Truth: Without God, there IS no purpose in life. Period.
The one and only purpose of my life is to be in close relationship with and bring glory to God. The rest of this stuff that goes on is just a bunch of tools that God is using to bring me closer to Him and into His perfect plan and will for my life.
He is the Potter, I am the clay. He is molding me into the woman that He wants me to be.
That is why my blog is called Potter's Hand. I am in His hand for His purpose.
Practically speaking, this means that my kid might be having a temper tantrum and tearing the house up and I am able to not take it personally. I can step back and say, "Lord, my child is showing me their desperate need for You in their life. Show me how to portray Your nature to them in this situation. What do You want me to do? How would You deal with this 3 year old? Give me Your peace and wisdom and understanding. Guide my words and actions that they would be healing and not damaging."
To say that I do this every time something goes wrong would be a flat out lie. I'm not going to lie to you or make you think that I'm so spiritual all the time that I never screw up. Yes, I've yelled at my kids at the top of my lungs. Yes, I've slammed doors and said things that I regret. When I mess up, I tell God and ask His forgiveness, but first I tell my kids I was wrong and ask their forgiveness. We talk openly (as much as is appropriate) with our kids about our/their struggles. My kids know they screw up, but they know that I do, too, and that God is forgiving. We forgive each other and pray for the other person and what they are struggling with. Yes, I have asked my kids, after a big fight, to pray with me to ask for God's help with my anger. It is a beautiful thing to see forgiveness and love in my child's eyes and to hear them earnestly pray for me. I do the same for them.
Every moment of every day is an opportunity to serve others and handle situations the way Jesus did. He wasn't out to punish everybody. He wanted them to know and feel and see His great love and compassion. We are all sinners, but there is hope and a purpose. Life becomes a beautiful thing when the focus is no longer on our personal gain and comfort and plans and becomes about His glory and plan for our lives.
Step back, go to another room, pray, and then return to the situation. We do NOT need to deal with a situation immediately. This is a lie that we have been told over and over and we have swallowed it without thinking. Kids have a memory. They are not going to forget. If anything, that will be the only thing they will be thinking about. I remember as a kid thinking for hours, "Did I get away with that? Are they going to remember? Am I going to be in trouble? Maybe if I am super good today, they will let me off the hook. I'll be really sweet..." Dealing with a situation immediately as it happens puts you in a terrible position. Here's why:
1: You might not really be sure of what happened exactly
2: Emotions are running high in everyone and anger sets in easily
3: You have no time to think through an appropriate response
4: You have no time to make a plan to deal with the situation in a way that will have lasting impact and enable change of heart.
Jumping in right away can be catastrophic. Not always, if you already have a plan set out and can deal with it calmly, but in many cases. So don't be afraid to wait. A 3 year old can remember for about 24 hours, a 6 year old for about 3 days, and a preteen for a week. I'm not suggesting that you should always wait days before dealing with something, but I am saying that you don't need to pressure yourself into reacting right away. Take the time you need to think clearly with a level head that is not being influenced by anger, til you come up with a plan.
Ok, this started out as a "purpose for my life" and ended up as a "Parenting 101" lol
Lost my focus a little bit, but I'm going to pretend it flows nicely and was intentional. ;)
My next post is going to be about the How and Why of the trials we go through in life. It will be a bit of an extension of this post. As always, I love to hear your comments!