This is taken from my journal in February, but could fairly easily describe a day like today or many others over the past five years.
I am in a bad mood this evening. The day started off great. I went to MOPS and we had a wonderful speaker, Sylvia Lange. Her heart is focused on helping impoverished children worldwide; and sharing the truth, joy, and love that Christ offers us. Her music and talk blessed me immensely... and then I came home with the kids. They were being so naughty, mean to each other, and whiny. And I've been so impatient and frustrated.
I feel like I have the worst behaved kids on the planet today. Which must mean I'm doing things terribly wrong as a mother. Why don't they listen and obey? Why do they hurt each other? Why are they so whiny? I know in part it is because they are 2 and 4 years old. And I know much of my emotional response and impatience today are caused by hormones. Yuck!
But I also wonder if it could be largely a spiritual attack. I want so desperately to make a difference in the lives of hurting children in the world. I want to add to my family through adoption. Then I have days like this. And my mind screams at me, "You are not capable of that." "You will always be a depressed and anxious mess." "Who are you to think you can make a difference?" "You can't even do a decent job raising your own children."
I want to be realistic. But I also want to have faith, to be bold in Christ. "God, what is your truth? What is your plan for me? Can you use me in this stage of life? Or are my dreams and desires in place for sometime in the future?" So tonight, instead of dwelling on my bad mood and doubts, I'm going to do my best to replace those thought with God's word and truth. Here is where God is leading me this evening.
James 1 (all of it!) The following passages in particular.
James 1: 2-6 Consider it pure JOY, my (sisters), whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
This whole chapter, the whole book of James really, is SO applicable to me right now, I could write it all down. I encourage you to take the time to read James! That being said, just a couple more parts that stand out to me currently.
James 1: 19-22
(Shauna), take note of this: You should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for your anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself. Do what it says!
James 1: 26-27
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself ad his religion is worthless. Religion that God our accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Please God, work in my heart and mind. Help me to serve you fully, despite my weaknesses and limitations. Please give me wisdom as a wife, mother, friend, and as your hands and feet in this world. Please help me to listen to your truth and not the lies of this world or my own emotions. Amen