Mercies – Day 8

I had a whole thing swirling in my head all day. How awesome the last couple days were. How awful today was. How quickly my prideful heart was humbled. How desperately I need the Lord’s help – and how this decision to homeschool our kids is quickly making me realize it more and more. Don’t get me wrong. I know I need him. I really do! But as in all things, we’ve got a routine and things get “normal” and I begin to think that I’ve actually “got this” on my own. I quickly forget how much I need His help.

Funny story: it’s been eight days. As of this morning I ACTUALLY thought to myself “I’ve got this.” Mental high-fives and all. (I am unashamedly just going to put it all out there – the ugliness of my heart – so please be gentle with me… certainly hasn’t felt gentle during in my prideful fall today!)

Yup, you guessed it. Three hours into today, at the early hour of 9:00, I was knocked off my prideful throne. Turns out you can build a pretty HIGH throne in just eight days. I fell really hard. And really fast. By 10am I was no longer patiently responding to the same question, asked four times. By 11am the frustration that I was feeling inside (at how HARD this all was, my frustrations with myself and the kids, how TIRED we all were) was beginning to bubble out in not so pretty ways. The look that I gave to the kids when they asked for something to eat. Again. The clenched-jaw answer I gave about why things need to be done correctly. (You know, the one where your anger SEETHES out of you and your eyeballs are probably bright red.) By Noon everyone had cried at least twice. OH yeah – and we DID start our day with a time to reflect on God’s Word, what He’s teaching us — even spent time praying. Turns out being “spiritual” does NOT equal a changed heart. Huh. Go figure. 😉

We broke for lunch – talked through the different theories of how the earth began, where we came from, what the Bible teaches…turns out that I’m a “strict” young earther. Huh – didn’t know there were degrees to which you could be a “young earther”…nor that there was such thing as a “young earther”… After lunch I gave up. Literally. Olivia and I were done for the day. The other two had spent so much time whining and moaning, I had spent far too long giving them dirty looks, and so I went to take a nap. Made them swear not to let O outside alone, no one in the pool, and I tucked myself in for a desperately needed nap.

Guess what! Naps don’t change hearts either! WHAAAT?! So being super spiritual (having a devotional time) didn’t change our hearts, yelling at each other didn’t change our hearts, taking a nap didn’t change mine…Humph. Today really WAS rough.

I type all of this out now to say that it truly is God who changes hearts. And we really do have to desire that change. Plugging in the Truth of God’s Word DOES help. Later today, two of my kids came to me with questions they had been mulling over all day – somehow God managed to pierce through the negativity of the day and reach their hearts. I certainly didn’t reach their hearts, God did. It didn’t happen DURING devotions – they weren’t the “secret ingredient” to a good day – but they DID matter. Also, spending time in God’s word certainly convicted ME as I sinned and sinned and sinned. Yup. Did you catch that? Big, fat sinner over here. Just in case you missed it in the paragraphs above…

But it is God who uses the time we spend with him, the hard falls from our lofty prideful thrones, the naps that we so desperately need, and then later tonight, he used the fellowship of other Believers who didn’t even know He was using them in my heart…it is God who changes hearts.

I knew as early as 9am that my heart was so desperately wrong. I fell hard and fast today but it wasn’t until tonight that I allowed God’s forgiveness and grace penetrate my stubborn, proud and deceitful heart. It wasn’t earlier in the day when my 6 year old whispered that she wished she was an orphan. That didn’t soften my heart – nope, did the opposite, I’m quite ashamed to say. It was later in the evening, after I’d pretended to have it ALL together around my friends and fellow Believers, when God was finally able to pierce through all of the muck to clearly reveal just HOW DESPERATELY I NEED HIM.

What’s the moral of this story? What’s the clincher? (Olivia and I discuss clinchers every day right now.)

I need Him. OH, I need Him. Every hour…I need Him.

I feel like there should be a verse in that song that says, “All of the times that I think I’ve got it all together, turns out You were helping me out and I SURE didn’t deserve it, and then I gave you no credit, and then You let me fall…but not too hard and not all the way. Because you love me and you show me undeserved love and grace and mercy and…oh, here you are, picking up the pieces of me…knitting me back together with Your Truths….I needed you and didn’t even know it.

Clearly I am not a song writer. But I am a sinner. Saved from my sin by the Grace of God, through faith in Jesus’s PERFECT sacrifice on the cross. Saved from having to do it on my own. Able to rest and let God be my everything. Let His patience, His love, His forgiveness, His grace…HIM work through me. HE’S GOT THIS. I’ve got nothing. Except I have it all. Because I have Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.

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