Three weeks under our belt and I have to be honest, it hasn't been easy. The actual school work hasn't been difficult, no tears over math yet, and my sweet chicks have been agreeable for the most part. It's the mommy/teacher part that is struggling. God has been impressing upon me several things about myself, not necessarily comfortable things; in fact, they rather sting.
I've been reading through Job which is not one of my favorite books of the Bible. Usually, I'll read Job's passages and skim over his friends' responses because who wants to read such discouragement. But as I've gotten almost half way through the book, I find myself relating, not to Job, who was an amazing man of God, but instead I find myself being a reflection of his friends. Critical... judgemental... wise in their own eyes... a literal know-it-all... It's a miserable place to be. I was so convicted by an article that's been floating around Facebook called, "Mom vs. Mom: The War I Didn't See Coming." She breaks it down to two main weapons: imitation and judgement. We (pointing my finger directly at myself) spend so much time comparing ourselves with other moms whether it's concerning how we educate our children, how we feed them, how we discipline, how we clean... the list goes on. But if we don't measure up to someone else, we then look for the judgement. We point fingers because somehow that removes the guilt and puts us back on the pedestal or at least in a safer place.
This past week, our verse was Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to one another." (abbreviated) My girls have struggled with applying this to each other, but understandably so, because their mama is struggling too. As a child, I had a weird fear that people could read my thoughts. I know... weird. But think about it. God knows our every thought. In Psalm 139:2, the psalmist cries out to God, "You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar." If this is true, which I firmly believe it is, then why do thoughts of judgement and comparison crowd my thoughts day after day?
My focus... my focus is no longer on Him. That is when those thoughts consume my mind. A mindset such as this cannot change overnight; it must confronted daily, not alone, but only with my Lord by my side. I found this lovely printable with the words of Elisabeth Elliot. It sits in my bathroom, nestled among sea shells in a basket. It has become my prayer each day, a reminder to keep my eyes only upon Him, and a challenge to encourage other mothers and wives in the journey we walk side by side.
May your weekend be peaceful, full of forgiveness and love for your loved ones.
May your focus be brought back to Him where there is true forgiveness.