A friend and I were recently discussing various aspects of motherhood. On one hand—how quickly we bash ourselves for our mistakes... Why couldn't I just be perfect? is often my whining utterance. I just want to ARRIVE... to not struggle with selfishness or laziness, or be longing for the past, or be straining to find the easy button...
And on the other hand—to be WILLING to endure the difficulties of parenting... the 24/7/365-ishness of it... the patience that can quickly run dry... the training and retraining of the children... and to know it's OK for your kids to be human, to make mistakes, to recognize that they need time to mature—A LOT of time.
When I can take these things in stride, I will be much more peaceful and joyful in the parenting journey!
Jim Jackson says something about that in his book —that we need to change our perspective to viewing life as a path of God-created opportunities.... and viewing the challenges our children create as an opportunity for God's purposes to be accomplished. This is a HUGE paradigm shift for me! It's like, stop looking for the fruit of "good parenting" but instead view life as a process where God is growing & refining us, as well as our children, and accomplishing His purposes through the challenges!!!
So during this conversation, my friend and I came up with this definition of life:
Life is a PROCESS toward progress, not perfection.
How easily we get frustrated with ourselves when we make mistakes! (Quite often, in my perfectionism, I'd like to throw in the towel!) Yet our goal must not be perfection; rather, it is progress—growth in our character as God uses the circumstances around us to shape us more and more like Christ.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. 29 For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son [hello, refinement!], so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Romans 8:28-29, NLT