Monday, August 6, 2007

a good christian

I would be a really good Christian if there were no other people around. I would have endless patience, a peaceful spirit, and plenty of time to pray and study the Bible. But I'm not alone, which is a good thing. Most days.

Isn't it amazing how quickly it all breaks down? One day I'm making waffles from scratch and teaching my children how to tell time, but give me one sleepless night, and I turn into a screaming shrew. This morning I jumped out of bed when I heard baby b. up at the crack of dawn, after an up-and-down night of fussy half-sleep. I couldn't push my eyelids open, so I stumbled to his crib and reached for him, eyes still closed. Two cups of coffee later and I feel human. Sort of.

I can function with no sleep, but it's more of a survival situation. Feed the kids. Get dressed. Do what absolutely must be done. Just don't try to talk to me, and whatever you do, don't get in my way. Like my husband did this morning. He got less sleep than I did, but I still managed to be cross with him today when he didn't follow my unspoken agenda.

Time to back up. To pray even though I don't feel like it. To read my Bible even though it doesn't feel like there's time. To be kind to my family when I feel like being grouchy.

This is the real Christian life. I cannot fake it or muster up kindness out of nowhere. In the end, regardless of our situation in life or how great we think we are, it really is all about Jesus and His work in us.

Thank goodness.

14 comments:

Frazzmom said...

this is where the rubber meets the road isn't it? I admit I fail in this area more than I would like to admit...

Thank goodness that God is graceful- as well as my family...

Ellen said...

I hate my "angry Mommy" mode. Sometimes I get so frustrated with our kids (usually by a bunch of small things) that I respond to almost everything by scolding or yelling until I snap out of it. I had an "angry Mommy" dream last night and when I woke up I immediately prayed that God would help remove from me the tendancy to stay angry longer than necessary or to over-react to small offenses. Its not easy though. Especially when at least one of our kids sometimes does not respond until we start to yell...

Jenn said...

This afternoon was like this for me and I don't even have kids. Oy vey! Thanks for the kindred-moment--but also for the apt reminders.

spaghettipie said...

oh, I am so feelin' your post. M decided not to take a nap this afternoon and that was NOT a good decision. There is no way we could love those around us - even those we want to love - without Him.

Charity Singleton said...

You know, I've often thought the same thing, that I'd be a much better Christian without all these people around. But then I realize I probably wouldn't be a Christian without all those same people. Iron sharpening iron.

I'm feeling the kindred moment too, today, and also without the added pressure of parenthood (just like Jenn).

blue thistle books said...

Thank goodness is right! I have many of those days. Today would've been one, had I not stopped in my tracks, put all things important down and prayed, spending time at the Lord's feet. Then and only then was the day salvaged.

Mycrazylife

Craver Vii said...

Take two or three minutes and break off a little piece of dark chocolate from those fancy candy bars and just sit back let it melt in your mouth.

If that doesn't help, can I have the rest of the candy bar?

Jenny from Chicago said...

Wow. What a gift for expression --for what we've all felt. Love the blog.

MarmotMom said...

Yup!!! I got the big spritual thing down pat, thank you very much. I can share the plan of salvation with you, but you better not ask me for a clean dish!! Mary Engelbreit loves to say "Life is just so DAILY." The book of Phillipians says it better: "...work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His Good pleasure!"
Hang in there Llama Girl :)

23 degrees said...

LM, this one resonates with me.

Truly we all are a work-in-progress. And when I think of something like how my dad handled anger, for instance, and how I handle anger (or relationships, or whatever) I am amazed to see how my life is colored by a different Spirit...and how can this be save a miracle breaking through?

Thanks for sharing your life-in progress!

L.L. Barkat said...

Love your opening thought! I admit that even with no one around, though, I'm still not always a very good Christian. My mind never turns off! And I remember that Jesus said that if someone even thinks such and such, then... Ah, well.

But, yes, I thank God for his persistent love. And it is true that over the years my mind has changed in some good ways.

(Oh, and I'll take a teeny bite of that chocolate bar if we can sneak it back from Craver...)

23 degrees said...

Chocolate for me too, if it comes with some French Roast!

Llama Momma said...

Thank you, all, for your encouraging comments! I feel like I've had enough chocolate this week to last me a year, but I doubt that's true. :-)

Things got better, to be sure, but all week I was aware of how much the physical impacts the spriritual and relational aspects of life. When we are down to the bare bones of not enough sleep, too much work, and a stressful situation, something has to give.

It makes me grateful for my relatively quiet and stable life. We eat well and get enough rest most of the time, which is half of it. (Especially for the kids!)

MamaToo said...

ah, what a sweet post! Love, peace, patience, self control... We think about what we might have without the present challenges, yet I'm reminded that fruit needs the sweltering, hot days of sun as well as soggy, dreary days of rain to ripen to its full potential! Be encouraged, dear LM, your heart seems to be good soil.