I've been reading Rachel Jankovic's book "Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches," and boy has it been good. It's one of those reads that makes you feel like the author is peeking through your window and putting words to your crazy life.
The book has opened my eyes to many areas of my "mommy-ing" that could use some major improvement. Rachel starts chapter two with the words, "I remember when I used to be much godlier." Whoa, me to! At least I "felt" godlier. The trials and tests were few and far between back then. I wasn't wrestling with matters of the heart every single day like I am now.
I used to look back on that time and think that it was the peak of my spiritual growth. Today I have a different view.
Don't get me wrong, I think I was growing spiritually back then, but it was a different kind of growth. I believe that God used that time to lay a foundation of truth into my life. You see, Biblical truth is needed to shed light on every circumstance that comes into our lives. Psalm 119:105 says that God's Word is "a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path." If we truly believe this, then we must evaluate every life situation in the light of God's Word. We must have a foundation of truth.
So when God so graciously placed me in the throws of raw motherhood, without a doubt, I knew that my foundation of truth would be tested like never before. And, friends, my faith has surely been tested. And the tests keep coming. Every moment of every day. There is an opportunity for growth at every corner in my world today. Do I always take it? No. In fact, sometimes I fail the same test over and over and over again. It's hard. Addressing my children requires me to address myself. To look inside and deal with the sin in my own heart. Trust me, I do plenty repenting and apologizing.
Thankfully, I serve a very merciful and kind God. He easily forgives and we move on together. My sin is not thrown in my face the next time I fail. He knows that growth will come through failure. And His desire is to see me grow. What a great parent He is to me. What a great example He is of what kind of parent I should be to my own children. We're all growing together. The only difference is that I am the authority in my children's lives, so there is a greater responsibility in the way that I handle my own sin and the way that I handle theirs.
Is this stuff easy? No way. Have I figured it out? F-a-r from it. But I have taken a few baby steps. Enough steps to know that this journey is worth it. If the goal is to be like Jesus, he's given me just the right circumstance to make me more like Him.