Wednesday, April 05, 2017

A Mother's Tale of Woe. And Hope!

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched (wo)man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 7:15-25
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
I am not the only mother who sometimes thinks these words could have been extracted from her very own heart, am I?
The other night I chastised Josh for putting half a bag of croutons on his salad. (OK. Maybe I'm exaggerating. A little.) And he came back with something like, "Gee, Mom, you could have been happy that I'm eating salad." Which is so true. The boy almost never eats the vegetables I make for dinner. Many nights I don't even suggest such consumption anymore. Because he's 19, and I think we're past me needing to tell him what to eat.
Anyway, I feigned despair and said, "Oh! I have failed you. Forgive me!" And we joked past the moment. But the memory has stayed with me, and it's driving me nuts!
I find myself often prone to noticing the things my kids do wrongly, or simply don't do at all. Like undone or incomplete chores. Or drowning out the taste of vegetables with using too many croutons. And I tend to point out their error.
You missed some spots on the table. Will you please wipe it again?
I asked you not to eat pizza in the guest bedroom. Go sit at the table.
The trash is nearly overflowing. Will you empty it right now, please?
Is all that dirt from your shoes?
Do you really need that many croutons on your salad???
And on it goes.
Most of the time, my requests are legitimate: The table needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Pizza on a white bed spread is a recipe for disaster. The trash needs to be emptied. One should check their shoes if they've been walking in mud. i.e.Fishing!

But the response I got about the croutons let me know how I must sound when offering all these corrections.

It took me back to days when I was at work and I felt like my boss noticed and highlighted every little (and I do mean "little") thing I did wrong. I remember so often wanting to ask if she noticed A, B, and C which I did very well. It was in those days I said to myself that I would never speak to someone that way. I would never make a person feel as though they aren't doing anything right. Rather, I would always remember to point out the things they're doing well.
Yet, here I am - doing that very thing to the people I love most.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
*heavy sigh*

However, I find hope in Paul's words to the church in Rome, because I am reminded that I am not alone in my struggle. I am a wretched mess, yes. I do the things I don't want to do, yes. But through Jesus Christ and by the power of His blood, I am being delivered. God is changing my heart, and He is sanctifying me.
Lord, I come to You with a broken and contrite heart, asking only that You would make me into the woman YOU want me to be. May I be a reflection of my loving Savior!


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