Thursday, October 10, 2013

When Your Best Efforts Seem to Fail.

Sometimes I think I measure my life by my failures. The moments I have failed add up to hours add up to days add up to weeks add up to months add up to years add up to a lifetime of despair and hopelessness. Sounds like a morbid existence to me.

An existence that is certainly fading into the past. 

A few months back, I had the opportunity to deliver a meal to a family who had just had a new baby. I had all the ingredients in my cart for a delicious four course dinner. Stroll through the checkout line. Panic because I can't find my wallet. Quickly recall my beloved toddler taking it out of my purse and bringing it to me on the couch. Yes, there it sits. I can see it in my mind's eye. Embarrassed. Drive away without my groceries, go find said wallet and drive back to the store. With five kids.

That is a small mistake, but one that would affect me as a failure anyway. It would add to the case built against me that I am a floundering, disorganized, chaotic mother who struggles. Who struggles keeping the laundry from looming like an unsurmountable peak. Who stomps her foot like a two year old. Who hollers. Who can't seem to blog to save her life (I know, epic world problems, y'all) and when she does try to blog, she ends up wasting half a day. Who looks forward to bedtime and sometimes rushes through it. Who pushes the snooze button too many times. Who can't seem to plan meals for more than a week and then goes to the store and can't stick within the budget allotted to her. Who goes to buy ingredients for a blessing meal and ends up spending $100 for just one meal?

Whoever built this case against me anyway? And why was it given any legal ground?

There is one who is named Accuser, Deceiver, Hater. He preys upon our minds when given an entrance.

Why do I even listen to him?
Oh, I know! He speaks in half truths. So, the thoughts seem to be true projections of what I really already am and what I am stuck being.

There was a moment of revelation that I had a while back. (Cue Lightning Bolt!) I was turning in to bed for the night and the thoughts of my day were passing through my head. Nay, they were the thoughts of every. single. thing I had done wrong that day. I realized in that moment, that I listened to these same thoughts just about every night. It was like scrolling down a list, "Did that wrong, check. Was too harsh there, yup. Missed that opportunity, gosh. Totally flipped out over that minuscule thing, dang it!"

My old pattern would have been to flow from these thoughts into hatred toward myself.
The thoughts of "I hate what I do" would very quickly morph into, "I hate who I am."

When I begin to hate who I am - my very existence - I begin to hate the I AM, who created my very existence.

Now, I am not saying that I should totally ignore these thoughts that come to me in the night, some of them did need my attention, some of them were real sins. Some needed attentive repentance. And, friends? Repentance in humility breaks the back of the enemy. That case will no longer have any legal grounds to torment you. "Father, forgive me, I did not treasure the gifts you have given me today. I did not love the least of these. I was self-serving. I repent..."

What I am saying is I must shut up the voice of the Accuser in my mind. Holy Spirit conviction is one thing, it leads to repentance. Condemnation is another thing, and it only leads to spiritual death.

The next day I woke up and decided that I needed to rehearse what GOOD things I have done during the day.
Here are a few of my recent ones:

~ Crafts done with my girls, check!
~ Letting the girls decorate for fall and not trying to CONTROL EVERYTHING!
~ Read books to the neglected four year old.
~ Took the time at bedtime with the one who always wants more time
~ I posted some of the girl's jewelry in our little shop
~ I actually encouraged someone today!

Even better? Rehearsing the good things HE does!

~ He sets the lonely in families... {Psalm 68:6}
~ He will be with us always, even to the end of the age... {Matt 28:20}
~ His desire is for NONE to perish... {2 Peter 3:9}
~ He loves to give good gifts... {James 1:16-18}
~ He does not leave us helpless... {Hebrews 13:5}

That list? Barely scratches the surface.

Phew. Take a breath. Breathe in His grace and mercy.

Have you been listening to the Accuser too? It's time to stop.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
{Phil 4:8}

How do we overcome this venomous enemy? We listen to the truth. We wash our brains in the cleansing flow.

When you feel like a failure, fall into His arms. 
Take that list of wrongs done by you, repent for what you need to, forgive yourself, receive His forgiveness, command that evil voice to leave in Jesus name.

Christ-in-you-the-hope-of-glory? Yeah, He never lets go.

~ christa jean

1 comment:

Meme said...

Beautifully written and shared Christa! You are so honest and I love your heart and your talent... I have learned that my house will probably never be 100% clean... maybe not even 90% or if I'm being honest less clean but that my house will always be a home to those who need love and safety... As I write this I am also talking to myself. No more condemnation if I had clothes on table, clothes on the bed and clothes in dryer... just means I have a lot to be thankful for a use my time wisely :)...
Thank you for being a blessing through writing.