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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Longing For...

The below post was written by my dear sister-in-law, Renee:

Longing for the Ideal with Hope and Grace

Do you know what I really long for? Maybe it’s the same desire you have: to be a really great (and I mean the kind of great that receives many rewards in heaven) woman, wife and mom. For me, this means meeting my ideal expectations of myself. We might all fill in the blanks of what that looks like to us differently. Some of my blanks start with: to always _________ or to never __________.

Do you know what my problem is? I find that my real self never quite reaches my ideal expectations- and many times falls miserably short. It seems hopeless when I see who I want to be and then see myself as I really am.

A book I read recently, Changes That Heal, helped me with this struggle between the good and the bad that I face inside of myself. The truth and grace I found there brought great freedom.

The truth is my real self doesn’t match my ideal self. But the grace given by Jesus makes a lot of room for imperfection. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection- which gave Him victory over imperfection and its consequences- I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t even have to be good! Jesus is my perfection for me. He is my goodness. My hope for becoming all I long to be rests in Jesus whose job it is to perfect me and make His work of creating holiness in me complete.

For me, in practical terms, this means ‘the pressure is off’! I can ‘reveal’ my real self to myself and others. I don’t need to feel shame or embarrassment over my failures or shortcomings as a woman, wife or mother. I can rest and not weary myself with striving for an ‘ideal’ while trying to cover up my ‘real’.

With Jesus’ help, I work towards obeying God to produce righteousness in all areas of my life. And with the picture of Jesus’ work on the cross, I work towards that goal imperfectly without guilt or shame. The good and the bad of my real self can co-exist without a cover-up so that Jesus’ work in me can shine.


Debbie said...

Amen sister. This is such a wonderful reminder especially for us as mothers and wives. Very liberating message. Thank you.

kari said...

what a great reminder that He is the one that calls us to greatness, not by our flesh, but through His spirit can we be really free. isn't it encouraging to realize that He will always be shaping us into the women He's called us to be. i love that He's not done with me yet.

thanks for the great post!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Nice post.

Isn't that such a relief? Thank you, Lord! :)

To God Be The Glory said...

Hi, I just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed this blog! I love the 31 days of cleaning and all the other encouraging posts. Congratulations on your pregnancy! Blessings to you and your family.

HeathahLee said...

This sounds so much like the message in TrueFaced. While I can't hide my sin and must still confess and repent, His grace is there to allow me to accept His forgiveness and move on and grow! It's all about grace!

WillowSwitch said...

I really enjoyed this entry.
I found myself going day to day crisis to crisis, thankful for learning to have faith that I wasn't alone. But it wasn't enough. It was always 'when I get a few minutes' I was going to spend sacred time. A few minutes never came. It was always words of thanks as I was on the run. Well I got burned out. Trying to work outside the home, take care of the home, family and my ailing mom, who lives with us. There wasn't any 'Me' to find. Or so I thought. I quit my job, we're becoming more self-sustaining, and time to spend quietly finding 'Me'again with sacred time in the top priority.

Katharyn said...

Thank you, I have been struggling with how to not stress about house work, and my appearance while I'm fighting to figure out my asthma trigger etc (big asthma trigger, caffeine... I work at 6:30 in the morning, what do you mean no tea?!?!). Your shared contemplation really helped me feel better about the disarray everything is in at the moment.