He reminds me to pray. Sometimes my prayers are simply cries for help. Help me O God. I know I am wrong. Help me. Help my unbelief. Forgive my selfishness and self-reliance. Change me. I am astonished that He would love me.  I see all the inner ugly I have. I don’t understand His ways or why He loves me, but I know it is true. I ask for help and He provides. I needed a reality check. He led me here to a place filled with stories of those who live in poverty. Who have been abused, abandoned, who have hopeless circumstances. I am rebuked. I am changed. I am thankful. God loves me.

Habakkuk 2: 4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.”

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Lemons for the Soul

 

 

I have been sick all week. I have also had to work a lot this week. I only work part time, but I have spent the majority of the past two days dragging my kids around all day missing nap time and feeling sick. By the time I clocked out today and merged onto the highway just to sit in bumper to bumper traffic I was in a terrible mood. This got me to thinking about why I was so angry? Traffic is no fun and working during nap time is certainly not fun either when it produces some cranky kids, but those aren’t reasons to be angry. I did some heart searching and realized how out of control I was feeling. I hate when my kids miss nap time. I felt the reason I had to work this afternoon was inappropriate. Add to that feeling sick and by the time I was in the car all I wanted was to get home as quickly as possible and put on my jammies. So sitting in traffic was just the icing on the cake of my not- in -control issue. This realization brought to mind the saying:

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade

I always thought this was a cute saying and I liked it. After the week I’ve had you could say I had a bunch of lemons to deal with.  But, do I really believe in making lemonade with them? Or better yet, CAN I make lemonade?  I don’t think so. I do believe that I serve a loving sovereign God who ordains whatsoever comes to pass, including long work days and traffic. And best of all I believe He is working all these lemons into lemonade FOR me. All I have to do is rest in Him. Trust in Him. Believe in Him. I don’t have to turn difficult circumstances into non-difficult circumstances. I can trust that God is working all things together for my good and for His glory. Romans 8:28 came to mind.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. So what is God’s purpose with these lemons or any lemons in life? I believe it is to reveal to me those heart issues I have. The need to be in control or comfortable. Loving those things more than I love Him. They are idols in my heart. By revealing these to me God is reminding me to rest in Him. To love Him most of all. I take such comfort in knowing that He loves me while I am yet a sinner. I also take comfort in knowing that He is using these lemons to accomplish molding me to be more like Jesus. Hallelujah what a Savior!

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