St. Thomas-May 2

Greetings!

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.

5 thoughts on “St. Thomas-May 2

  1. Stef,

    I continue to pray for you on a regular basis. It seems like you have a lot of the same struggles that I have, that all of us have because of human nature! I think I would have reacted similarly if Nate had done the same, however, the story that you told of how you “could have” handled it, sounds more appealing! I will pray that God will lead your heart and help you overcome your human nature! I think it is awesome that you recognize it and want to fix it! (I will pray for myself in these areas too)! You are an amazing woman, mother, and wife! Justin, Jayden, and Brooklyn are so blessed and lucky to have you around! (Tell Jut I have a pacifier for him when he comes over next) 😉 I can't wait to see you and the kids, talk to you soon, miss you and love you!

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  2. I SO agree with Andrea. You teach me so much through your blogs. Thanks for being so open and honest with your struggles. Enjoy the rest of your time on vacation. Can't wait to see you and the kids with your tans! 🙂 Oh…and the gals at school really love your white picket fence. Thanks for letting me bring it to school. Love you!

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  3. We are only human and allowed to have times like this. It's wonderful that you can recognize it and try to make it better. Remember that we are living in color now, not black and white! God loves you and he loves your honesty (as do I!) You are a great mother, wife and friend. Enjoy your time and enjoy the beauty! Talk to you soon~Kelly

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  4. Hey Stef!

    Thank you for being you! We miss you here and want nothing for you than to enjoy the beautiful islands and time with your family! You are truly beautiful inside and out and I love you with all my heart!

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  5. Oh Stef in only you knew how much I appreciated your honesty…you continue to teach me so much…I imagine if I was in your situation I would be on the pity pot thinking that “anything goes” because my kids have a terminal illness and that's enough to deal with…and here you are with brutal honesty sharing your struggles and your striving to rid your self of earthly sin…I only wish I had the degree of desire that you do to making lasting change…I love you so much friend…can't wait until you're back and we can spend time together once again…you would be SO proud of all I am getting rid of…and I may just need your decorating services once again. I just can't do it like your amazing touch…tried to do the “perfect wall” that you did behind my couch and failed MISERABLY!! You can come bang out some frustration hammering nails into my walls!! Love you sister…praying for you always!!!

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