This past Monday felt like an epic fail. It was Labor Day.
The day before I had commented to a lady that I wished I could pay someone to come and do deep cleaning in my house once-a-month, things like washing walls. Her reply was, “You need to do it. You have to do it yourself.” Feeling the sting from the implication of those words and knowing how hard I work to keep a decently clean house, I was determined that no one could say that I am irresponsible. Labor Day was going to literally be “labor day” for my house.
I began the morning with a systematic cleaning plan. My systematic cleaning day turned into a frenzy of trying to keep kids quiet so my husband could study for his engineering class, clean the house, and somehow babysit kids too. I became more and more frenzied as my kids decided that was the day to rearrange furniture and make stores and tents that involved removing stuff from every room of the house, dumping stuff in odd places, and rearranging stuff. There I was trying to keep order while my children were being completely disorderly. My voice was becoming more and more shrill as I sought to impose unreasonable expectations from others and myself upon my family. The end result was disharmony, dissatisfaction, and sadness. I ended my day with apologies to my family. As I reviewed my day in my thoughts, I couldn’t help but shake my head and tell myself, “You knew better. People are always more important than projects. What’s more important? A clean house or peaceful/joyful children?” My day was an epic fail on so many levels. It was with sadness that I fell asleep that evening.
The next morning I awoke so thankful though that with God, there is always a fresh start, a new day, a forgiven life!
I have a feeling that I am not the only individual that tries to live her life by others expectations and her own unreasonable expectations. The result is always chaos, confusion, contention, comparison, conflict.
I recently saw a quote that addressed this very heart issue. It nailed it right on and was very convicting to me. I’ll try to copy it for all those other individuals who struggle with expectations like I do. There’s really a heart issue at stake. I’ll let the quote speak for itself.
I am ashamed to admit, friends, that I need the above reminders so many times. I wish I was there! I wish I didn’t have epic fail days. I wish I didn’t have to apologize to my family because I burdened them with my own burdens instead of taking them to God.
God, in His great mercy though says, “His mercies are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness!” And Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Sometimes, I have difficulty extending forgiveness and accepting it fully in my own life. You know why? Because I look at God through human eyes. I think He forgives as man forgives or doesn’t. No, I don’t say that or believe it, but I live and act like it at times.
I look at epic fail days, and I see myself as the failure and feel shame and discouragement. I am missing the truth. The truth is that yes I do need to repent, and godly sorrow leads to repentance (change). Even in the chastening though, He is the loving Father calling me back to Himself, to walk in newness of life, to experience freedom from sin’s bondage, to accept His complete forgiveness.
The amazing truth is that I am forgiven! Forgiveness means that God has erased my failures/sins from my account. He doesn’t rehash it, hold it against me, hold it over me, etc… He doesn’t base my worth on how I perform. He loves me for Himself — because of Who He is! He can’t stop loving because He is love.
I am thankful that even in my epic fail days, God still extends grace to me. The next time, I can grasp ahold of that Grace and find that it meets me right where I am.