March 1, 2012

He glorifies Himself

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(embracing the camera here.)

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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.

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"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."

AMEN!!!!!!!!!

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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al


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13 comments:

mrs. mogun said...

Ugh. I have GOT to get that book!!! I keep reading excerpts from it and thinking - yes, yes, YES! But, I haven't bought it, yet. Maybe I'm avoiding conviction (?). Ha.

Solid post. Getting the Word out there... spoken with grace. Precious boys. Good stuff.

I'm came through Emily. I'll be checking your blog out, again.

allison barker said...

thanks so much! :)

Angel said...

You are beautiful and your boys are such little cuties! The book sounds wonderful. My kids are older and I'm continually aware of how much grace and intentionality is required in parenting. The journey refines my character daily! Thanks for a great review of the book. I'm going to check it out.

Jen said...

Great pics and post. Thanks for sharing your insight. I can relate to your struggles. It's nice to be reminded to rely on the Lord's grace everyday. Thanks! Stopping by from The Anderson Crew

Wendy said...

Beautiful pictures! And that book sounds wonderful ~ it's already in my Amazon cart!

tiffany @ seetheskyline said...

BEAUTIFUL! what's your email address? can you email me at seetheskyline@gmail.com. i'm getting everything organized for our blog feature! thanks!

Leah Bud said...

Hey girl, I nominated you for a sunshine award on my blog :)
You can follow the link to get rules if you want to pass it on.
P.S. I saw ya'll in the field-y thing by your house being a cute little family ;)
http://www.thecuckoosnestblog.com/2012/03/sunshine-award.html

Melissa G. said...

Good morning. I'm so glad I found your blog today though embrace the camera.

I can totally relate. There are days when i feel like the worlds worst mommy! And i'm reading that book too! It's sooo good!

I've also been reading Holiness Day by Day, by Jerry Bridges and it's been really good as well.

"Your worst days are never so bad that you're beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you're beyond th need of God's grace."

"God wants us to walk in obedience - not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self."

Wow, that hit me.

I'm following your blog now and I voted for you as well! Enjoy your day with those adorable boys of yours!

allison barker said...

thank you so much ladies for your sweet words & encouragement!!!

The Freckled Fawn said...

Love love love those pictures! awesome!

jane said...

such cute pictures and a great post. Thank you for sharing.

Nicole said...

I just hopped over from Emily's blog to not only find super sweet photos, but such an encouraging word. Thank you!

allison barker said...

thanks friends!

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