I went home last night and did the complete opposite of what I've been writing about recently. Driving home, I noticed how dirty my car had gotten, and upon arriving home, I noticed how lacking my home is and that what I do have needed straightening and cleaning. This sent me into a tail-spin of a foul mood ~ the mood that used to prevail most days, 3 years ago. But that's not me any more. And I knew it was wrong and so completely out of balance, even as I yelled at my children and husband. As the ugliness ejected from my mouth, in my head I was praying, "God please change my heart. Right now Lord, please stop me." Yet, on I went for hours. Hours people, the whole time hating myself and knowing how wrong I was, yet still trying to justify my diarrhea of the mouth (sorry for the graphic description, but truth!). My precious children felt badly enough to take it upon themselves to go out and clean my entire car while I continued my tirade in the basement, alone.
How many times can you say sorry before it loses it's effectiveness? Because I've said this sorry way too many times, and I could see on their faces last night that they were thinking, "yeah, sorry this time, again...". And as children do, they will forgive. But as I looked, I could see in their faces that I haven't changed as much as I thought I have. Because I still have to say sorry, much too often, for similar rampages. While my heart says this is no longer the way, my mouth and mind have a mind of their own, and are out of balance with my heart. Again ~ a lack of balance between what is on the inside and what I actually do in this world. And I hurt them last night because of it. You may be saying it's just one little rampage, but all those little rampages have changed my children's hearts. I could see that last night. And my husband looks at me with confusion and disappointment. I can hear him thinking "I thought we were past this, and I want to believe you are different, but here we are again."
So I went to my room. Tail between my legs, knowing how wrong I was and questioning God, saying, "See Lord, this is what I am talking about. I need balance! I need the inside to be seen! I need to go deeper in You and get over myself and make this choice to walk with you Full FORCE! No more lukewarm, when I feel like it or when I have time. Change my heart Father! Help me see the blessings that surround me rather than all that I don't have!" Here I must mention that earlier in the evening, in my mad haze of cleaning, I found a book that I have never seen before. I noted the oddity that it was in my living room, and moved on. Remember ~ mad haze! When I went to my room, I intended to watch a movie and zone out for a while before bed. Well, God had different plans, because my DVD player refused to work. So I said, ok, I'll read. That was when I went and picked up the book I had found earlier, still no idea where it had come from.
All I can say is, thank you Father! Your timing is impeccable and the way you know my heart is seen in your ways. Thank you for your grace and for showing me that the discomfort I've been feeling inside is actually You, prodding me further along in our walk. You do have much bigger plans for me and mine, but first we have to work out the kinks, and last night was one of those kinks. But you are providing the tools and people needed to truly change my ways in order to walk closer to you. You will bring me to the place where sorry's are farther and fewer between. Do your thing Lord! Amen!
And then this morning, I was reminded of how extremely blessed I am. A friend wrote this, and I thanked God. Being upset last night because my house is less than I desire now seems absurd and I realize how askew my focus is. I love how you do that Lord ~ so gently, but so impacting! In the past 15 hours, you have shown me:
~ that I am truly blessed...truly
~ my walk with you IS deepening
~ I have all that's needed to go deeper, but I must follow your lead
~ I must align my head and mouth with my heart and You
~ You are with me...always!
So, in recognition of Your awesome ways, today is a great day to re-cognize my blessings. Let's realize the Ways He Whispers "I Love You!" and add to the list.
Je suis reconnaissant:
58. While I complain about my job, it provides much for those I love.
59. Forgiveness given freely.
60. My vegetable garden, teaching me how to grow.
61. Honesty ~ not always easy, but always worth it.
62. Patrick's desire to grow an orange tree.
63. Quicker & quicker recognition of stumbles.
64. Watching bubbles float by on a lazy wind.
65. Mckenzie's missing teeth, reminding me that she will grow but I can always hold her heart in mine.
66. The touch of a kind word.
67. Laughter that touches the soul.
68. A clean car.
69. New perspectives.
70. Authors who have the courage to put it out there for all to be affected.
71. Clarity creating clarity.
72. A narrow path.
73. Choices made that get me back on the narrow path.
74. Realizing that everything involves a choice.
75. The desire to be better.
76. Love given.
77. Knowing I'm loved.
I got this fantastic idea of counting our blessings as a way to praise Him from an incredible woman, named Ann Voskamp. If you are interested in reading more about this, and joining her Gratitude Community, see here. As she says, once you start it's very hard to stop! Blessings and love to all!