Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Who gets my best, my family or others?

A sentence from Psalm 101 has been both
challenging and convicting for me:
"I will walk in my house with blameless heart."
When God speaks to
me about being more loving,
this verse reminds me to make application in my
family first—and then to others.
It forces me to ask, Am I more spiritual,
More loving, or more fun somewhere else?

Who gets my best—my family or others?

from A Mother's Heart, by Jean Fleming

I have been failing miserably with my family. I try to keep it together at work, but when I get home I fall apart. Kids get snapped at for making noise. My husband doesn't get a "welcome home" or even a "hi, honey!" when he arrives.

I catch myself thinking peevishly, if I didn't have to work so much, I'd have more energy for my family. If the economy hadn't taken a nose-dive. If we hadn't made those poor financial decisions. If we'd stopped having kids at two instead four. So easy to make excuses, justifications, to say "if onlys."

I really think the Lord sent me a dream last night to wake me up to my wrong attitude. (Well, I'm pretty sure He used http://writingcanvas.wordpress.com to give me the quote, above, too).

I was dreaming I was back at the beach, and the girls were playing in the surf. The twins - three years old - just loved dashing in and out of the water. I was laying on the sand, soaking up the sun. I didn't notice that the waves were gradually getting bigger in size. Suddenly a huge breaker crashed over the twins and they disappeared in the frothing water. They aren't old enough to right themselves, even in waist-deep water, if they get knocked over and disoriented. I searched for them frantically, swimming out and diving under, but the water was too murky to see anything. I knew even if I found one of the twins in time, chances are the other one would drowned before I could find her.

Then I woke up.

I have to stop making excuses and put my family first, no matter what trials the world is throwing at me right now. Let me rephrase that. I need to put God first, so then I have the strength to put my family next in priority, ahead of my worries, my exhaustion, my short temper.

My family deserves my best, and God can help me give them my best. I can't do it on my own.

Please link back to http://writingcanvas.wordpress.com for other excellent insights into the quote from Jean Fleming's wonderful book (I really need to read this book again! It's one of those you can keep getting good stuff out of it, no matter how many times you read it)


  1. In all honesty I have always (presumptiously) considered any woman who has not struggled in this area to be... boldly lying. I know that is incredibly wrong of me, but I don't know a single woman who can honestly say they have not fought the fight you are in.

    One step at a time dear sister. I can honestly say from my personal experience you are headed in the right direction. I noticed a HUGE difference in my attitude when I first met with God and put on my armor daily (Eph. 6). I took a lot of discipline (...ahem... and remembering) but wow the impact was noticeable!

    I'd love to add you and your family to my daily prayers if you don't mind. Only because I've been there and done that and wow I would have loved to have someone also praying for me. But if it weirds you out, I totally understand! lol

  2. Exhaustian is often a deal-breaker. No matter our intentions, lack of sleep and emotional draining can turn a reasonable woman into something she has no intention of becoming. I pray that God will give you some time in your daily activity to regain strength. Thank you for your honesty. God will bless your efforts to honor your family by honoring him first.

  3. Wow! This is one post that really made me stop and think! Thank you!

  4. Good words... and best to learn sooner than later. We often take our families for granted... they will always be there... until one day, they are not... and as much as we wish that we could do it all over again... we can't.

    Thanks for being vulnerable.

  5. You have had some very convicting posts, Margo! They remind me what i should be focusing on as well. So glad there is someone going through the same struggles as I--and yet, bold enough to post about it! You are helping me while helping you!!

  6. Thank you Margo for that post! It is so easy to forget just how much we have been blessed in life no matter what difficulties we face on a daily basis. And you are totally right, we need to put God first and then our attitude toward everything else is much improved! Praying for you Margo!

  7. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words. Ah...dreams. I think God unpacks my heart and leads me in mine more often than not like He has in this one for you.
    And foxes in vineyards - Songs is one of my favorite books. It is as if you crawled into my brain some days and wrote what you saw! Lovely.

  8. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments, and some of you have offered to pray for me too - I really appreciate that. I've been thinking about ways that I can deal with work and coming home to a noisy, demanding household without "losing it." - going to try using the first 15-20 minutes at home to sit down, put my feet up, read a Psalm or two, and ask God to refresh me for my evening responsibilites. Last night, it worked! Now, just need to remember to keep doing it.

  9. Yes- *sigh* I have tried showering with a bouncy seat and a travel "mini" swing in there with me. Unfortunately she just cries and cries. I'm going to try her outside of the door or inside the frame instead of behind closed doors with me. Maybe that will make a difference. :o)

  10. Hi LittleWomen21 -

    Thanks for visiting my blog and becoming a Follower. I've become a Follower here. I hope you'll find much encouragement for your writing journey at Christian Writer/Reader Connection.

    Your girls are beautiful! I admire any woman who can hold a job, raise a family, and write. It's a Herculean task. So, give yourself some grace.

    Susan :)

  11. Thanks for sharing that. It can be so hard to find a balance. It's true that putting God first straightens the rest out.
    When you shared your dream I felt a little freaked. I have had a similar one. I felt strongly that the danger to my kids--the unhealthy trends of the world that destroy so many young people today--could only be kept at bay if I gave them my best--with God in my actions. If we live selfishly, or unfocused things unravel fast, in this day and age. I watch children drop like flies-- to lives of alienation, broken families and self destructive addictions. We have to cherish them. Before we know it our time of influence is gone.
    Thanks again for making me think.

  12. Been there, still dwell there some days. You're not alone in this. It's good to have a Savior who also understands and gives us the courage and strength to be who He wants us to be for our families.