The past couple of days I felt discouraged over many things. Cranky children, the house being a bit disorderly, continuous battling with skin infections, feeling like the children are "falling behind" in school, cold house at night brings on trouble with bed wetting for a few little ones thus more laundry, some discouraging comments, and frustrated over how I was reacting to everything.
In the midst of all this, a dear friend of mine wrote me an email. She had a "bad" day and asked me a couple of questions...
"Do your children talk nicely and work cheerfully all the time? And do you always talk sweetly? And is your house always kept clean and in order? "
I had to laugh thinking that think I have had to ask for forgiveness almost every day from the Lord or Daniel or one/all of the children for years.
I wrote my sweet friend back this morning and wanted to share here a couple things that I shared with her. I didn't write back right away because at the moment I got her email and that entire day in fact, I felt on the verge of tears. But she got me thinking about a couple of things. Yesterday afternoon, I took out my journal and wrote down all the things that were weighing heavily upon my heart. And as I knew I needed to do, I opened my Bible and read for a while asking the Lord to encourage and covict me with His Word. As I prayed for Him to help, I knew He would answer. Then last night, Daniel, who was the "blessed" recipient of my cries, gripes, complaints, and struggles the past couple of days, asked one of the ladies from our church to stay with the children after we put the little ones to bed and then he took me out and gave me food for my tummy and for my soul.
How I thank the Lord for my husband! He is always so wise and often so much righter than I. That is not to say he doesn't have his faults or is by any means perfect. There was a time that it seemed my eyes only saw his faults. Even as the Lord gave him victory over so many of them, I continued to focus on all I thought he did/said wrong.
How I praise the Lord for how He's worked in my heart! No matter what fault my husband may have, the Lord can and wants to use him to guide, direct, and lead our home. As I have continued to realize this and asked the Lord to help me to truly love, trust, respect, and submit to the man the Lord gave me as I do unto Him, I have been blessed in my life more than I can share!
And how the Lord has given Daniel wisdom and a heart for Him. When I have a problem, sometimems I think Daniel isn't listening or doesn't care or doesn't have time (yes, I can get very boo-hoo-y :) ). But he does listen and it is me that often doesn't. While things look so overwhelming or complicated to me, to Daniel, everything is quite simple, cut/and dry, easy.
He always says something like, "Jaynee, 'this' is your problem and 'this' is what you need to do." He encourages me constantly through the Scriptures as well. I always think I have listened but then I say, "But you don't understand...." and I go on to explain such and such. He usually interrupts and says, "Jaynee, trust me. You need to do this."
When I listen, I find what he says is just what the Lord wants me to do.
Yesterday, he told me that I have been taking on myself things that I do not need to. I am striving for 'perfection' in many things and when it doesn't turn out that way, I feel like I've failed. And he reminded me of what I knew was true.
The Lord wants me to do my best each day. He wants me to do all I do for Him. Somedays, my best may be that I only get done 30% of what "needs" to be done. I remember having days so morning sick that I could hardly walk. Often times I would get overwhelmed with all the responsibility of caring for such a large family.
I will be very honest in saying I have even had days of wondering if I made a big mistake. Of course, one look at any one of my children and I think how could the word "mistake" even cross my mind.
But those thoughts come at times when I am not thinking on what is true but letting my own thoughts or thoughts of others...man's wisdom rather than God's wisdom...fill my mind.
The Lord wants me to do my best each day. He wants me to teach my children to love and know Him every day when we wake up, walk during the day, sit down to eat, work, play, and lay down at night. Daniel and I have written down goals for our family and I am to do my best in working towards those goals each day. Daniel always tells me, "Jaynee, you are doing great. Keep doing what you are doing; don't give up or get discouraged". Of course, I tell him he just says that because he's my husband, but he assures me he's not :). Okay, that sounded funny...I mean Daniel is my husband; but he is not just saying that to make me feel good. :)
And know that for all my short comings and weaknesses, the grace of God abounds in my life and the lives of each of my children. I was reading in my devotions the other day in James...chapter 4 verse 6 says that God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble.
How proud I can be at times. I think I can figure things out or have an excuse for why I reacted how I did or said what I said. But as I humble myself, ask for forgiveness when I fail, and give my life as a living sacrifice in service to my Lord, His grace will abound! He will fill all those gaps I cannot. He want to use me to do what He will do in the lives of each of my children. I am just His instrument and what joy to know how much He cares and how His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I began thinking how often we compare ourselves with others. How often do we find our acceptance in what others think or in comparing ourselves to what another does or doesn't do? 2 Corinthians 10:12 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."
I wrote to my friend this morning and said
Blogging is something that I do not really know how to approach sometimes. Originally, our blog was set up as to simply update on the ministry here. Daniel wrote the original posts. Within a short time, he turned that responsibility over to me. I love to write, and while I do try to update on the ministry, often what is on my heart/mind is what is going on here in the home or in my/our lives. I often wonder what is the balance in writing publically. I want what I write to always bring glory to the Lord; I want to be honest; I want to keep everyone updated on the ministry and family and how they can pray best for both. I don't want to paint the picture at all that we are anything close to perfect. The longer I live, the more I realize how very proud, selfish, and sinful my flesh is. The more I realize how wrong I can think. The more I realize how wrongly and hypocritically I have judged others. And the more I truly love the Lord as I see more and more of His amazing love, mercy and grace in saving me! So often I wonder what all to share and what not to share; where is the balance in keeping things private that should be but being open and honest and encouraging/blessing others through sharing??
I want to assure any who may read here, we do fail. While we daily teach and train our children, we are teaching/training them not in what comes naturally to them but what doesn't. They naturally hit when hit, have a bad attitude when something doesn't go their way, say things they shouldn't, do things they shouldn't, and like the Bible say, foolishness is truly bound up in their hearts. The Lord gives me sweet glimpses of His work in their lives which make all the tears, prayers, and work more than worth it. But having young children, you are truly in the "trenches" and I always like to think to myself each day "Little by little, step by step, precept upon precept." Be faithful each day and know we serve a God who loves to give grace to the humble.
Of course, we've gotten many emails/comments telling us how wrong we are and how much they disagree with what we do/say. :)
I'm not sure if this has all made sense or not as sometimes I just write what is on my heart and as the time for typing around here is short, I don't give the needed attention to grammar, spelling, and order. :)
Thank you all for your prayers. I love hearing from you and usually get back to anyone who emails (although it may take a while). I look forward to someday serving our Great King together forever in His presense! What a day that will be! And until then, His grace is sufficient!