I have had moments recently where I was a bit discouraged over my “mothering.”  It is hard to explain, but it sometimes feels like God has given me the calling to be a mother, yet I often feel I don’t have the patience and skill for it.  Don’t get me wrong—I LOVE being a mother, I LOVE my kids and family, and every day, I LOVE homemaking, homeschooling, and general domesticity more and more.  I just sometimes feel so inadequate.  I have one area in particular that really bothers me.  I tend to get frustrated over certain, mundane things very easily.  Once frustrated, I sometimes behave in ways I am ashamed of and am not exactly pleasant to be around.  Because the “Proverbial Woman” is my goal, I have to be careful not to let Satan get me down when I am not reaching that goal–and even more so on days when I feel like I never will. 

I have been allowing this to weigh on my mind for a while now, and I guess God had enough of it.  He really spoke to me in several ways this weekend.  I discussed some of my thoughts with my husband, and he pointed out that everyone has a weakness.  “For some, it may be addictions, others may deal with lust, others may battle weight, but for you, a weakness is your level of tolerance or ease of frustration.”  He also pointed out that the outward appearance of this weakness may not be the root of the problem.  For example, I may get frustrated by the sound of a child fussing.  However, the fussy child is not the problem.  The problem lies deeper in me.  Do I pray for strength from God to handle the situation properly, or do I just react (perhaps in a less-than-desirable way)? 

Then, in our sermon Sunday, the pastor broke down another verse in Philippians that spoke right to me.  You see, in Philipians 3:12-16, Paul, who is sometimes considered the ultimate martyr, states it best when he says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.  And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”

So if Paul, the hero and example that so many look to (aside from Christ, of course) realizes that even he has not attained that goal of Christ-like perfection, than why on earth shouldn’t I accept that fact?  Does this mean that I shouldn’t strive for it?  Of course not!  The passage points out that we need to “press on;” allow God to show us our weaknesses, bless us with the things we have accomplished already, and allow him to continue to prune and transform us to be what He wants.  Because we are sinners by nature, we cannot be perfect.  However, if we allow, Christ has promised to spend the rest of our lives transforming us, directing us, guiding us to improve in our weaknesses. 

Sometimes, we mess up.  Sometimes, it’s by mistake, other times, it is by conscious choice.  Either way, we have another choice.  We can let it get us down and discouraged (which Satan loves because it takes our focus off God and puts it onto ourselves), or we can learn from those mistakes and continue to “press on”  and move forward.  If we allow it, God promises right in that passage to make our mistakes clear to us so we can learn from them, but He wants us to press on and not give up!

So, yes, I have a weakness.  However, Christ loves me in spite of my human self, and, if I allow it, He will use that weakness to make me a better person.  When I feel those negative feelings welling up inside, I need only pray and ask for his strength.  Matthew 7:7 promises, “Ask and it will be given to you…”  Whenever we ask for something within God’s will, He will give us what we need.  We can always rely on Him and His strength.  “…The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaian 40:28-31).

 I don’t know about you, but that sure does make me feel a whole lot better!