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Monday, March 26, 2012

{failing flesh}

So remember my last post that ended with me wanting to treat my girls in a way that brought glory to God? I made it exactly three seconds this morning before I failed miserably. Emma had been giving Ryan and I a run for our money all weekend. She was picking on her sisters left and right and was being repeatedly disrespectful to the two of us. And we had had it. This morning, I woke up and came downstairs and was greeted by a very grumpy eight year old who has gotten a little too big for her britches. Within thirty seconds, she was talking back to me and giving me major attitude and let me tell you...if it is not yet 7am, don't mess with me. So, I lost it again. It was one of those moments where I put her in time out, told her what she was doing wrong and then continued to let her know just to make sure she got it. While I made breakfast, I drove my point home. While I did the dishes, I made sure she really knew and as I packed her lunch for school I told her again. Just in case she didn't get it the first fifty times. What I realized later was that I was upset with her for not controlling her emotions and for being unkind to the people around her....and that that's exactly what I was doing to her in return. While her punishment may have been justified, the way I went about it was wrong. It needed to be done out of love for her and not out of my own frustration.

While working on my bible study today, I came across this verse:
"My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."
psalm 73:26

I needed to hear that! And so does Emma. We are human and we will have things that we struggle with. My hope is that both of us can learn to let God be in control of our hearts so that we don't give in to the temptation to take it out on the people around us. Together this week, we will work on memorizing this verse and applying it to our lives. As part of her punishment, she has to go out of her way to show an act of love or kindness to one person each day. Maybe mommy needs to do the same. One of the things I'm most thankful for about this little girl that God has blessed me with is that he is always using her to refine me. She keeps me on my toes that's for sure. Here's to many more years of failed parenting attempts and the hope that God does great things in my children in spite of my mistakes....