I've been reading a book called Confessions of an Irritable Mother which has caused me to really stop and think about how God's goal is to help me become holy, like Him—not as a barking drill sergeant, but as a loving Father—and how struggles produce perseverance, and perseverance produces character (Romans 5). I mean, think about it. Yes, I want to be regarded as a woman of character! But does character mean I've had an easy life and I just have a cheery smile on my face all day long? No. Character is persevering and passing the test of one's trials. And a person does not develop character without struggles!
Anyone who knows me knows I've been struggling with motherhood for quite awhile. My responses to the challenges of raising two busy, boyish young sons isn't always so good. I yell sometimes. More often than I'd like. That leaves me feeling guilty and beaten down (What kind of mom am I?)... and over time, this guilt has eroded my view of God's love for me (How could He keep loving and forgiving me day after day?).
Yesterday morning started out rough (Brandon woke up too early and was sporting a baaad 'tude). So I caught a few moments to myself while making Brandon's bed and was asking God to help me persevere.
I felt God impress upon me that He's not trying to be unkind... He didn't give me difficult children to be cruel... but that this uncomfortableness isn't going to let up until I "get" what He is trying to show me about His love for me. It's going to take more than just a quick flip through the Bible to find another "promise" to cling to. Like a loving parent, He is allowing me to go through this struggle so I can learn more of the depth of His love and grace.
And I'm not going to give up, either. It feels like the enemy might be taking this opportunity to "sift" me, but I believe God will grow my character that much more strong when I'm through it.
God is also giving me peace with the fact that Jon and I may not be able to stay overnight on Friday for the homeschool conference, due to Ryan getting sick. I was starting to feel a bit bitter about the timing of Ryan's cold—right before Jon and I have the opportunity to go somewhere—together—alone—but I feel like God is trying to show me to find my hope in Him and His ability to give me peace & rest, especially in the midst of these taxing days with small boys—not in getting a break away. (Not that we shouldn't ever get a break, but you know how a person can just start putting their hope in vacations.)
Anyway... that's what's been on my mind this week! Oh, and about Confessions of an Irritable Mother—I just love that book! I have never felt so understood in my struggle, and I love how the author, Karen Hossink, doesn't simply list a bunch of antidotes to anger (i.e. "count to 10") but instead emphasizes the importance of an intimate relationship with the Lord, through reading the Bible and praying! Very encouraging!!