These were the words I read yesterday evening after a long, difficult afternoon with the kids. They were very convicting.
I was tired yesterday. The kids, unfortunately, were wired. Needless to say, I didn't get a rest. I got grumpy instead. I knew I was not being very kind, but that didn't stop my bad mood. If anything, it made it worse.
My tiredness was my own fault to begin with. I had stayed up late the night before, writing. I can see that I'm going to have stop doing that. How can I teach my kids about kindness, and controlling their temper, when I am not always kind, and I cannot always control my temper? I just doesn't work. I need to follow my own rules.
The house is getting messier and messier, as well. The last few days, I've spent too much time reading. And even though I put off cleaning the house for my own pleasure, a messy house also puts me in a messy mood. Peter says,"discipline yourselves." Yes, this I need to do.
I can see that maintaining a balance between family and studying/writing and the house is going to be a constant struggle. One that I will have to think about on a daily basis.
In today's readings, I first was struck by these words in Ps. 99:
Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the Lord, and he answered them. He spoke to them in a pillar of cloud; and they kept his decrees, and the statutes that he gave them. O Lord, our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings. Extol the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy.
God does hear me when I cry to him. God does forgive. But God also corrects me when I have done wrong.
I read also: ...hear in heaven your dwelling place, forgive, act, and render to all whose hearts you know... -- from 1 Kings 8:38-39
There can be no doubt that God knows our hearts. When I am less than the person God wants me to be, if I am tuned into God's word, I hear God correct me. And for this I am grateful. For even though recognizing my transgressions is painful, I am glad to know where I have gone wrong and what I need to do to repair the damage I have done.
The passage above in 1 Kings ends with the words, "so that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land." To my way of thinking, God does not correct me so that I will fear him. God wants what is best for all. I know this. I know that my getting angry at my children is not right; anger harms our relationship in so many ways. God corrects me because he loves us all. So, to my way of thinking, the passage should say, "so that they may love you all the days that they live in the land." For that is how I feel. I am grateful for the correction.
How is this possible? When other people correct me, I don't always respond this way. Depending on how I am corrected, I may feel really peeved about it. What is the difference? Perhaps it is because I know that God loves me. And his way of correcting me is gentle. Just the note I need to hear. If only I could learn how to correct my children in this same loving way, always.
Dear and Loving Lord, please help me. I need constant reminders. Take this unruly heart and mold it to follow your ways in all things. I wish I were able to always speak to my children the way you speak to me. Is it possible? Love always, Pam