Sunday, November 24, 2013

Seeking Joy this Holiday Season

I am critical. No - not of you. (although I can also do that from time to time) I am critical of myself. Extremely so. My house is not clean enough. My weight is not where I would like it. I lack in homeschooling my children. I am not stimulating my special needs children in the areas they need it most. I need to be more consistent. I'm too negative at times. I need to be more organized. blah blah blah blah ...

Perfectionism. Blech.

I don't think I am the only Mom that suffers in this area. I know that others do as well. I think it's a human nature thing - and more specifically - it's a Mom kinda thing.

But. It's not ok.

Well maybe it is ... in moderation? I mean, perhaps it helps motivate. But that's not where I want to focus.

I know that scripture uses the story of Martha & Mary to illustrate to us how it is not the "doing" of serving others that we should be focused on, but rather our heart. Our admiration of Christ in the doing. In that you can find joy. Contentment of heart feels good and doesn't bode well of being self critical.

And yet we read in the last proverb of what is referred to as the 'Virtuous Woman' proverb, that this portion is focused on her doings. Even the last verse states 'Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.' Her works praise her. They are a testament to her virtue.

Does this contradict the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10 - where Martha (the doer) is reminded that " ... Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her"? (Luke 10:42b)

No. The "doing" and the "heart focus" come together in a way that can make the woman ... or anyone ... complete in their faith.

We read in James 2:26 'For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead'. Meaning that works is the manifestation of your faith in Christ.

So what's my point? How does this pertain to me, as a mother, and my zealousness in self criticism?

I need to stop.

I am focused on my inefficiencies and this is an indicator that my heart is not where it ought to be. I am focused on self. On my works - and it is bringing me to a point of frustration and stealing my joy. Really. This is my struggle right now. I am a very busy mom. I'm busy with appointments, school, housework, etc. So I tend to focus on the doings. My heart has drifted away from just seeking Christ and starting there.

My 'works' - is my service. Yes, to my family - but ultimately in serving my family - I am serving Christ. I need to let off on the being self critical and know that I am offering my best (and do that) while maintaining my joy, peace, and contentment all along the way.

Christ is reminding me that my children are watching. What am I teaching them?

So as I head into the rush of this holiday season, I am resolving to daily seek Him - be joyful, take everything in stride and offer a warning:

My home may not be in crazy clean condition if you stop by, but I have tea - and I promise I will clean a spot off my sofa for you to sit awhile and visit.

Have a joyful Thanksgiving.


luba b said...

Totally agree with you! Great reminder for myself during this busy season! Love you, miss you, hope to see you soon! Also, your family photos look great!

The Potvin Crew said...

Boy, is this a continuation of what has been being preached to me (by others ans well as myself) these past few months, or what??!! You'd think I'd go ahead and learn it so I could move on to the next lesson. But no, this just has to be one of those things my brain (and heart) has to keep as a constant battle. Sometimes I wonder why some things are easier than others to learn in your Christian life. Hmmmm...?? ~ Love you, Grace

Jenny B. said...

Hello dear mama. I suffer from this as well, and you won't believe, but I sometimes think to myself "I bet Charissa never acts that way or says things in that way to her children", etc. :) I always remember you as being so loving and patient. Anyhow, our pastor just preached a convicting message (for me) about Mary and her consecration ("separation from a common use to a sacred use; devoting to service and worship of God" was his definition). I have been struggling in this area you have written about as well. Well, this message just got me and I realized I had not fully consecrated myself to my role, particularly as mother. I did "business with the Lord" about that and have had a great relief and have seen a difference in my daily outlook and reactions. I don't know if that helps you at all, but I wanted to share and maybe be an encouragement? :)

Jenny B. said...

Oh, and I only have a third of the number of children that you do! :)

Anonymous said...

This is so good. Such great reminders.

Jenny Savage