Well, it's been a little while since I last wrote anything. Let's see, what's on my mind and heart these days...
Family has definitely been on my heart. I'm thinking largely of the family I grew up in, but my own little family, too. I'm done with being family in name more than in closeness. So the work has begun. I really like my siblings. We've just either never been really close or we've drifted apart. So I'm trying to change that. I think it's really on God's heart, too. I think he has a cool plan for us. And I'm done with the attitude toward my parents that tends to rebel and blame rather than honor and bless. They have truly given me so much.
And I'm done with trying to attain to some level of perfection in being a parent and wife because anything less is just missing the mark. So when my shortcomings are pointed out or a better way suggested, I know that it's okay...it's a journey...I don't have to feel bad about myself because I wasn't perfect at such and such a time. That's not the expectation. I just have to try my best. That's all that I ask from Jacob. That's all God asks of me. And when I need help, I ask him for it...not to get out of my responsibilities, but to take care of my responsibilities. Because he has all the resources I need.
I thought I had dealt with all this perfectionism and where I get my worth from. But I think that's part of it...it was still all up to me. I was beyond these things (because I'm so good). But really I was probably just in denial that I still struggle in these areas and need the Holy Spirit to work in them. Because as soon as I am corrected or challenged, the sting is felt, the defenses go up, and the excuses come. I feel as if I need to explain why I didn't do it perfectly. As if someone really expects me to be perfect!
A good book I've begun to read is "The Power of the Praying Parent" by Stormie Omartian. One of her basic premises is that we aren't called to be perfect parents, but we can be praying parents. And that's one thing I know my grandparents and parents had going for them. I can fool myself into thinking that I'm where I am because of my own wisdom, but it's all because of what God has done, largely in answer to the faithful prayers of those people.
Another good book Rod and I are reading is "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. It has its weaknesses too, but we're really getting hit over and over by how it's all what God's doing. How he works in us to will and to act, how he draws people to himself, how he teaches us etc. We just need to ask him to show us where he's working and how he wants us to join him. When we start asking for what he's got planned already, the stuff starts happening! But we need to get our eyes off our own plans. That's been a bit of a step for me anyways. I've been into a "know who you are and follow your dreams" thing. Although I still feel it's important not to neglect the way God has put me together, my primary goal must still be to seek first the kingdom of God. After all, this life isn't all we're down here for. It's much much more than that. And so the process of denying self without neglecting self begins. (At least, that's what I'm thinking right now...what do you think? Is there a difference? Is it significant?) Because so many have served and shrivelled up. Was that because it was their own agenda and they were not pulling alongside Jesus in their yoke with his empowerment? Or was it because they misunderstood "Love the Lord your God with all...and love your neighbour as yourself"
Ahhhh.....so many questions.