Posted by Heather Conrad at 4:44 PM

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I want to begin by praising Him today. There are many ways we can praise, there are many reasons to praise, there are several feelings why not to praise. While I could share about each of these concepts, I choose to acknowledge his Almighty Name today for simply answering a prayer of my heart, and in turn, changing my family. You see, lately I've found myself in a rut, a pattern of sorts, and I wasn't too happy about it. He provided an opportunity for accountability, and in searching my heart, he provided an avenue to confess and to ask others to join me in approaching His throne on behalf of my heart.

My heart issue - selfishness. We all have it, we haven't had to work to attain this, we were born with it. We know we have it, but many times we foolishly turn a prideful eye in acknowledging the need to call a spade a spade. We're consumed with wanting what we want, and wanting it right now. Need an example, choose any nursery room on a Sunday morning, borrow a niece or nephew, watch the neighborhood kids - I promise you, it'll show up :)

I love my children. Each child is a miracle, a blessing, and the most amazing gift I've ever been given. I adore them. They bring me joy, they make me laugh, they tickle my heart. At the same time, they challenge me. I think of them as little mirrors sometimes, reflecting back what they see. Sadly, and in all honesty, what I catch reflected at times is pretty darn ugly. Whether it's a facial expression, a tone, or a word, it's often something they've "seen" before. Something they've seen in me.

This "rut" I talked about earlier, was a pattern of how I have been speaking to my children. I've learned that children have a tendency to interrupt. Now, I can respond to life's interruptions in one of two ways. I can view this interruption as annoying, aggravating, and downright rude, therefore responding to the interrupter with annoyance, irritation, and even sarcasm, "Don't you see that I'm in the middle of something!" "You have to wait." "Mommy's busy right now, you go find something else to do." OR, I can choose to see this "interruption" as a time to evaluate my current priorities, to be thankful for a small person who cares and values my time, attention, and input, to cherish this time in their young lives. In this case, the interruptions would be met with gentleness, patience, understanding, and self-control.

We know this. We know our options. We know which is the better choice. We don't always follow this knowledge. Feelings, moods, circumstances, sheer laziness, the comfort of being "home" and with "family", all factor into the equation. In all honesty, I had found myself choosing the wrong one. It was as if the words came out, and I was taken aback, as if someone else spoke them. I apologized on a few occasions (some through gritted teeth of pride), but mostly I became impatient, over-critical, and simply annoyed by imperfections. Yikes, it's hard to type this, yet it's the truth. What to do?

Prayer. Lord, can you please help me? I don't want to be this way, I don't know what to do? After surprising sharing my heart this week at church, I'd like to humbly try to put into words His answered prayer. Basically, kind words are back to being effortless. Time spent with the children, planning activities, and simply laughing at the little mishaps of life has changed the tone of our home this week. This first began by pausing for a half-second, to filter the ugly, and out came the lovely. Strange. Amazing. True. I had a heart-change.

Luke 6:45

45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

My friend Martha, an amazing Godly woman, sent me an email about this answered heart-prayer. She wrote, "When we "...pray without ceasing..." the Holy Spirit is unleashed to do and work God's perfect will in and for our lives...AND I think he uses our very prayers to remind us of our needs....hence the "filter" when we are about to step in quicksand!!"

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Roman 3:5)

Lord, I am so very thankful for you today. You heard my prayer, you honored my repentant heart, you changed me, and gave me your perspective again. The fruits of your spirit can be displayed in my life and can spill over onto all those I love (at the moment). You are my rock. You are my refuge. You are the way, the truth, and the life. I love you.


mardeed said...

...and of course be thankful for the opportunity to hear the word "mommy" even if words you don't necessarliy want to hear follow. :)

Erin McGraw said...

Thanks for so transparently sharing your heart. I struggle with this same "rut" at times as well. I am so glad that God answered your prayers. It must be so encouraging to see such a quick change of heart, but as we know God is in the business of doing that. Have a blessed week.

jen said...

heather, you've done it again :) spoken right to my heart!! i struggle with this too, and am working so hard to turn things around. it does feel good to do the right thing and use the right words/tone... over what sometimes comes out 'automatically'.