What a beautiful world God has created. This may sound weird…but all I could think was that somehow, even the most beautiful things in this life will look better in the next.
It seems like those of you who tend to read my blog appreciate honesty…so here is goes…
I struggle with impatience and selfishness. I hate more than anything that the people I tend to struggle with the most are the ones closest to me. That rears its ugly head a bit on vacation with my husband, kids, and mom and steve. I really want to have the character of Christ and just let the minor irritations not get infected….but many times, I word vomit. I say things and throw temper tantrums over the smallest of things. I think PS (pre-sanfilippo…my new abbreviation) I would blame it on everything or everyone else. So and so didn’t do this or that so I couldn’t finish. If they wouldn’t have said this or that I wouldn’t have said that! Post Sanfilippo–It would be very easy for me to blame my attitude on it and most everyone would allow it. My kids terminal illness and my grief and sorrow over my children slowly dying in front of me could be a perfect excuse to become bitter and no one would challenge my character. Right?
However-if I want to thrive in this, I want to take full advantage of suffering. If I have to do it, I should make the most of it and really “put my back into it!” (That’s for you, Ang) But I have got to tell you it is like swimming upstream with the wind in your face. I remember a time canoeing when it was so windy, we would paddle and would just make circles in the rainy, cold wind. We couldn’t go anywhere. I remember crying and feeling so helpless. And scared. I also feel that when it comes to changing my character.
I will give you an example that is sad, but true. Yesterday we went to St. John….the kids and Jut and I had a rough night with no sleep…everyone had been up since 3:30 AM…which is an ingredient for a perfect storm. Add in a tablespoon of heat, a dash of cramped-in-a-car, and a sprinkle of no direction….and I have CHOSEN to create a perfect storm. I tried….kinda. To see the good….to not loose it….and overall, I got a “c”. But, there was a situation that gives a perfect example to changing my character. I was already full of minor irritations when Jut hit the back of my leg with a lump of sand. He was throwing sand at me but not trying to actually hit me. I was taking pictures and backed right into the flying lump of wet sand. SMACK! It did sort of hurt but I overreacted. I got all mad and snapped. I pouted for a bit when I could have made a better choice to let it roll. Then, unsure of how to go from pouting to changing my character and saying, “sorry. I know it was an accident. No biggie.” and hitting him with sand :), I didn’t know how to change gears. So instead, I continued to make sure he knew he hurt me and pouted some more.
Then, to add fuel to my fire, he came over and tried to put a pacifier in my mouth….implying I was a whiner. That was it. I word vomited. How do I go back from there? I went too far. How do you recover well from that? How do you change your attitude on the spot? So, I pouted all the way back on the ferry and for the next few hours….punished everyone around me. Sucks.
I told God sorry. Sorry for getting in His way today. I blocked a bit of His light. Ok…so I am in no way asking for anyone to say…that is so normal….don’t beat yourself up….bla bla. If we Christians are trying to shine the character of Christ….and we know we are getting in the way….we have to help one another see the blind spot and pull our friend out of the way. Telling the truth in love, right? So-suggestions are welcome…but normalizing my sin is not.
My friend was sharing about a struggle she had to challenge herself to be a better mother. She said something that SO resonated with me. When she was sharing, it was easy to see that we all deal with the same issues, especially getting frustrated with our kids and loosing it, but she wanted to challenge herself to live up to Christ’s standards of love—not the worlds.
God help me do the same. Change my character to be more and more like yours. Give me patience. Give me grace.