26 May 2011

Moving Forward!

An imperfect human being, rotten to the core!
That is me!  I have still so many personal issues to sort out. I’m impatient, get angry easily and from time to time have a bad attitude.  I’m very easily distracted and my house is more often than not in a mess.  I can write in the dust on my furniture, things easily loose their places, lay around and clutter is an unwanted guest in almost every room!  To top it all, I take on projects I don’t have time for, and therefore buckle under my own dead lines.  In this season of my life I don’t practice hospitality as much as I would like to! My children throw tantrums, complain over chores and bicker between each other, due to my high pace lifestyle and impatient personality…!

Most of the time I’m sober minded about my circumstances and personality, knowing this is a season, but then once in a while the ‘comparing monster’ jumps on me and blows my circumstances and personality to pieces in my mind and I hit the bottom of a well! During the past week, I read about extremely well organized and self controlled mothers with their well groomed families and experienced guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness, the list went on and on!  If only I could parent like that, organize my house like that, be more patient, homeschool more effectively, have more time for hospitality
My dear husband who always gives me perspective on days like these, was out of town, and I longed to have a long heart to heart talk with one of my mentors in Mothering and ask her advice. What is my #1 mistake, how can I change this, where must I start? But I soon realized, I didn’t need to ask, I already knew the answer.  
She (as well as my husband!) would answer, “It is not important - get over it! Stop comparing yourself!”  What is important is where am I in my journey to maturity, am I growing in Godly character and am I becoming more holy!  Yes, that is what it is all about.  Where I’m coming from is history! I can do nothing about yesterday.  But God do expect from me to trust Him for tomorrow and put on the New woMan!

How am I doing in becoming a new woMan? Am I allowing God to work perfection and completion in me through my trials, sinful nature and weaknesses? Am I moving forward in maturity, growing in character and becoming more holy every day?
Yesterday is over and done!  But I can trust God for a new today!  Trust God to work in me and transform me, that one day I would patiently work without anger, impatience and bad attitudes.  One day I might even be able to de-clutter and organize my home. Faithfully dust my furniture.  I do trust one day I will be able to manage my time wisely and finish my projects, without unrealistic dead lines.  One day, hopefully soon, my children will be without discontentment and bickering, through my Godly example and faithful training.

And if the Lord in His wisdom didn’t give me the gift of organizing I will be content.  You might walk into my home and I’ll need to quickly pick up toys.  
Please be patient with me - I’m still working on my issues, you might pass me in the supermarket, and witness me lacking the fruit of the spirit.  Because my children and I are sinful human beings, you might find us in a selfish act. 
In all of this I will rejoice in the Lord, He promised He will never leave me, nor forsake me and surely will in me to move forward!  I will choose to have grace on myself. He that started the good work in me will finish it.
And so that night I went to bed, humbled before my God, repenting from my sin of discontentment and self-pity and with an expectation to let myself be more Spirit filled and led by the Spirit! But life is hard! That night Michael woke up almost every hour and I didn’t get much sleep and overslept the next morning!  What a way to start my new day!
But oh, God is faithful! As I opened my eyes, the sun shined through the curtains with a brightness unknown for a winter morning in the Cape! Let me interrupt myself for a second.  We live in the most beautiful part of South Africa, but currently it is winter here and in the Cape of Good Hope winters means rain and mist!  If it isn’t raining, the mist will hover until noon!
This day was totally different, and may I add, it was forecast to be a rainy day! The day looked fresh and new, no sign of clouds or mist. It was calling me to take everything out of it, as much as I possibly could!
Immediately I knew this was a special gift from the Lord to me, almost like a token to show me, his grace is new and fresh every morning! Even though Satan may want me to believe it is hopeless to be become a new woMan!  God has grace on me, but I must make His grace mine and pass it on to my children.  
So to say YES to His grace, and determined to extend His grace to my children, I decided to take my children out into nature and enjoy the beauty of the day! 

Since we are studying farm animals I searched for a place where the little ones could have a farm experience, but I couldn’t find any and we settled for the Tygerberg Zoo, only 20 minutes from us.  CJ, Heidi-Mari and I visited the zoo, 12 years ago. With great anticipation we packed lunch and was on our way!

What a blessed day!  Normally planning for a picnic lunch for 9-10 people puts huge stress on me and makes me freak out, even before we leave home!  But there was a quietness in my soul.  I put the expectation I had of a perfect picnic lunch with all the right food out of my mind, and just made do with what we had. 

What a great picnic we had!  Dressing all the little children and be on our way by a certain time, is another mission!  Even that ran smoothly.  The reason, I let God! I put my agenda aside and asked God what he wanted to be done.  God is concerned about the little people in my home!  

What a privilege to have my day filled with the people nearest to God’s heart - children!  

In my drivenness I often miss my children and God’s heart. 

That morning I was so aware of my children's souls and God’s heart!  Through the day, I enjoyed each of my children’s emotions and actions!  Being a homeschooling Mom of many children I’ve always been sensitive to my children, it is my job! But God renewed me during that night!  

There was something new to my awareness!  

There was also something new to the way I talked to my children, the way I disciplined my children, the way I take them in account when asking them to do something, the way I could laugh with them and enjoy the day to the full!

