Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I am not content.  I am not satisfied.  I want more.  I realized a couple nights ago, that I am not happy with myself right now.  I feel like I am status quo, and that is unacceptable.  I have found myself stressed, impatient and unhappy.  I have no reason for these things.  God has poured out His blessings in amazing ways over the past year.  So why do I feel like this?

I laid there the other night thinking about the kind of woman I am and the kind of woman I want to be.  I want to be patient, gentle and consistent with my children.  I want to be a constant source of encouragement and support for my husband.  I want my home to be open to those in need.  I want to utilize my spiritual gifts in the way God desires.  I want to be the Proverbs 31 woman.  And I try to do all of that.  So where is the disconnect?  Because I try.  The passage in Proverbs 31 is not a "to-do" list.  That passage is simply a list of characteristics that are an outgrowth of a godly woman.  It is similar to another famous passage found in Galatians 5:23-23.  The fruit of the Spirit passage.  Neither of these passages are meant to be a list that we try to check off each day.  It should be natural.  A simple out pouring of what is happening in our own hearts.  In my heart.

I got caught up in trying to "do" the Christian life.  Partially because of all the blessings God has poured out on me, I felt as though I needed to then live up to a certain ideal.  If God was going to bless me with a wonderful husband, I, of course, needed to be a perfect wife.  Since God had given the opportunity to stay home with my children and homeschool them, then I had to be the best, most efficient and most creative teacher/mom ever!  Because God had blessed me with a home in which and from which I could minister, then my home must be kept ready for ministry at all times.  I translated that as in keeping it perfectly clean.  Trying to be everything that I felt I was supposed to be absolutely exhausted me.  I was trying to do what I thought was expected of me.  I was trying to please everyone and to be everything I "should" be.  How did that work out for me?  Stress, exhaustion, overwhelming anxiety and so on and so on.  When things started to crack, I kept that smile on my face and just tried harder.  I wanted to have the appearance of a perfect life.  A perfect marriage, perfect children, and a perfect home.  Was I more concerned about how my children looked and behaved at church than what they were gleaning from the Word?  Was I more concerned about keeping a perfect home to minister to others that I neglected to minister to my own family?  Was I so anxious about appearing to have a perfect marriage that I listened to others more than my own husband?

As I laid there in bed contemplating how I saw myself falling short, I started talking it through with my husband.  Saying it all out loud made me realize how many times I said "I, me and my".  I was trying to do it all on my own strength.  I had turned Proverbs 31 into a "to-do" list.  I realized that the reason I was unable to please everyone all the time (besides the utter impossibility of that) was that I was working to please the wrong person.  My eyes were on all those around me.  I watched and listened to all the people in my life and I tried to conform to what I felt they wanted me to be.  But what does Romans 12:2 say?  Does it say to conform to a certain mold that I make for myself or that others make for me?  Not at all.  I love the way the NLT puts it.  It says, "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I needed to stop trying to "do" the Christian life.  I needed to simply focus my eyes on Christ alone.  I had put all the focus on myself.  What foolishness!  When I focus on Him, He will teach me to walk in His ways.  He will guide me as I try to train my children.  He will open my eyes to new ways I can serve and help my husband.  He will give me the opportunities to minister.  Does this mean that I need to keep my house perfectly clean?  No.  Does it mean that as an outgrowth of my desire to honor God with my time that I will try to run my house efficiently?  Yes.  But in His strength.  Not mine.  Does it mean that I ignore the day to day dealings of life in some holier-than-thou pursuit?  Not at all.  But I can allow Him to guide me in the little day to day things.

I will never be perfect, no matter how hard I try.  I can serve a perfect God, though.  He will lead me and direct me.  Psalm 37:4 says, "Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you."  Psalm 119:37 states, "Turn my eyes from worthless things and give me life through Your Word."  I need to let Him set my priorities.  I need to allow Him to lead me through each day.  If He is my focus, He will not let me miss the important things.  If He fills my heart, His love, patience, joy and strength will naturally flow from it.  After all, Psalm 46:10a says, "Cease striving and know that I am God."

No comments:

Post a Comment