This is sort of a response to my sister's latest post on her blog (which reminds me I really need to get on the up and up and put her blog on my side bar, along with some others!). You can go here first to read what she had to say:
I wanted to make a comment to her, but then my keyboard wasn't working. So we went outside for a bit and that gave me time to really think about what she wrote. And then I had a whole novel in my head and decided I would just respond to her here, and then ramble on with my thoughts.
First off, it was a truly beautiful, heartfelt post. I am not sure if it is just because I know her so well and can even "hear" her saying all she said as if in person, but her heart was just pouring out. She and her family have been going through a lot of changes. Some harder than others. But some have been just amazing. I love what she had to say on joy. Wow!!! Took my breath away. Probably because I have been in the same boat as she has, and probably because the Lord has been speaking to me on this through various means. The point she made about how she always equated joy with her circumstances. Ouch! (that was an ouch for me, not her!) I have let my joy slip away from me over the years. And in the last few days I have been "bombarded" with reminders that I need to get that joy back. I used to have that joy, way back when, oh about 12 to 13 years ago. Believe it or not it was some very hard circumstances that brought me to my knees, seeking the Lord, and my heart being changed, becoming a follower of Christ. That change brought me joy, even in the midst of hard circumstances. We have been reading through Matthew as a family and the parable of the seeds scattered on the different soils got my attention. Some of the seeds are thrown onto soil that they can actually grow in, however weeds come up and choke them out. The weeds are a symbol of the cares of this world. And the cares of the world choke out any fruit that the seeds otherwise would have had. That is exactly where I feel I am. I will be praying that the Lord will weed this garden of mine! I too, like my sister, don't want my children growing up to remember me as a tight lipped, gloomy mommy. So what is a grumpy mommy to do? First and foremost, pray. But I think it needs to be more than a thought that passes in my mind. I mean really PRAY, the get down on your knees, flat on your face, crying out to God kind of praying. The other thing that I want to change is my words. Again, something my sister wrote spoke to me on this. I am a negative person. No, really I am. Again, this goes back quite a few years, with the start being many small circumstances that have added up. Some of you may be familiar with Nancy Campbell, who writes Above Rubies. If not, then go here to check out some very encouraging articles:
Nancy has a lot to say about how we speak, and the words we use. I wish I had more time to go into it, but I have a baby who wants to be held---a lot :-)----and I just don't do the one hand typing thing very well. So I have a moment while he is resting on the bed, but not for long as I hear him making noises. Anyways maybe one day I will get into it more, but for those who have read Nancy's things, then you know what I am talking about. So what does this mean for me? Well, like I said I am a negative person. I don't usually say kind, loving words "just because". I think in regard to my words I have been in "survival mode". I have 6 children, 5 of which need direction. I find myself in a catch 22 sometimes. We did not train them in obedience when they were young (speaking of the older ones), and so now it's like I spend my time putting out fires. In order for our children to want to willingly obey, you need to have their hearts. For me I know that will involve speaking kind words to them. I need to just spend time enjoying them, playing with them, sharing the things they love, and sharing the things I love with them. The catch is that trying to do these things when you have a house full of fighting, whining children can be hard. Not to mention that it is not natural for me to speak uplifting words to my children. I really love the idea of imparting a blessing onto your children each day. But it seems so fake to me to speak a blessing over my children. I have spent years now speaking things like: "No", "You can't do that...", "Why can't you....", "I told you to.....", "how many times must I say..." etc. But that will be my goal, even if it will seem totally fake at first. I want to be joyful and loving and kind. And certainly this would be a step in the right direction. I know that the process of sanctification takes time. However I sometimes think that I just coast, thinking it will happen without any work on my part.
Some other things that have been resurfacing.......homemaking. I have come across some sites, and have been in some homes that have brought those deep rooted, long ingrained moanings and longings to be creative up to the surface. But it is something that I wrestle with. Right now I have white walls. And not any white walls, but white primed walls. Let me scratch that and say.....DIRTY, used to be white, primed walls. We have a hodge podge of furniture, hand me downs, freecycle, etc. I yearn for beauty. Now I am not talking about going out and buying new furniture sets, on the contrary. It is amazing what some paint and fabric can do to transform things. But here is my struggle. Scripture says that the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. And so I wonder how much time, money etc. should be used to make my home beautiful. On the other hand the Lord took the time to make our world very beautiful. He didn't have to make flowers, and when He did, He could have made one kind. But there is amazing beauty in God's creation. There is order. There is purpose. I feel like my days should be patterned in like manner. But to what extent? I feel like I am about to burst if I don't get to be creative with my home or yard. And because we have nothing here in our home that lends to my goal of being creative, where do I even START!!! Yikes! Ok, I think I got all that off my chest now. Phew! Deep breath in, deep breath out :-)
Of course maybe all this rambling can be chalked up to hormones! ha, ha! I don't think so!!! I must be going. We need some cleaning done (imagine that!), then lunch, then some little guy needs a nap! etc. Have a blessed day!