Tuesday, January 08, 2008

TERRIBLE WHO?

as abbie is quickly approaching two, i am beginning to understand all to well why most people put a certain "t" word in front of two. most days i am all to aware of who the terrible one actually is. i can envision the mom i want to be in my head, the mom who patiently handles and navigates the challenges of a toddler. unfortunately i am no where near this. i knew this age would be hard i just had no idea how much it would push me. a couple days ago i smacked abbie for the first time out of anger. i never wanted to do this to my children and it was one of the reasons why i was so reluctant to start spanking. fortunately i only smacked her foot because she was kicking me and she thought it was hilarious. the condition of my heart of in that moment though was something terrible.

i often wonder if this age would be as hard if i didn't have a ten month old to wrangle as well. i don't have an enourmous amount of time to sit and teach abbie when i have to make sure paul isn't playing with the knives again or trying to drink the drano under the sink. would it be different if i wasn't knocked up yet again. i have to admit my fuse isn't particularly long when i'm baking a baby. all excuses aside the problem is with me.

i am the one who is lazy. i am the one who stuggles with consistency. i am the one who allows fear and guilt to get in the way with training my child. i am the one who has no clue what to do half the time. God you are going to have to help me on this one. please help me not to make this year terrible instead with your love and grace please turn it into something beautiful.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

LEGACY



I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so I do not leave sin unpunished, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.

Exodus 34:7



i remember reading exodus 34:7 as a youth and wondering how God could be so harsh and punish children for the sin of their parents. this past year i have been able to reflect on my family and see patterns of sin and unhealth. in the past i've scoffed at their dysfunction vowing to never be as crazy as them. this year i've been able to take a painful look and realize that a broken childhood is not the only thing that was passed down to me. i too, carry around the same sin patterns and dysfunction as the rest of my family. although it doesn't always manifest itself in the same way, it is still there.
but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.
this has been the legacy that has been passed down to me but it doesn't have to be the legacy i have to pass down to my children. i want the legacy that les and i pass down to our children to be a blessing passed down to the third and fourth generation.

i never realized that becoming a parent would sharpen me in the ways that it has. on a daily basis my children squeeze me and what comes out most of the time is not very pleasing. selfishness, laziness, anger, impatience, insecurity, fear and the list goes on and on. this is the legacy i will pass down to my children if i do not make changes.

my hope for this year is that i would be a better picture of who Christ is as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, neighbor, ect. i want to become the person God created me to be so i can leave a legacy behind to my children that is a blessing instead of a curse. the only way i can take an active part in this is by spending more time in God's word. Duh, this isn't a new break through but the approach i am taking this year is different. in the past it has been all or nothing for me. i either spend the "perfect" amount of time with God, in the "perfect" setting, in the "perfect" way or it's nothing. the reality of the situation is that i have two children under the age of two and i'm fixin to have three under the age of three. nothing is perfect in the brown household. if i am able to spend five minutes reading one verse and allowing God to use it to speak to me for the day before i start drooling on my pillow, i've succeeded. generally, i'm not good at following through on the goals or resolutions that i set at the beginning of the year. this year i hope that this will be the first of many years where i am able to finish the race strong. thankfully, God is faithful even when i'm not and continues to follow through on His promise to change me.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

hebrews 4:12