Thursday, July 31, 2008
Perfect by His Grace
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
DearFriend Y left this morning. It was a lovely visit and we're going to miss her.
A Good Start. DearFriend Y called me on Monday afternoon to tell me that her plane had a flat tire and her flight was delayed. She was scheduled to come in at 5:11pm, but DearHubby didn't pick her up until 6:30pm which got them home after 7:30pm. That gave me enough time to feed the girls dinner, get them to bed, and straighten up the house before DearHubby and DearFriend Y got home. The house looked perfect and dinner was ready and waiting. We were able to have a nice peaceful meal and had the opportunity to start catching up. Things were going so well that I even had time to slip in a few house chores and get to bed by 11pm.
The Perfect Day. Tuesday was PERFECT! I got up, got a shower, and got some laundry folded all before the girls got up. The girls got up when they were supposed to, DearDaughter1 at 7:20am and DearDaughter2 at 8am. I was able to feed DearDaughter1 breakfast and give her a bath before DearDaughter2 awoke. I was able to feed DearDaughter2 breakfast and give her a bath while DearDaughter1 played nicely with Auntie Y. Then, I was able to cook DearFriend Y a nice light breakfast. After preparing for the day it was time for DearDaughter2's morning nap. We then did DearDaughter1's devotional and had a joyous time reading God's Word together. Everything just fell into place and the girls did so well. We were able to go to DearDaughter2's doctor's appointment, have lunch, attempt to go blue berry picking (which didn't quite work out, but the drive was still nice), and I still had time to meet DearHubby at the gym, get home in time to finish preparing dinner by 6:45pm, get the girls to bed on time, and end our day with a movie. Wow!!!
The Long Night. We watched "The End of the Spear" and after the movie DearHubby asked DearFriend Y what she thought about it. That sparked my intimate conversation with DearFriend Y. I knew I would dread the next day, but I don't get many opportunities to have intimate conversations with sisters in the Lord as we did and so I wanted to stay up and our talk lasted past 1am.
A Rough Start to the Not so Perfect Day. While DearFriend Y stayed with us, DearHubby and I roomed with DearDaughter2. I normally would get up with DearHubby to help him prepare for work by making his lunch, but I made his lunch before I went to bed with the hopes of staying in bed in the morning to get some rest. God did not allow me much rest. DearDaughter2 woke up at 5:45am and saw me laying in bed. She began playing with me through her play pen and despite my efforts to get her back down, she would not stay down while I was in the room with her. With only 4 hours of sleep after such a jam packed day, I was TIRED. I did not want the day to start because I didn't have the mental and physical strength to deal with it. Unfortunately, I didn't have a choice but to start the day because DearDaughter1 and DearDaughter2 both got up early and would not return to sleep. I also knew it was going to be a difficult day because DearDaughter1 began the day in disobedience. She received her first time out within the first moments of being up. When DearDaughter1 starts the day in disobedience, that pattern usually continues through the morning and the morning is just filled with one disciplinary situation after another. I just really needed some time to be alone just to get some rest. So, I packed up the girls and went out for a drive, leaving DearFriend Y at home to fend for herself. I was able to eat a peaceful breakfast and I stopped by a store to pick up a little gift for DearFriend Y.
The Not so Perfect Day. However, I was still not ready to face the day and my attitude reflected that. When I got home I was up front with DearFriend Y and told her that I was tired and grumpy and was already having a rough morning. I really just wanted to climb in a hole and be left alone. As a result, my heart and mind wasn't into doing DearDaughter1's devotion time and that didn't go so well. The blueberry cobbler that I was hoping to bake didn't get done. We didn't have much planned for the day except to run a small errand and go to the lake, but we got out of the house so late that we didn't have time to go to the lake I wanted to take DearFriend Y to and ended up at a park with a dirty lake. Lastly, DearDaughter1 and DearDaughter2 did not go down for their afternoon naps. Wednesday was NOT the perfect day.
God's Grace and Strength. We were having friends over after dinner for DearDaughter2's birthday cake and I was afraid that without their afternoon naps the girls would be fussy for the birthday cake. I was even tempted to call off our gathering because I just felt like the girls were too tired and I didn't have the house set up as I hoped. DearHubby encouraged me that everything will be ok. Well, though the girls were tired and the house wasn't just so, the gathering did go well! At the end of the day, DearFriend Y thanked me for allowing her to be a part of our family for these past couple of days. She also thanked me for allowing her to witness my rough day. She said that if both days went perfectly she would have had a false impression of what having children is really like. Then I realized that it was by God's grace that He gives me rough days like Wednesday because it helps humble me to remember that all days are by His grace and that each day is His perfect will and plan for us and if I had perfect days like Tuesday every day then I would always depend on my own strength rather than His to get through them. Now if DearFriend Y weren't with us I think I would have been more impatient and displayed my frustration even more towards my family through anger, but I didn't, and I made it through the day responding in gentleness and then I realized, that THAT was from God and THAT was HIS strength.
The Conclusion of the Matter. During my intimate conversation with DearFriend Y she made an observation about me that was right on; she called me a perfectionist. I wasn't offended about what she observed because she was absolutely right; there is that "pressure" within me to be and look perfect. Yet, I was reminded AGAIN that we are ONLY perfect in Christ Jesus and if we try to do it on our own strength, the strength only lasts for a short time, but if we pursue holiness by His strength, then that strength is eternal. Lastly, outside perfection is an earthly idol. Perfect beauty is God's holiness shining out from us. That only comes by spending more and more time with our God so that He may conform us more and more to being like Jesus. So, it didn't matter that my plans failed. The sweetest moments with DearFriend Y were those times when we were encouraging one another in Him by His Word and in prayer. Thank you God.
Labels: Godly Character