Saturday, February 6, 2010

Practice makes perfect

The other day my daughter was practicing riding her bike.  She was working on her turns and making figure eights without turning too much and falling over.  I told her “Practice makes perfect!”, and she told me “No it doesn’t, Mommy! No one is perfect except God.”
How right she is!

If only practice made perfect, then maybe I could have hopes of being a perfect mother one day, but alas, it doesn’t….and I can’t.  Lately, I find myself making mistake after mistake after mistake.  I lose my temper, or get upset about something I shouldn’t, and I end up having to go once again and apologize to my 5 year old for getting too mad, or yelling, or not listening well enough.  It’s humbling.  Even more humbling when she practically interrupts me to quickly say, “it’s ok Mommy, I forgive you!”. 

I am finding that the more that I acknowledge that God is growing me in an area, the more I struggle with it.  Also, I and realizing that I tend to be harder on Emily in the areas that I myself need the most work in. 

For just one example - she gets upset because she’s not getting her way about something and gets grumpy with me.  DUH, right? She’s a kid!  But when she does this, I get upset with her because she’s upset, instead of just letting her be upset.  I accuse her of being selfish and getting upset just because she doesn’t get her way.  Wait – aren’t *I* upset because I’m not getting MY way? I’m not getting a nice, perfectly obedient child every minute of the day, so I get upset because it’s inconvenient for me to stop and discipline her, or teach her at this very moment.  Now who is being selfish?   I’m expecting her to have adult level behavior for issues that took me years as an adult to learn….and that I’m still learning.  Why are my expectations so high (too high) of her sometimes?

I’ve heard a saying about how when you point a finger at someone, there are 3 more fingers pointing right back at yourself (try it, you’ll see). 

I find that SO often when I am saying something to Emily out of frustration or anger, it’s like God was saying them to ME instead.  “You need to get in control.”,   “You need to listen to me”, “You aren’t paying attention to what I’m saying.”,  “Are you thinking of yourself or others?”, “Are you being a blessing to others right now?”.    OUCH.

So, I’ll keep practicing.  Every day for the rest of my life.  I’ll never be perfect, but I do hope to become more and more Christ-like.  In the meantime, I surrender all to Him!

“He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” ~ Proverbs 21:21

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