Thursday, April 8, 2010

God Gave Me Grace

Day 57 Sweet Girl

We need a new couch and chairs for our living room badly. They are literally falling apart. The other night we were out looking at furniture. The place we visited closed exactly 1 hour after we arrived, so we didn't have a lot of time to look at the vast selection the store has.

On your mark, get set … GO! That's how I felt. I was quickly perusing the couches, trying to get it all in while we had time. About 15 minutes into our search Grace announced, "I need to go potty!!" I was frustrated. It seems like she ALWAYS has to go potty at times like that. But we were in family store, so I nicely asked made Lydia take Grace to the potty for me. All was well … until Lydia came out and announced (for all to hear) that Grace had gone poopy and wanted me. Grrr. I did say that at the time - out loud. Sigh. I did that too … and loudly. Again, I was frustrated and irritated.

I love my husband so much. Immediately upon hearing my pity party he said, "I think God gave you Grace to teach you about what's important in life." Mumbling under my breath I marched to the bathroom and helped Grace. When I got there, I sighed again. Not because of Grace, but because of me. I knew in that instant that Brandon was right. I wanted to cry, but I thought it would be best for everyone if I waited to lose it.

I have been pondering that statement every moment since Monday evening. Literally … every.waking.moment. I am self-centered. When I think about it I am utterly amazed at the amount of self-absorption in my heart. Truly I wonder so often why the Lord let me have children at all.  How can I be a good mother and be so consumed with myself?

This has been an ongoing battle within for many years.   For far too long I have thought that the most important thing in life is … me!  There, I said it.  I admit it.  Although I know that I am not the center of the universe, I really believe that I am.  You know what I mean? In other words, I live my life as if I really am the center. This is a problem, no?  Yes.  A HUGE problem ... a GIGANTIC issue that causes me trouble daily. I lose my temper, I become angry, I get irritated and frustrated, and I know that I make others around me uncomfortable (at the very least!).

Grace is a wonderful little girl. She is full of life and so loving and fun. And she is stubborn and headstrong. She gives me a run for my money. She has been a source of tremendous joy, as well as a source of contention, since she was born.

Ah yes. A source of contention. Do you know what contention means? A striving to win in competition; a rivalry. I think that is an appropriate word here - the best one actually. I really think that God is using her in my life to show me that the sun doesn’t rotate around me. But man, have I ever been in a competition with her! And what is funny is that she is not competing with me. She has no idea. She’s just doing the childish thing. She is, after all, a child.

As I sit here and type this it sounds so silly to say it. I mean, I’m an adult, almost 40 (gasp!), and I should know better. But I guess I don’t.

I have absolutely no idea how to change. As Paul writes, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” I truly hate it. I hate being so selfish. I know that it leads to difficulty, not only for me, but also for my family and my friends when they have to endure it. But I have no idea how to change.

"I think God gave you Grace to teach you about what's important in life." Sigh. I know that he’s right. I want to learn this lesson. But how do I change? I guess awareness is the first step ...
Day 26 coloring pages


  1. WOW Heather. Thank you for your brutal honesty. You just said what 99% of us moms think but dare not say out loud. You are an amazing woman! Just one thing....did you find furniture?

  2. Wow...Heather, I soooooo needed to read this. I have an equivalent to your Josh. I battle with this strong-willed child every day and then constantly beat myself up over it. Like Grace, he has no idea -- he is simply being a child. Thank you for inspiring me today and assuring me that I AM NOT ALONE. And why do they ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom when time is of the essence or when the food comes out in a restaurant? It never boys always have to go and ALWAYS POOP! Mine are past the stage of needing my help BUT I always have to go see what's taking so long...glad I'm not alone in that department either! Thanks for your should be a writer, books or a column, always hitting the nail on the head!!

  3. Oh, my friend....this is why I love you so. You can sum up what I as a mommy feel every day....and you do it much more eloquently than I ever could! :) As far as how to change....I've been dealing with that on a couple of issues lately, and I think you're absolutely right that awareness is the first step. I've had to learn to take that awareness with me through every moment, so that I can be aware of those things at the time they start to raise their ugly selves again....and then right in those moments, learning to lean on God for the strength to do the right thing. But, ugh! It's so hard!! I love you (and your sweet Grace) much!

  4. We're all selfish. And not just moms, dads too. We're born that way, and, God willing, spend the rest of our lives learning NOT to be that way. It is the same with all sin. Our entire life is a refining process, and it is usually no fun when the "junk" gets brought to the surface. There are things about living here in TZ that absolutely bring out the worst in me. And God reminds me, "These people are my children, too. Love them like I do." I feel as if I can't. I know I can't. But His power in me can.

  5. Your Grace sounds just like my Grace!


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