Every day I put love on the line. There is nothing I am less good at than love. I am far better in competition than in love. I am far better at responding to my instincts and ambitions to go ahead and make my mark than I am at figuring out how to love another. I am schooled and trained in acquisitive skills, in getting my own way. and yet I decide, every day, to set aside what I can do best and attempt what I do very clumsily – open myself to the frustrations and failures of loving, daring to believe that failing in love is better than succeeding in pride.
This is a quote by Eugene Peterson’s book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. I am still slowly making my way through it because it has so much hard to hear stuff. This quote in a strange way really sums up my feelings about being a stay-at-home mom. My current job of staying at home with my boys challenges me more than any job I have previously worked at or even dreamed of:) I now know that it completely goes against any natural bent I have. Truly refining my character…at least that is the hope!
It is not hard to feel love toward my children. But to act out that love, continually denying myself, not allowing myself to become impatient, putting their wants and needs first, denying them things they want but don’t need…although it may mean a battle or a bout with discipline, disciplining myself to be the example I am called to be instead of giving in to my unhealthy coping mechanisms, looking to the Lord for direction and answers when it would be much easier to turn on the tv..tune into the computer or call a friend for trendy advice…I find that very hard to do consistently, daily, hourly, moment by moment.
Of course unfortunately so often I fail. I guess it is good we don’t get quarterly reviews because I certainly wouldn’t receive my bonus:) I am a work in progress! These verses have renewed application in my life these days…
Philippians 1:6, 9-11
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.