Thursday, March 26, 2009

Those Pesky Emotions

We talked about my conviction with entertainment the last two days, now what about the others?


What do I mean there? God was talking to me about how I allow my emotions to rule my day and my attitude. I was thinking on the fruits of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Does my life show that the Spirit of God reigns in me? I have to be honest and say not much these days.

Do I think that I should work at improving these? No I do not.

"What?!?" you may be asking.

Well, let me explain that. You see, as I understand it, the fruit of the Spirit is a way of knowing if the Spirit of God is in control of you...if you are giving up and surrendering control of your life. These things are not things to strive for, rather they are signs that a life is surrendered. I do not think that any person is all of these things all of the time, but some people who live a surrendered life do exude many of these qualities on a regular basis due to the Spirit of God, not their own strength.

Thus, instead of striving for these things in vain, my job is to surrender more of me to the Holy God's will, not my own.

I know that's hard sometimes. That's why this tree is near barren right now. It goes so against all that I hear in many areas of my life, including other Christians. We need to make some time for ourselves. That's the message I hear all the time. But, can I tell you that I feel the closest to God and the most spiritually well when I die more to myself.

It's wonderful how that happens. I was having some trouble a few months back with being patient with my children. My heart was broken for my friend and I wanted so much to DO something where nothing could be done. My mind was not on my family as it should have been and I was distracted. I was overwhelmed with my two children.

At this moment, when I was struggling with "just two", God showed both Handsome and I more of His plan for us. Both at different times (and by golly, he was the one to bring it up!) that we should have a larger family. Let me just say, I was very sure that Smiles was the end of our childbearing experiences. I was just waiting to hit that one year mark with him so that we could send my fella in for a little snipy do. This "call" was certainly NOT what we were wanting to hear. (Perhaps it would be better to say that wasn't what I was wanting to hear.)

Now faced with a future of many children (don't ask me how many because that isn't something God has revealed, we just know that we are to be open and that He will be the one to tell us "when") I was dropping my jaw. What in the world are you asking of me? I am a failure as a mother most days (that wasn't true by the way, that was just how I was feeling). It was time to take a look at why I was having trouble controlling my feelings.

Do you know what I found when I looked at what was making me angry? What was making me frustrated and overwhelmed? What was causing me to be lazy?

It was when things weren't going my way. When my children weren't doing things the way I wanted them to. When my husband wasn't being what I thought he should be. When I wasn't performing the way I thought that I should. All selfish things. All about me.

So, I thought about it one afternoon as I fed Smiles and rocked him before nap. If this is going to be a time that I look back on and think to myself, "That was easy. What was my problem." Then perhaps I should make some changes so that I can enjoy this time with my kids. I should be enjoying life at every moment. I decided to die to self. It was actually quite easy. Once I made that choice in my head and said, "Lord, change my heart and give me the strength to die to myself, my desires, and my expectations." it just shifted things. I had a couple of weeks where things were just different in my mind. I had a different outlook.

Now, don't think I never get frustrated with my children anymore, because I do. The difference is that most days things are good. The days where I am at my wits end are very few and I don't reach that overwhelmed state very often at all.

The next step is to die to myself in more areas. What I want is the ruler far too often.

Wow, I guess this is going to be a week of pondering. I will stop here for today so that you can soak in that much if you like. Is this week too deep for you? I can hold off my scheduled posts for awhile if you just want some light stuff for a bit...


Mom (Lisa) said...

I too had a life-changing shift in perspective, several years back. I didn't see it so much as dying to myself...but rather a wakening to my true self. The self that God made me to be, not the "self"ish fake me that I made to fit my idea of what I should be. My spirit self, my eternal self. It's hard some days to remember not to pick up the old "self"ish thinking...and when I pick it up it always leads to struggle...always. I find when I remember who and what I really am, I can usually let go and get out of my own way and let God smooth things out for me.
My spirit self will always produce fruits of the spirit, if I will just stop trying to cover the branches!
Nice post my dear, go deep if you feel like it...this bolg's for you!

Amelia said...

Keep it coming! This is good, practical stuff.

Stefanie said...

Thanks for opening up, this is great!