Yes, I’m an imperfect human being, rotten to the core, so aware of all my sinfulness and selfishness, but oh, so open to God’s grace and interference, His teachings, His truths and His overflowing love for me and my children!

Thank you Lord! 

With love

"I will be confident of this, that He who began a good work in me, 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 
Phil 1:6 

This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers where South African home schoolers share experiences, ideas, philosophies and much more.  You can join the carnival too by heading to the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers sign up page.   In the meantime, please feel free to browse through the links on this page to some awesome South African home school blogs!


Lizanne said...

ek is so bly jy het hierdie gepost... ek ly aan comparison syndrome. ek lees blogs en dan wens ek ek was meer organised met 'n stunning huis of 'n beter kok (soos om pasta van scratch te maak ;) ) of 'n beter vrou wat baie tyd en aandag aan haar man gee, of 'n ma wat allerhande oulike en slim dinge met haar kind doen. ek wens my kind was minder moeilik en my man meer soos daai vrou s'n wat baie help en kosmaak. ek vergeet om dankbaar te wees vir die man wat my tenspyte van al my nonsens en baggage liefhet, vir die kind wat 'n regte wonderwerk en antwoord op gebede is, en die Here wat my opgetel het uit die vuil van my sondes. dankie vir die reminder.

Linnie said...

Lizanne, ek was selfs teensinnig om hierdie skryf van my te pos, want wat sal ander mammas dink van hierdie vrou? Ek glo ons worstel maar almal in mindere of meerdere mate hiermee.
Dankie vir jou respons!

Anonymous said...

Linnie, ek dink nie jy weet regtig wat se inspirasie jy en jou gesin vir ander is nie! Ek het net vier pragtige kinders en sukkel meeste van die tyd! Dankie vir jou eerlikheid, jou post beteken baie vir my aangesien ek ook nou deur 'n baie "testing" seisoen gaan!

Anonymous said...

Oh Linnie I so relate to every word you say - every sinful outburst of anger and selfish distraction is the story of me as well! How wonderful that we can rest in God - to change us by His grace and remember that our first job is to invest into the eternal souls and characters of our precious children - not dusting the furniture :) I don't think I've cleaned our windows for a year! Its wonderful to look back and see how my children have grown in character inspite of my shortcomings!! God bless you as you rest in Him. You are doing what counts the most! lots of love, Karyn

Linnie said...

Oh! Karyn, I've totally forgot about the windows!!! :-)
I need to thank you for introducing me to the Maxwell material - it is changing me life dramatically!
I'll text you for your address, want to return your book, have my own now!
Lots of love

Nella said...

Ag dankie, Linnie! Ek het gisteraand gedink ek wil my huis omdop en uitskud! En daar gee jy my weer moed vanoggend! Ek is so geseënd om jou te ken.
Dankie Linnie. Lekker dag vir jou en die kinders - geniet die sonskyn!

Olivia said...

Thank You so much for sharing this. For being honest and, in doing so, encouraging me. I'm so glad your voice is out there.

Joyfulmama said...

Liefste Linnie - Ek kan omtrent ja en amen se op elke stukkie selfverwyt en gevoel van minderwaardigheid. Ek worstel die laaste ruk met presies dieselfde goed en het in die proses soveel skuld en oordeel op mself geplaas, dat ek byna nie eens meer dit die Here se genade kon sien nie. Want hoe kan so 'n goor, ongeorganiseerde ma wat so sukkel om die Vrugte van die Gees voort te bring, dan nou durf om voor die Heilige te verskyn as ek nie eers my 'act' afstof nie??! En toe ek op my laagste is, gee die Here vir my Rom 8:1 There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus. Watter ongelooflike bevryding het ek nie deur hierdie helende woorde van genade beleef nie! mag die Here jou seen met 'n stil gemoed en hope en hope liefde!

Taryn @ Hayes Happenings said...

I've said this to you already, but I'm going to say it again :) This has been one of the most encouraging post I've read - knowing that we are all human and struggle with similar things, but can be encouraged through your experience of the Lord's blessing! Thank you for being vulnerable as you share this - honest reflection that reveals sin but STILL rejoices in the Lord and honours him and points to him - that's the best! Thank you!

Linnie said...

Thank you, Taryn.

Keren said...

Thank you Linnie...I too am not one of those organized moms who has it all in place and your post was so encouraging! Thankfully we serve a God whose mercy is new every morning.
Love Wendy
OOps see I have posted this under my daughters's profile

Linnie said...

Thank you Wendy. So glad it encouraged you.
Have a blessed weekend.

Tanja said...

It was so lovely to read this post, and so encouraging!

Nadene said...

You bless us with your deep and earnest desire to please the Lord and become all that He created you to be. Your journey to a surrendered life is an encouragement to others! Thanks for sharing so honestly.

Linnie said...

Thank you for your kind words, Nadene.
I'm glad it is a blessing to you.

KB said...

This is an old posting, but thank you for this! Usually I read blogs of moms who write as if they have "arrived" and I compare myself and wonder why I struggle minute by minute to act appropriately and be a good example for my children. That is the part that bothers me the most, is I hope that the changes I need to make in myself, with the help of the Lord, will happen sooner rather than later. I don't want my kids won't struggle so much overcoming stuff in their lives because I modeled poor examples!

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