(embracing the camera here.)
how gracious my Father is to never give up on me. i have moments & days when i feel like the worst mommy ever! i feel like i've failed & my children will be ruined forever. but even in my sin & selfishness the Lord uses those things for our good & His glory!
i am still working on finishing this amazing book! i've felt so sad over my anger toward the boys (jude in particular) lately & being a type A/"have everything together & do everything well & be organized all the time" kind of person... I HATE WHEN I FAIL! these words (from give them grace) have been comfort & encouragement...
"we're telling you to strive against sin. we're telling you to teach your children to strive against sin. but when the inevitable happens, when you & your children do sin, when you fail miserably, you need to know that God glorifies himself in your sin."
i've always thought that bringing glory to the Lord is only by doing things perfect (works righteousness), that He's only blessed & pleased when our lives are "pleasing" to Him. how in the world could the Lord be glorified in my sin/my failings as a mommy?!
"it is our dearest prayer that they (our children) would seek to glorify him through genuine obedience & faith. our hearts will break & we will weep if they do not. but don't we have to be willing to say that the chief end of our parenting is not our own glorification as great parents but rather that we glorify God & enjoy him forever?"
in the book they then talk about how God employed a thorn (from Satan) in Paul's flesh to keep him from the sin of pride. the Father used what the enemy meant for evil... for Paul's good! Paul boasted in his weaknesses, but i try to hide them.
"but he said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' therefore i will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. for the sake of Christ, then, i am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. for when i am weak, then i am strong."
2 cor 12:9-10
"it is kindness that He strips us of self-reliance, because it is there, in our emptiness & brokenness, that we experience the privilege of his sustaining grace. it is only when we arrive at that dreaded place of weakness that we discover the surpassing power of Christ. it is only when we are finally freed from those oh-so-constricting straightjackets of self-righteousness that we are able to experience the true comfort & warmth of the robes of righteousness."
the Lord is humbling me. bringing me to a place of not relying on my own doing. i am a sinner & i will fail & by the grace of God He will use my sin & failings for His glory!
"so, go ahead. work at being a successful parent. manage, nurture, train, & correct your children in faith today. teach them of God's precious promises that are able to transform their hearts. pray for their salvation & that they would come to know & believe the love that he has for them. but hold all your labors, all your prayers, & all your plans very loosely. & make it your overriding desire that the Father would be glorified in every aspect of your life, whichever way he turns it. perhaps his plan is for your family to be a wonderful example of his grace because you have respectful, obedient children. perhaps his plan won't look anything like that. perhaps his plan will be weakness, persecution, calamity, affliction. but whatever his plan is for you, you can rest in assurance that he will always strengthen you by his grace & for his glory."
i have struggled with works righteousness my whole life! it wasn't until we had caroline & my mom passed away that i realized i couldn't keep things together & know exactly how things would turn out. by my doing things well i can't determine the outcome. the Lord uses the things we cannot control that devastate us & he also uses the things that we think we can control (like my anger toward my boys)... ALL FOR HIS GLORY!
i want the Lord to do this work in me & make me more like Him. but for now i will learn to, by His grace, boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses.
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