Thursday, March 12, 2009

Consistent Grace

Lately, It seems that everywhere I look, I see my own failures.

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 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:

Orchid buds

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.

Sometimes it's more than just a bud

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.

Orchid buds

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.
Proverbs 16:3


The Pettiette's said...

You are such a great writer. And a great woman, mother, wife, sister in christ and even greater friend. Don't get down on yourself. We all do the best we can in the time we have....there just isn't enough of that "time" thing when you are raising 3 little ones:) I know that now! You are awesome!- Don't forget it.

~Shari said...

oh What a touching story!


Mells said...

I agree with the first comment... you ARE a great writer among ALL of the other things that you are FANTASTIC at!!! (Wife, mommy, daughter, sister, and FRIEND, etc...) You are doing a wonderful job and no doubt God is in you and it POURS THROUGH YOU whenever I see you! :) I love you and always know that you are doing WONDERFUL!!!

Kelly said...

Wow, all the ways that I can identify with this...

I currently have at least five mostly-dead plants around my house, including one tragic orchid, because I lack the same consistency.

This story is just a perfect picture of how we give him our imperfection and He gives us something beautiful, because His grace is bigger than our mistakes.

Raena said...

My son is strong willed an NOT on a rountine...

My house is almost never clean...

I don't and NEVER will wake up before my kids do (well, maybe when they are teenagers)...

I do uncooking because it is easy and fast, I'm not a "cook" at all...

I am confident that God doe not require us to fit into a certain mold called "good mom" or "good wife". You are who He made you to be - beautiful and wonderfully made.

Great post, nice writing!

Austin and Ashley Evans said...

First of all, you are BEYOND amazing! I have always admired you more than you will ever know.

And I think we all feel the emotions that you described because many days, I am there too. I cant even imagine once Im a mom!

You are amazing and I love you to pieces! Thank you for sharing your heart!

Meesh said...

Sweatheart(even though you're older then me ;)...the measure of your worth and accomplishment is NOT measured by your clean house, cooking abilities, timeliness, or even the hour at which you awake. I now I don't have to mention it, but I am. God sees you as worthy enough to die for even before you knew Him. God sees worth where it really counts. And your family, friends, and CHILDREN will, too. I think, also, a lesson to be learned from your orchids is that the worlds view of consistency might not always match up with Gods. Jeez, or even mine for that matter! ;) We're living in an OCD world. I think they can learn a lot from a more laid back attitude. :D Love you! See you tomorrow!