I often wonder if I really AM learning, growing, changing, becoming more like my Lord Jesus?
Sometimes I sense the Holy Spirit shutting my mouth and I actually obey! WOW! Other times it isn't until I've responded like my 3 year old and THEN realize that I didn't even hear the caution in my heart. (sigh)
I see those around me changing.
I see my teens - their desire to do right, to please the Lord. Sure they blow it sometimes. . . but I see their tender hearts when they come to talk and make things right. Their willingness to ask forgiveness and mend the relationship. The Christ-like character that is developing in them.
I see my Coach. How the Lord has softened him over the years. Given him a desire to pour his life into his own kids. How he doesn't lose his temper. How he loves God's Word (he always has) and makes it a priority (even when I'm too tired to crawl out of bed). I've seen him become a man of humility. Learning to have a grateful heart and a learning spirit.
I've watched my parents. Over the years they have had a desire to grow and change and learn. Learned to say "I don't know," instead of always having to have the answer. Learning to ask forgiveness and admit they are wrong. Learned to be slow to judge and quit to offer grace.
I see God working in my little ones. Their questions about Him. Their love for His Word. Their desire to do right and show kindness and love. How they are more sensitive than I am to what is right and how important it is to obey.
I see Him at work all around me.
But sometimes I wonder. . . will I ever change?
I lose my patience. I holler at the kids when they have ignored my instructions. I fail to take the time to help them work through their conflict with one another and instead I just let it go. I get frustrated when the Coach is gone four evenings out of five. I lose it when I have spent hours washing and folding clothes only to have them never put it all away (or worse yet, put it right back into the basket still folded!) I am irritated when my hours in the kitchen conclude with grumpy faces around the dinner table. Some nights I don't want to spend 45 minutes tucking in the younger 6, singing songs, praying, scratching backs, and catching up with the older two before falling into bed, myself. I am selfish. Impatient. Quick to anger. Intolerant of the childishness.
I so grateful that God is faithful. I may not always feel it, but I know and believe and trust and hope that He isn't tired of working on me. I'm going to continue to say "I'm sorry, will you forgive me?" I'm going to continue to confess to Him my total inability to be the mom and wife and daughter and friend that I should be. I'm going to submit to Him every day, every hour, every moment, trusting that "He who began a good work in you . . . will be faithful to complete it."
I realize that I won't be "complete" until heaven. But I know He's working in me. And someday? Someday I will learn to be more patient. More long suffering. More self LESS. But I won't get there just by trying harder. Take my word for it, I'm the queen of trying harder! Only by God's grace, the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the instruction, teaching, correcting and training of His Word. (II Timothy 3:16)
How blessed we are to know that we serve a living God who cares intimately for us and is working on us to conform us to the image of His Son. There is hope!
And in the meantime? Don't be surprised if you hear me yelling out the back door to a yard full of happy, playing, jumping, swinging kids. . . "You'd better get in here and put your laundry away! NOW!"