1 Peter 5:10 says that God is the "God of all grace". I know that as a believer, a follower of Jesus, I am suppose to emulate Him. My life is suppose to be an accurate picture of Jesus by showing that same grace to others. I don't just show that I am a believer by my words or by my church attendance. I show Jesus by my everyday life.
I often think about my behavior when I am with other people, you know, when I am outside of my home. As a minister's wife, I get that I am a representative of Christ. I am careful not to go to church mad, not to argue with Gene or belittle him in public (not that I do that in private), not to gossip with others, and not to be sarcastic in my conversations, which I must say, is difficult for me because sarcastic comments are constantly popping into my head. But how am I doing at home with those people closest to me? If I am honest, I need to work on this area.
What are my girls seeing every single day?
I think I do pretty good with them until about 4:30 in the afternoon. Up until that point, I am calm with them in my conversations, I discipline them consistently (for the most part) using scripture and modeling what the right choice would have been, I encourage them to be kind to each other, I model a quiet time for them, and try to consistently have a morning devotional with them, I pray with them before meal times, teaching them that all things come from God... You get the idea.
Then, around 4:30 the day gets a little more stressful. For some reason, both girls want my undivided attention while I am trying to cook supper and pick up around the house before Gene gets home at 5:30. Both girls are tired of each other and they start to "fight" with one another. Both girls are bored and start to pull out all kind of mess in every room of this house, while I am picking up in another room. At this point of the day, I am tired. I ready to be alone, to have some down time. I want to shut myself up in my bedroom and lay down to take a nap or read a magazine. I want to get on the computer and mindlessly read blogs or look at pictures on Facebook. I mean I have been with these two precious little gifts all day long and I ready for a break. While I am fighting these temptations and trying to balance everything else that needs to be done at this point in the day, I lose my cool. I raise my voice. I don't show grace. I don't show mercy. I say things like, "Just stop it!" "Leave each other alone!" "Reagan, go to your room and Gracen, here you go, get in your pack-n-play!" I am short. I am sarcastic. I am huffy-puffy. Not every day, but it certainly happens more often than I would like to admit.
Lately, I have been convicted about how this is showing that the Holy Spirit lives within me. How is this an accurate picure of Jesus and the grace that He constantly shows me? Does He get tired of me around 4:30 in the afternoon or does He consistently show unconditional love and grace? I think you know the answer to that question. I don't want to give my girls a distorted picture of God. My most important job is to disciple them, to model Jesus Christ, and to introduce them to the Savior of their souls.
Inside of these four walls that I call home, it is more than just my reactions to my girls....
Do I forgive Gene quickly or do I get angry, wanting my way, and then proceed stay angry for days? What picture of a marriage relationship am I displaying?
Do I display forgiveness with other people or am I done with them when they offend me and walk away from that relationship?
Do I talk negatively about people or heaven forbid the church?
Do I gossip on the phone?
Do I clam up and pout about things?
Do I share that I am worried about something, rather leaving that issue at the throne?
Do I watch things on TV that I wouldn't want them to watch?
Do I stress out and blow a gasket about every day life or do I display the peace of Jesus, showing that I trust that Jesus is in control of all things?
I want to be "adorned" with Christ so that every person, including my family, will see Jesus in me. This will only come through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit at work within me. For the last two mornings, I have been praying about this issue and I will continue to do so, not just in the morning, but praying through those irritations that I feel, especially around 4:30 in the afternoon. And if you think about me at 4:30 in the afternoon, say a prayer for me too.
Until next time...
Motherhood Requires Grit
1 day ago