What are you aspiring to do? I could finish that sentence with so many things...
...be a more patient mom
...play more and clean less (not that my house shows that I clean much)
...show the light of Jesus more
...and on and on and on....
But these days I am really aspiring to live by Faith. And that my friends is a tough goal. I mean what does that look like every day? Not just in the big things, but every day? With my kids, with my husband, with my friends?
I was saved at the age of 20 - my first year at West Point. So, I made it through 12 years of school, 2 years of college and was accepted into West Point. Up to that point I was "doing pretty well." I look back and I see God's hand in so many things - as far back as I can see in my life. But I spent a heck of a lot of time doing it on my own. I do realize that God opened many doors and was there the whole time, but as far as I knew then I was getting things taken care of.
So when you are saved at a later in life age I think the whole living by faith thing is hard. I mean, maybe it is hard for everyone, but when you are able to do most things, and have done a lot of not so normal things, it is just easier to do it in your own strength, or really in your "Own Flesh."
At the Whole Hearted Mothering Conference I was convicted of this in a BIG way. It was more in my face than something has been in a long time. I mean I know I could read more, play more, and be more patient - but can't we all? This was more - ME. Not everyone, not someone else, but to ME. Sally said when you are living in the flesh you are under more pressure, more stress, never perfect enough, and very judgemental. She said those people (me) really only do what they think they can do. They volunteer for things they can do, areas they are comfortable in. They are louder and angrier than those who are living by faith. WOW. I mean she could be describing my life. Panic attacks when the stress goes up, chest pain at times when it really goes up, anger toward my kids when I get overwhelmed by things I cannot "control" so many areas that I think I need to do better, but I do not know how and then Sally spoke to me.... well not really. God spoke to me through Sally's voice. He asked me if that was me. He asked "Do you get uncomfortable when you do not have the confidence to do and then avoid it?" Yes - lots of times. "Do you let things create stress in your life and let them get bigger and bigger until you cannot handle it?" Yes - all the time.
So I am still digging into what this looks like every day. But so far this is what I know.
1. I do not have to be on time to a playdate if it means yelling at my kids. I can be late - my friends will understand.
2. I do not need to run around and clean when someone is coming over - they are coming to see me and how clean my house is, is not a reflection of me. God does not mind that my home is a home and we live in it and play in it. And sometimes we clean it! :)
3. If something is causing us stress we need to stop and evaluate - and sometimes we need to drop it, and sometimes we need to say God I cannot do this, but I know you can help me do it.
4. If I am angry about anything I need to stop and evaluate again - then I need to respond and not react to whatever situation I am in.
You know, as I teach 1st grade Sunday School and we teach these great stories Daniel, David, Elijah, Gideon, I teach the kids that God is the one who did all those great things and he used ordinary people to do them. That alone they could not do those things, that they needed to depend on God to do everyone of them. And yet, I live Monday - Saturday doing it on my own and not looking to God to provide the way, the means, the courage.
So I am trying each day to live more by faith than the last. I am trying to let God deal with the bickering in my home, the stress in my life, and the business of my days. I am trying to listen to his gentle words more, the nudges from the Holy Spirit. And I am asking for his help every morning before my feet hit the floor. Not because I cannot do it on my own - but because I no longer want to. I want the joy of living by faith in Him - knowing I am not carrying the stress of this world, but that I am letting him.
And the bottom line, I hope that my kids start to see me living by Faith and that they are inspired to start at a much younger age and do it much more naturally than I ever will!