A Good Work In Me

spilled-crayons

 

When we moved away from our big awesome house and my job and my friends, and came here with a new baby and a new plan.. it definitely signified a new phase in our lives.

As this stage developed it challenged me to change in a lot of ways. I’ve always been a big fan of reflection and evaluation, but this was pretty deep stuff.

Learning to stay home more, to be happy with less, to get a better grasp on parenthood – has sent me off to read books, pray endlessly, and – what do you know? Make some changes.

It’s hard to change! I’ve been praying the words to a Ginny Owens song for years – “Lord, change me, mold me, own me.” Well, recently it’s occurred to me that there has been some progress.

So often the focus continues to be on our weaknesses, on what we’re doing wrong and on what we haven’t learned yet. Conversations with my friends frequently seemed centered on our frustrations. We talk thru them, helping each other along the way and giving support and much needed encouragement. This is good.

But all of us need to celebrate what we’ve learned too! We all need to take inventory of how we’ve moved forward as a person, or a parent, or a friend.

Here are a couple things I’m excited about:

  •  I’m starting to figure out the difference between things that really are a big deal, and things that aren’t… Things that I might have made a big deal of in the past.

Guilty.

My kids have helped teach me this. A spill, a mess, a setback in the morning – I’m getting better at not freaking out, at holding my tongue, and giving grace a lot quicker than I used to. I’m starting to apply this to adults, but for some reason it’s taking longer to master that one.

  • When I quit my job and my primary profession became taking care of my kids and my house, I started taking time – a lot of time – hanging out with my kids. (It turns out old men are right: they do grow up fast.) This means the kitchen isn’t usually clean, the tables always need cleaned off, and vacuuming is not at the top of my list. So be it. I know what Clare’s favorite puzzles are, and I know the names of Sophie’s horses. I’m available to Sophia when she says something like, “I think the sun is for the devil and the moon is from Jesus because the sun is so, so.. hot, and the moon is nice and pretty!” Uh, ok, we need to talk about what the devil is.. and who made the sun. And we did. And it was good.
  • I’m making progress when it comes to being a responsible adult. I hate money and it hates me. But I’ve come a long way and I’ve taken dramatic steps to get better with it. My expectations are more reasonable and I can be patient with the situation. I have very little expendable income, and most of the time I feel sortof ok with that. The rest of my family is not as ok with it, but that’s another issue.

This isn’t a list of blessings. I can make one of those too. I should do a list of things I celebrate like my talented children, and the evolution of communication within my marriage. But we all need to identify ways in which we have personally grown, ways God has changed heart and minds. I think He wants me to recognize those accomplishments so that I can be encouraged to continue on.

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.  I Timothy 1:15-17

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

 

 

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