Anger welled up within me like a volcano ready to erupt. Except this time I didn’t completely contain it. Harsh words spewed from my mouth, and the only relief from the struggle inside me came when Alyssa grinned at me and said, “Drew’s in twubble.”
That says something when your 2-year-old no longer gets scared when Mommy raises her voice. Instead she finds it entertaining.
As promised in my last post, I wasn’t about to proclaim that I had self-control in the bag. And Sunday afternoon proved it.
Reflecting on what went wrong – why I was able to control myself so well one day and lose control another – I started considering the verse I shared in my last post:
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5
The day I kept control, what was my mind focused on? First, I made an intentional decision to honor God in my words. Second, I made an intentional decision to demonstrate to Drew self-control in the midst of provocation. Third, I ultimately had Drew’s spiritual needs at the forefront of my mind. I had to set a good example in self-control if I ever expected him to grasp it.
The day I lost control, what was my mind focused on? First, I wasn’t feeling well and Matt wasn’t home to help me with the kids. Second, I had a list of things I felt like I needed to get done on that Sunday afternoon (plant my fall garden, catch up on laundry, cut and freeze okra from the garden, get a report ready for church that night, relax and watch football). Nowhere in my mind was honoring God or being a good example to Drew. I was in Martha-mode and I had to get my to-do list completed before I could even consider anyone else’s needs.
That is a mind set on the things of the flesh.
And THAT is why I failed that day.
Did you notice that none of the things I listed are bad? When I think of flesh I immediately think of sin, but perhaps this isn’t always the case. The flesh can be otherwise good things that get in the way of Spirit-things.
This verse in Romans 8 is my new memory verse. I must ingrain it in my mind so that God may speak it to my heart when I’m tempted to put the things of the flesh in front of the things of the Spirit.
And being a Martha (or choleric, or Type-A…whatever you want to call me), this will be quite the challenge. But my hope is found just a few verses down in Romans 8:11: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
Just like last week, I can’t speak for my future. I may not be victorious in every instance from here forward. But I can work on today.
By the way, Drew just woke up and my to-do list is quite long this morning. Time to practice. 🙂
Elizabeth Churning says
love reading your blogs…your an inspiration to me and even though I am much older. I still admire and look up to you as to the person you have become Jill…Your parents must be so happy, that they raised you up to be this fine young lady.
You are too kind, Elizabeth. thank you.
Midon Wingo says
Thank you for this awesome reminder Jill. I mess up daily with the kiddos and all I can do is ask forgiveness, move on, and try to do it right the next time. I personally have really been working on using “Pleasant words”. Ruth picks up on my attitude way quicker than any of the other children and she is the one I always have attitude problems with….hmm……………yep, I think this one is falling back on me. I will work on memorizing this verse as well and keeping it in the forefront of my thoughts. We seem to always have great days if I start out focused on the Lord and then project that on to the children, but days when i start out feeling behind on a major to-do-list….well those days don’t usually come out so great! Ruth told me yesterday “I thought today was going to be a good day mom! I really thought so when I woke up!”. Yep, I had a major to-do list yesterday……..I will practice today as well 🙂
Thank you Jill for sharing this!! I can very much relate to this, as can just about any mom who strives to be a Godly example daily to her children!! It’s not easy!! It takes disciPline that does not come within ourselves, but only from God!!! I enjoy your blog girl, keep up the good work!!! : )
Thanks, Sarah! You were on my mind this morning actually. I hope everything is going well with your beautiful family!
Tammy Goins says
Each day is a new one in which God gives us His grace and the opportunity to try again. In this busy life it is so very easy to fall into that which is good instead of that which is best. I wish I could tell you that I have mastered the self-control issue, but there are still times when I mess up miserably and am ever thankful God knows I’m human and in need of His mercy and forgivness. Keep on keeping on!
Good or best….hadn’t thought of that, but that would be a good measuring line. I always appreciate your perspective.