Baring Our Souls to the Lord

     You can’t imagine how often I’m tempted to fly the coop and take The Robyn’s Nest off the internet.  It’s not that it takes that much time to maintain. . .it’s just that I get so frustrated with having to admit that I’ve blown it over and over again.  Once a friend of mine commented on how I was willing to “bare my soul to the whole world!” on the website.  I gulped as I thought about her observation – and then I just about ran to delete the whole site! 

     Sometimes I think I should just quit writing until I’ve overcome my anger problem once and for all.  I know it’s possible, I’ve seen the evidence in other women’s lives.  I envy their ability to speak or write from the “other side” of this issue.  They have learned to die to self and the resulting fruit in their lives is a great love for the Lord, their families, and the world around them.

     Unfortunately, I am still in the process of learning to love.  The last week or so has been difficult again.  I have lots of excuses:  the end of the semester has been stressful as Gary is busy studying, the baby has been extra fussy in the evenings lately (please, Lord, not colic!), the kids have been unusually wild and disrespectful too often lately, and our future is unsure as we wait to hear if we’ll be moving to Michigan this summer.  Although the kids and I have lots of good times together, the balance has been shifting so that it seems as if we are more often characterized by being impatient, mean, and short with each other the majority of the time.  I know I’ve let myself develop the habit of snapping at the kids instead of responding patiently.  Sometimes I’m rough instead of gentle as I rush them off to bed so that they are out of the way for another day.

     The Lord has been teaching me about love, even as I stubbornly continue in my hard-hearted ways.  One of the most sobering things He has shown me is that I don’t love Him if I don’t show love to others.  I often say “I love you, Lord” when I am praying, but lately I’ve felt such conviction about that.  It’s as if He’s saying, “How can you say you love me when you treat the children I’ve given you so badly!”  Even when I feel like I can’t be patient or kind, I know God will give me the strength if I just stop and ask Him.  The trouble comes when I just barge ahead and refuse to ask Him for help.  Of course I can’t be kind, patient, and loving when I’m trying to do it in my own strength!  You can’t do it, either!  (We’ve talked about that before.) 

     Please don’t give up!  I know that’s easy to do.  I often feel like giving up when I fail again and again, but God wants us to persevere.  As we learn to trust and obey Him, we will all fail less often – and I’m convinced that joy and love will characterize our relationships with the Lord, our children, and the rest of the world.  As we grow in the Lord, He will show us the areas of our heart that are still dark with sin.  He has been showing me that I have a very selfish attitude which I don’t want to admit.  What will it take to change?  I know it will take humility, brokenness, and a desire to really change.  I’m getting there, but still feel like holding on to pride, stubbornness, and a desire to control my kids.

     Lately I’ve been thinking about something a friend of mine told me:  The Lord is bringing you to a place where you are willing to accept and DO what He will then teach you.  I’m not to that place yet, but I think I can see it from here!  So, I’ll continue to “bare my soul” to whoever happens to drop in at The Nest, and I’ll also continue to bare my soul to the Lord.  I know that He can teach me to love my children and others with a pure, sincere love, and I won’t give up until I get there! 

© Robyn Mulder 2000,


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