Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Have I served her well?

Fall is approaching and within the next few days, both of my children head back to school. My daughter (the youngest gem in our family) is starting her senior year of high school. Where did the time go?

She secured her first paid, office job over the summer and worked for a county government agency. With a Mom who operated a home based business for the last 11 years, she knows much about office work. Her skill set is remarkable for her age, and she was well received in an office environment. I knew that I had prepared her well for the work force, but as I thought through all we've done together in an office setting, I began to wonder - did I prepare her as well in a spiritual sense?
In many ways, when I look at Taylor, I see her as a much better person than myself. She's kinder, more loving, more joyful and more compassionate. When I think through the years of parenting, why is it that I'm filled with doubt and uncertainty? Parenting is a task that I wish to complete well - even perfectly - although I understand that's not possible.
The truth is, we cannot be who Christ calls us to be. I want to be pure and blameless because that is how He sees me, but I can never live up to the purity He has given by shedding His blood for me. We do not have the ability, in our own flesh, to perform as He would have us perform. I can't be a perfect person, let alone a perfect parent. It's only through full surrender to my Savior and reliance on the strength that He provides that I am able to walk the path that He has set before me. I recognize my own weakness, but in my weakness I am made strong in Christ. My goal is to walk in greater obedience to Him today than I did yesterday.
Galatians 5:22-23 tell us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. It is impossible for us to completely live this out in our own flesh. Sure, we'll have days of faithfulness, moments of kindness, and periods of peace, but we forever fall short. In order to live in the fruit of the Spirit, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to pour out Himself through us. Moment by moment and day by day. That is the only way.
I could make myself crazy considering how much more I could have done as a parent. I can look back on mountains of regret, or surrender to my Lord, who has all things covered. There is great peace knowing that I cannot thwart His plan! I make millions of mistakes, yet He works all things together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. For this I cannot be more grateful. Truly, this assurance keeps me sane and at the end of the day, I can rest on His loving and perfect promises.

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