The words of 1 Corinthians 13 ring in my ears. No pun intended. I don't want to be a clanging gong - which I often feel like when it comes to my children. I have done pretty well (or rather The Holy Spirit has) to discipline myself when it comes to building up Dave - but I've had a lot of intense practice and necessity to do it. Now, being a Mommy is hard. Kids do crazy things that irritate you - all the time. But I, in general, would like to find more peace. I guess part of it is to model for them but also to be different so people will want that. And really what it is would be more love for my Beloved - Jesus.
The sermon this last Sunday was on Joshua 3 with a tie-into 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 16-22. The Joshua part was basically an example of a conditional promise for the Israelites crossing over the Jordan into the Promised Land. Paul's excerpts were focused on being available - "Praying without ceasing" he calls it - or as Pastor Marlene said - staying connected. So, I've been praying about that - using her suggestions to stay more connected throughout the business of the day. It helped yesterday. I think I have the desire to - I think about Him a lot - but when I do that - to ask for more connection - to ask where He wants me in this situation.
Now the more love aspect comes from my reading in Beth Moore's Beloved Disciple about John. In the chapter I read last night - she encouraged me (the reader) to strive to rise above our circumstances to choose love above what we were experiencing or feeling at the time. The example she used was when Christ, in agony on The Cross, picked His broken body up to speak to John - to reconcile His family and His Disciples - and give Mary her kinsman-redeemer for the rest of her earthly life. He was her Savior but she needed someone to step into the oldest son's role to care for her. He provided a tenderness in the midst of unimaginable pain and anguish. I don't think The Lord wants me to go that far - unless He asks. But sometimes, I can be so wrapped up in my own head and thought life - I choose to make a fleshly decision/response rather than rise above. That's literally what Christ had to do. Physiologically speaking, He had to pick himself up - strain on His arms and push with His legs to get enough air into His lungs to speak.
What does that leave me with?
When my girls interrupt me in the middle of something I've deemed very important - I need to rise above it and make myself available to them. As an example - that seems the least I can do given what Jesus did for John and for me (and you) on the Cross. The more I strive to stay connected to Him, be infused with His Spirit and Love, the more Love I can show to others. The more I can rise above.
This is not a new concept - I, in fact, rarely have one of those. But I think The Lord is training me to do this now for when things get harder. My girls are growing - small children, small problems, right? That means the older they get....
Plus, who knows what situation we will be in as a family in 6 months. Dave maybe gone most of the time on this project. Even though it's for a limited period of time, it will be a totally different dynamic and we will have to adjust.
He is moving me, step by step, not just for what lays ahead but one day - towards His glory (and mine). There are things I need to learn, my form needs to get better for this race and He is making that very clear.
The great thing is I'm not taking it as a hit - rather than criticism (or condemnation as it really turns out to be) - I'm taking it as constructive criticism. I know this because lately things have happened to remind me of the past but yet I am not "freaking out" about it. I'm growing and I know those around me - if I ask for my heart to be enlarged in such a way to show those around me More Love - they will be changed as well. That's the point right?
It's just up to God's timing (and our choices) when we get it.
P.S. For those of you who know my history - The Lord has seen fit to remove my desire to drink alcohol. I hope and pray I will stay in the center of His Will so it will stay gone, but that is a major development after years and the last 7 months of intense struggle with it. You see - we can be changed!!!