At Charlie's Parent-Teacher conference, his teacher tells me that his strong-will is managed very well with a strict routine. And I hear "You've been failing your son, because you lack giving him a routine."
I go to a Bible Study for young moms and hear how important it is to wake up earlier than the kids, start the day off right with alone time with God. And I know it's true. I always feel so much better when I spend time communing with him. But 90% of the time I'm laying in bed 'til the kids require my attention, savoring every moment of rest I can get. And I hear "How do you expect your sons to love the Lord consistently if you can't discipline yourself?"
Chuck offered to take the boys one evening so I could rest at home. I told him not to, because then I'd just have guilt that I didn't seize the opportunity to clean house simply because I'm tired. Of course, he kinda looked at me funny. I know, it's ludicrous, but I still hear "you're a failure as a housekeeper."
It's a happy day when I manage to get dinner (and even lunch) on the table on time. It's also a rarity. And I hear, "You're a failure at caring for your family. And you're not too good at cooking either."
I was at the grocery store a few days ago, and saw a bunch of orchid plants on sale because the blooms were dying. I love orchids, and was so tempted to save some. But then I thought of the orchid plants I have at home; some of which I've had for years now...and no blooms. So I passed on them, once again reminded that I fail...so why even try?
It's not that I can't successfully do anything, it's just that I majorly lack at consistency. And sometimes I feel pity for myself because the weight of my responsibilities seems like more than I can bear. But usually I'm crying out to God to give me strength, and live through me. Enable me to be consistent. Help me keep my priorities in order. Show me how to stop failing.
And then it happened.
I walked into my bathroom where my orchid plants reside today, and saw this:
I nearly cried. After 3.5 long years of watering them as often as I can remember (not consistent, mind you), they chose to produce buds. When I'd nearly given up hope, God gave me a sign. A gift of grace.
Really, He's the one that gives the fruit. My efforts are pointless apart from Him. And in His grace, He took my feeble attempts and made something beautiful.
Thank You, Lord, for the reminder that only in You is anything possible.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.