Lately I’ve noticed that when circumstances feel “out of control” in my life, my reaction is to “over-control” what I can. This has been highlighted as my family and I recently went through the (failed attempt) of selling our house and concurrently buying a new home. Holy mother of STRESS!!! Needless to say it’s a consuming process of unexpected events, huge financial risk and we turned into slaves of the MLS- having to run out to see the newest house on the market at the drop of a hat. It was crazy trying to keep our house staged and lookin’ pretty when in reality this is where my husband runs his business and our two young boys prefer to display all their toys in every room of the house, especially the walkways ; )
Throughout this process, each day carried with it many distractions, heavy conversations, and life-altering decisions. Unfortunately my children received the least of any “loving-kindness” that may or may not have at one time been present in my life?! I realized that the more things seemed out of my control, the more I would try to control my children and this took the form of yelling, ignoring, and showing frustration with the little people I’m called to disciple in my home. OUCH!
This hit me like a ton of bricks one day as we were literally standing in line to get into a house that we didn’t even like with the possibility that we could submit an offer (with the masses) and be rejected one more time. REALITY CHECK!!! Say we did get the house… I had to ask myself… regardless of the outcome… how am I acting in the process? We all know that the journey itself is more important than the destination, but what does the journey look like when circumstances are out of our control. What is the motive of my heart? Am I trying to manipulate the situation? Does the fact that things are not “in my favor” give me permission to gratify my flesh because mommy didn’t get the toy she wanted?
Then I found this quote… by Lysa Terkeurst.
“Sometimes what bugs me about another person is more indicative of my own insecurity rather than their inadequacy.”
It’s true! I complain, argue, criticize, and blame others which honestly reveals my insecurities much clearer than any “fault” of theirs. Is it ironic that we had just started a “no complaining or arguing” chart with my children? Guess I should add my name to the chart too! ( Who doesn’t want a “Lightning McQueen” sticker every now and then?)
So I’ve been asking the Lord to convict me whenever I begin to criticize or complain. What is going on in my life that feels “out of control” and how am I responding in my flesh by trying to control things ? Am I putting others down so I can feel better about myself? My prayer is that throughout the day as I catch myself in moments of pure arrogance… that His Kindness would lead me to repentance.
The solution to this vicious cycle is to stay firmly rooted in God’s Word of Truth and not to operate out of my feelings. To repent immediately and ask the Holy Spirit to help me recognize and resist temptation.
I’ve learned the hard way that if someone is willing to gossip to you, they will be comfortable gossiping about you. I don’t want to be that person. If you are reading this… you have a personal invitation to confront me if you catch me in this cycle. My desire is to live a life “above reproach” and this means I don’t want any hint of immorality. I know I have blind spots and true friends are ones who love me enough to point these out to me. In truth and love of course ; )
These are my thoughts for this Monday. Please leave a comment and tell us what the Lord is teaching you!