A Bit of a Disaster

I knew it was coming. Life was too easy. I was too focused on Christ and counting everything as joy. It seems on the roller coaster of life, I can only stay on the uphill climb and the peak of the coaster so long before I come crashing down. Oh, how I pray that the day will come when I am solid, steadfast, a rock. But not today, and probably not anytime soon. Fortunately, "He's still working on me, to make me what I ought to be." (That would be great if I were technically savvy enough - and had the time - to post a video of Jack singing that little song. He's so cute when he sings.)

I love the holiday season. October through December is my absolute favorite time of year, which is a little odd considering I usually end up stressed out and stretched too thin every year. Why do I still love it so much? Maybe I'm still remembering my childhood and thinking, "This year has to be better, more like when I was 8." Ahh, the Good Ole Days. No bills, no awareness of "family issues," no dishes to wash or laundry to fold. Do you know what I always used to say when I was a kid? "I'M BORED!" What in the world was I thinking? Well, God solved that problem. :)

I digress. Okay, so we spent four days visiting/goofing off and having a good time with our family over Thanksgiving. It was nice and relaxing. It was WONDERFUL having other people do most of the planning and cooking. (What will I do when I'm the grandmother and have to do all that? Ugh.) The kids were entertained and we got to sit down. (Funny that sitting down is such a joy to me now.) There were only two problems, which spelled certain disaster for me: 1) I did not spend any meaningful time with the Lord. When I'm out of my routine, all self-discipline goes out the window. 2) The world didn't stop spinning. Clothes still got dirty. My calendar was still full. The toilet still got peed (how do you spell that?) in. People's tadpoles still died. (If you don't know, don't ask.) Basically, life met me head-on Sunday. If you didn't know, moms don't really get days off. And if they do, they have to make them up later.

So, with Sunday came the first signs of the avalanche of stress and emotions that was ahead. And on Monday...it was not pretty. As all this was occuring (and by "all this" I am referring to my horrible emotional reaction to all the stress piling up on me that manifested itself in lots of ranting, complaining, yelling, foot-stomping, huffing and puffing, and just general grumpiness mainly directed toward those who were unfortunate enough to be living under the same roof with me), I KNEW what was happening and why it was happening. My flesh and my sinful nature were taking over because I had let my guard down. I had neglected my time of renewing my mind in the truth of God's Word and focusing my thoughts on Him. I had failed to communicate with my Heavenly Father and the source of all my strength, peace, and joy. Though I knew what was going on and what I needed to do to end it, I had waited too late. My emotions were taking over and I had a huge uphill climb to get out of this miserable pit.

But, the Lord is gracious. His mercies never end. As I slowly and stubbornly began to struggle against my flesh and emotions, He met me where I was. He is so amazingly patient and forgiving. As Psalm 103 says: 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. That's me. A big ball of dirt.

Today is better, but I still have a ways to go before I'm counting all my trials as joy again. However, God has gently reminded me of His faithfulness to me, and I am so grateful to Him. I am determined that, with God's help, I will not make this same mistake again this month (we have to set realistic goals, don't we?). I don't want this very special and meaningful time of year that should be all about Him to be miserable for me and my family because I'm too busy to spend time with Him. I want this Christmas to be about Christ more than it's ever been before. I want Him to be glorified in my words and in my actions, but that's impossible without the power of Christ Himself in me. I encourage each of you to make this whole hustley, bustley season completely focused on Him (as everyday should be) so that people would be drawn to the Savior through you. (And if you see me acting like Ebenezer Scrooge, kick me.) Merry Christmas!


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