Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Confession: Days Like Today

When it comes to my daily, spiritual life, sometimes I feel so on-fire, encouraged, challenged, excited...and sometimes I just don't. Today has been mostly one of those days where I don't feel any of those things. Today I see the worst in me, and I mean the worst. Confession: I can be short tempered. Sometimes, it only takes minuscule annoyances that seem so much worse in the moment and that set me off into a stressed out wreck of frustration and anger. I become sour and sarcastic. I huff and glare. My body language sends one message: Watch out. Whether it's the refrigerator door that doesn't close all the way, the toy I step on with my bare feet, or the lamp cord in my path while vacuuming, my wrath is released. I slam the door, I throw the toy, I want to throw the lamp out the window but thankfully don't...it's embarrassing and petty and childish. I know it's bad when my husband can't even be around me while I'm in an angry mood. Lucky for him, he can leave. Ha, if only it were that easy for me. 

It's a struggle I have always had and I really don't like it about myself. I want to be patient, kind, self-controlled, and slow to anger. I pray daily for Gods grace and for the Holy Spirit to work in me and give me whatever is necessary for that change to happen. As much as I wish it could happen with the snapping of fingers, I'm beginning to catch on that that isn't how things work. I need to work at it (while relying on the grace of God). Of course, I've been working on it for years now, but I can't let that keep me from pressing on. A quick-fix-it kind of solution wouldn't produce in me what God wants to produce in me. I need endurance. 

"Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us."
~Romans 5:3-5~

"You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised."
~Hebrews 10:36~

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
~2 Peter 1:6-8~

It's so hard, but it's meant to be. I can so easily get frustrated at myself for becoming so easily frustrated at everything else, but I must keep on. It's tempting and easier to allow myself to get down and more upset and begin hating myself, but those thoughts are not of God. I must deny my ugly, short-fused, irritable self and replace it with patience, self-control, and love. It takes practice and a lot of it at that. Thankfully, I seem to have plenty of opportunity to practice it, especially on days like today.

Lord, have mercy.

Rejoice, Really!

One week ago today, Jason and I became homeowners! It's been quite the adventure so far, and we have already experienced the sweet and bitter taste of home ownership. Within less than twenty-four hours after closing we found a leak in the plumbing, and the washer valve hook-ups needed replaced, and there was a nest in the dryer vent. Oh, how nice it was to simply call maintenance and report these kinds of issues, and have it fixed for free and without hassle. Then, as the days went on, we've found four more leaks, and we found out that our well tank was shot and needed replaced, and we need to neutralize our water since it is ever so slightly acidic and may be contributing to the leaky pipes. Oh, joy! (But seriously, JOY--see James 1:2 and Philippians 4:4-7). And yet, that's not all, there has been even more reason to cry-I mean-rejoice. On Saturday, Teá experienced the worse case of constipation I have ever witnessed. She was crying out in pain a good majority of the day. I'll spare you the details, but since I was wrapped up in that I had to miss Jason's graduation. The poor guy was all alone at his graduation. After six years of grueling work, getting his PhD wasn't quite as celebratory as we imagined. Lastly, Amaryn has three or four teeth poking through which means we have a fussy baby on our hands, but seriously who can blame her? That's a lot of teeth coming in at the same time! Poor baby!

Anyway, I don't write all of this to whine and complain. It hasn't been easy and unfortunately it's gotten the best of us at times during the past seven days, but there are always lessons to be learned. As I was taking some time to journal, pray, and read the bible this afternoon, I was considering all that had happened this past week. As I started writing in my journal, without really thinking about it, I wrote, "Thank you Lord for this house. Thank you for the plumbing issues and all the leaks." I wrote it but immediately was taken back, because I have felt a lot of things this past week, but thankful wasn't on the top of the list by any means. Yet what I wrote is what I want to be. I can be thankful for them because in them I know God has a purpose, and His purpose is perfect. So yes, thank you God for the leaky pipes and all the unexpected work that needs done. It also provides an excellent opportunity to trust God through it all, especially financially. I know God cares about our finances and I know He will provide for our needs, but I also know His goal is not our financial prosperity but our eternal prosperity. 

In the mean time, I pray I will remain faithful, trusting, and rejoicing. 

**I wrote this post 3 or so weeks ago now, and forgot to publish. Funny enough, about 5 minutes after writing it, Teá woke up from her nap, opened the refrigerator, and the unopened gallon of milk came crashing down, broke open, and spilled milk everywhere. Much of it went under the fridge, and since I couldn't move it by myself, I mopped up what I could and waited for Jason to come home that evening. When he got home he asked why there was a huge puddle of milk on the basement floor. Upon further investigation we found a gap along the baseboard behind the refrigerator that leaks out and down into the basement. The whole time, the word "Rejoice!" came to my mind, thanks to my writing this post earlier in the day. If for nothing else, I'm thankful for this place to jot down my thoughts and thankful that God continues to use them to challenge me.**