Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Under Construction: Please Note the Progress

So last week, one of the things which was keeping me so busy was the work I had to do at one of our rental houses. I had to prepare some walls for painting and repair cracks in one of the ceilings.

I hate repairing cracks.

Because after you take care of the big ones, the smaller ones - which weren't so obvious in the beginning - suddenly look enormous. And how can you leave them alone?
So I put tape over the smaller cracks and mudded them up.

But then the really small cracks looked bad.

So I...
Said, "Forget it. I'm done!" After three mornings of repair work I'd had enough. I decided this would just have to do. And I came home.

When I pulled into the driveway I paused for a minute, looked at the weeds by the garage, and decided I'd dig them up before I went inside. But as I did that, I saw more weeds around the corner. So I went after them.
Which led to the backyard.
Where there were more weeds.

I'm sure you know what I did.

When I was finished and made my way back to the garage, I noticed a few more weeds which I hadn't seen before. So I stopped and dug them up.
And all of a sudden little tiny sprouts were catching my eye and I thought, This will never end!
Thoroughly frustrated, I said, "Forget it. I'm done." And I came inside.

But once I got in, I realized God wasn't done. Because I couldn't let go of thoughts about my tendency to never be satisfied. And I began to ask Him, God, why can't I ever be happy with progress? Why do I constantly see the thing that still needs to be fixed? What is it that keeps me from enjoying the work which has been done?
I thought about my kids, and my propensity to notice the things they leave un-done.
I considered how miserable it must be to have me as a mom some days.
I wondered when I'll ever figure out how to get it right with this mothering thing.
And I was all ready to have a beat-myself-up-for-not-being-perfect session, when God stepped in and handed me grace.

He reminded me of this post Leslie wrote last week - encouraging me to stop and notice the fruit He is producing in my children. And I felt as though He were saying to me, Karen, this isn't time to beat yourself up. I don't like it when you do that. I know there are still cracks in you and in your children which need repairing. I know there are some weeds that still need pulling. But darling, I want you to stop looking at them. Look at Me, and let Me remind you of the progress we've made.

Ah, yes!
I know I am not yet the woman God intends me to be.


I am also not the woman I used to be.

And for this, I give Him thanks and praise!

Do you struggle with noticing the progress, too?



Anonymous said...

Great one Karen! I have really been struggling with this one lately. All is good and I still can not figure out why I dwell on the negative. I really am so thankful for all he has done and continues to do in my life. Keep the eyes focused on the progress. Great reminder.

Pat Walsh

Irritable Mother said...

Pat - Thank you. I think this is something we need to be reminded of on a regular basis.

Amanda said...

Yes! Oh dear yes. I love the "I am not the woman God intends me to be, but I am also not the woman I used to be."

Very important for me to hear that today!

Thanks for your wisdom dear girl!


Patricia/NYC said...

I struggle with this every. single. day. But...& that's a big but ;)...God graced me with a tremendous amount of patience yesterday handling an "almost" meltdown by my daughter and the situation was easily diffused...& that is when I stopped & gave Him thanks & praise for that very situation...yes, I have many "cracks & weeds" & a long way to go, but like you said, "...I am not the woman I used to be"!

Great post, Karen, as usual!

On Purpose said...

Thank you Karen for this GREAT encouragement and start to my 'mommy day' as I truly need to stay focused on Him to do my job properly!

Irritable Mother said...

Amanda - I was hoping you would stop by and read this today.
Love you!!!

Patricia - Love that big BUT. *grin*
I'm glad you noticed Him yesterday in the midst of the 'almost' meltdown.

Nichole - That's right. Because we can't do it without HIM.

Anonymous said...

I am right beside you dear "Sistar"! And... I thank God every day for His mercy and grace, as I keep on pressing on :o}

Thanks for the encouragement!!

Blessings, Debby Ann

Jessica Nelson said...

I love this post!!! Yes, I do this ALL the time with chores. Actually, I tend to be doing one chore when I notice another so I take care of that and head back to the original chore but then notice something else...It's horrible! Like you, I just have to say forget it! and be content with doing one or two big things a day, leaving the rest for the next day, and so on.
Great tie-in to God, as usual. :-)

Irritable Mother said...

Debby Ann - You're welcome. And thanks for the ways you always encourage me. :)

Jessica - Yeah. I feel a little ADD when it comes to chores - going from one thing to the next in a matter of seconds. LOL!
As far as getting everything done, my husband is always quick to remind me, "It'll still be there tomorrow."
Yeah. Because no one else is going to do it. *sigh*

luvmy4sons said...

Aaawh. You sweetie! I am glad my post popped into your mind because it was also meant to remind us to see fruit in ourselves. Which you did! God isn't finished with us yet, is He? And you are not done with the house either. But take time to see the fruit! Love this post...I thought about all the weeds God is constantly pulling out in my life! Whew! Glad He doesn't tire and is so patient! Hugs!

Irritable Mother said...

Leslie - I'm thankful for His patience, too. And His perfect wisdom.
Love you!

Proverbs 27:19 said...



gianna said...

I am with Amanda in agreeing with you about not being the woman I want to be but I'm not the woman I used to be. I LOVE IT!

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Oooohhhhhh!!!! Yes, yes, yes, yes I am definitely going to be at gIRL, Lord willing. I am on the Board of Directors for gIRL and am in part of the prayer ministry. I will be overseeing the prayer room, so as long as the Lord lets me live I will definitely be there!!

I am SOOOO excited. So excited that I will finally be able to meet you and hug your neck. Can't wait!! Can't stinkin' wait!!


Irritable Mother said...

Larie - It's good to see you!

Gianna - I am so thankful I am not who I used to be. But I don't want to stop where I am right now. Trusting God to complete the work He has begun!

Leah - Yay, yay, YAY!
"Can't stinkin' wait!" That about sums it up for me, too.

BASSakward Tales said...

I LOVE IT! I have had so many episodes of beating myself up about my health and why I am not able to work right now, etc. Then almighty God hands me Grace. I so enjoy reading your blog. Together grace can conquer anything....

Irritable Mother said...

Gin - It's too easy to fall into that beat-myself-up mode. I want to get better at falling into grace.
So glad you're here with me!