Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thorns and Beauty


I have come to a conclusion this evening. I have concluded that children were created by God to see how well we can control ourselves. Well I have failed. In ten years of motherhood, I have sworn more times than I did prior to becoming a mom - and I'm about to turn 37 yrs old. Everyone has a vice/thorn they must contend with, mine is my mouth and the fact that when my kids tick me off, it takes all the self-control I have to not swear.
I love my children, I don't beat my children, I don't drink or do drugs or purposely endanger my children, but no one else on the planet can make me cuss with such vigor as my children.
Are they cute? Yes, I think they are adorable. Do they do funny things? Sure, all kids are cute and funny it's how they survive to see adulthood - they make you laugh at the most opportune times. However, they also can infuriate you to no end with their mouths, picking eating habits, and getting into things they shouldn't or refusing to quiet themselves when you've even pulled the car over several times and told them to be quiet.
And yet with all this infuration and aggravation comes the cool times too. The quiet moments when it's cold outside and you watch some movie, they love and they snuggle under the blankets with you. Or when they come out of the bathtub clean and smelling amazing - I love that beautiful clean baby smell. Or when you've finished nursing and they are sleeping contented and peaceful and smile in their sleep. Those are the things you remember when you are struggling to let your kid live to see another day. Odd I know, but true.
I share this with you because I do share my faith out loud, but I also think that in sharing it is important to be honest that I struggle. Outside, I look like the perfect church girl who has grown up in the church, but inside, I struggle with a need to be in control. I struggle to keep my mouth clean and to use it to glorify God, I too could throttle my child when they do something absolutely, insanely stupid, like keep running their mouth or making a poor choice on the computer. Everyone has a weakness, and the Bible assures us that in our weakness, God's strength is perfect. I love Steven Curtis Chapman's song, that states:
His strength is perfect, when our strength is gone.
He'll carry us when we can't carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong.
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.
Those moments when our children drive us to want a drink, do drugs, or swear at them - or even want to physically harm them, He is with us and He is there. Those are the times you sometimes put them and you in a time out and go sit somewhere and take a few deep breaths. I know sometimes this is easier said than done. Several times, I have enjoyed sadistically grounding Sarah for a month or longer only later to reduce it because once I am a calm and sane woman whose teen hasn't driven her to the point of yelling and actually being speechless - I see reason and I reduce the sentence. In part, because I think it is important that Sarah realize that no one is a perfect person and that parents are learning as they go and they will make mistakes. It's a part of being human, but also because I know it is important that I show her examples of grace and mercy.
What is your vice? What thorn plagues you? Whatever that thorn is, God knows it. It's no secret to Him. He sees the darkest recesses of your heart, soul and mind and He loves you still. Even if you think whatever it is will make you unloveable in His eyes. There is no sin too great He cannot cleanse it and make you whole.
Stacy Orricco (sp?) sang these words several years ago. I leave you with them.
As I rest against this cold hard wall.
Oh will you pass me by.
Will you criticize me as I sit and cry.
I had fought so hard and thought that all my battles had been won.
Only to find the war has just begun.
Is he not strong enough. Is he not pure enough.
To break me, pour me out, and start again.
Is he not brave enough to take one chance on me.
Please can I have one chance to start again.
Will my weakness for an hour make me suffer for a lifetime.
Is there anyway to be made whole again.
If I'm healed, renewed, and find forgiveness.
Find the strength I never had will my scars forever ruin all God's plans.
Is He not strong enough. Is He not pure enough.
To break me, pour me out and start again.
Is he not brave enough to take one chance on me.
Please can I have one chance to start again.
He took my life into his hands and turned it all around.
In my most desperate circumstance, it's there I finally found.
That you are strong enough, that you are pure enough.
To break me, pour me out and start again.
That you are brave enough to take one chance on me.
Thank you for my chance to start again.
Have a good weekend and God bless.
Love in Christ,
Maureen

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