hither and thither

This afternoon as I started to put together a blog post I was quite dejected.  It seemed like things were unraveling like a ball of yarn being chased by a cat.  As though I could not get ahead of it, the cat just kept going and going and the yarn the same.

But now, tonight I have a quiet house, the fire heating the house up nicely, and reflecting on how things took another turn later in our day.

Hither and Thither – we read this often in our school books.  Not a phrase we hear much these days (unless you read some of the books we do that is!).  But it still has defined my day – in a sense.

Sometimes I read something that can be so “encouraging,” but  instead of encouraging me, it really just piles on a few more suitcases of guilt to drag along on my day.

I think that is what led to this day of crazy, topsy-turvy turns.  I began the day after reading a very inspiring message meant to inspire us homeschool mothers.  Instead of feeling inspired, I felt like I have been failing in many areas.  I think it pointed out the origin of a fundamental problem I am currently dealing with, and the pointing went to my actions. 

Then, throughout the day I saw this take a stronger shape in my children’s behavior.   To be specific they were completely rude and mean to each other many times – but it really was more than just being mean.

So what do you do when you come to a place – and you see that you are the cause of something that you are not in favor of?  When you know that this wrong behavior really is a mirror back to you?  That is the question.

And then God whispered into my heart something that I said outloud on Sunday night – “You did not get here overnight, and you will not get out of this situation overnight.”  This was something we stated at our Dave Ramsey class.  None of us arrived in debt overnight – or quickly – and none of us will get out of it that way either. 

And he reminded me, rebuked me in a sense too :   yes, this is my fault.  I have done many things that have gotten us to this point.  But God has never been one to pile guilt on us – he does not want us walking around like we are defeated.  In fact, we need to often be reminded that we serve a VICTORIOUS God – and he is victorious in all things.  He wants us to cling to the hope we have in HIM.   He convicts our hearts – but not to drag around more guilt.

He reminded me to leave that bag of guilt at the door – to see what is in front of me, and to take a step in the right direction and fix things.   We do not fix things over night, at least not very often.  And habits do not change overnight.  No.  Habits are changed one day at a time.  One step at a time.

It’s how we eat an elephant – one bite at a time.

I knew that I needed to work on using kinder words toward my children.  I know that my tone could use some work many days.  But today I think God really wanted to show me where we will all end up if I do not start eating that elephant.

So, in the future when I read one of those lovely little snippets of how we can make life wonderful in our home despite the ______ (fill in the blank) – when the perfect solution is offered (in hindsight) – I will choose to tell myself that “Had I known that then, maybe I could have done things different.  Today all I can change is myself and this day.”  I will choose to leave that lovely suitcase of guilt right where it is.  Because, once again, I serve a victorious God, one who has conquered sin, the sins I have committed, and the ones I have yet to commit.  And while I do my best to minimize those sinful acts in my life, I know they will continue to come, because I am human.

But I am a daughter of THE KING – and he wants the best for me, and he will equip me to be the mother He wants me to be, despite my human-ness.  He chose me for these four children – I am the one he CHOSE.  So I will rest in him, his trust in me, and his leading me as I continue along this journey of life.

~For the final turn of my day, as I went to tell the boys to turn off their lights, there my oldest son sat reading to his youngest brother – by choice, of his own free will.  He chose to invest in his little brother rather than read his own book.  It seems sometimes they listen to the words I say! 🙂


1 thought on “hither and thither

  1. This post really touched my heart Janelle. I have struggled for years with “mom guilt”. Now that Kaden is 6 and old enough for me to see all of my flaws showing up in him it has only added to my guilt. Thank you so much for your words…such an encouragement! I needed that!

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