This verse has always kind of given me a headache. I can remember reading it over and over to myself slooooowly…trying to break it down into parts. It was almost like reading a really annoying math word problem in highschool.
so what I WANT to do I do NOT do
but what I HATE I do
To be honest, I used to skim past this verse when it came up simply because it was wordy. Lazy, right? I know.
Lately, I’ve felt convicted to be a better person. I’m kind of tired of just letting life happen…just being who I am and being OK with that. Thinking “people like me so I can’t be that bad”.
I realize there are so many areas in my life that are good, and sure if no one knew any better they would probably think I was working at being better…being more patient, more kind, more understanding, more filled with grace and love…but the reality is that I’m just fooling them…and myself.
So here’s the thing. I know what I want to do. I want to be more patient, I want to be in better shape, lose the baby weight, be a better wife, be a better mother, be a better friend, be a better leader…just all around, I want to be better and that sure isn’t going to just happen.
We’ve been talking a lot about living lives of purpose and this is kind of the culmination of it for me.
If I want to be a better person then I need to be living life on purpose.
We’ve been having some rough nights at our house with Aden being sick and feverish…not a lot of sleep happening, so admittedly I’m tired. I’m “haven’t slept through the night in 5 years” tired. So one morning when the kids were up at the Crack. Of. Dawn. I got up with them and Jordan kept sleeping. How generous of me. Wasn’t it so nice of me to let him keep sleeping, while I got up like mom of the year and helped the kids? yeah. right. Except I was really cranky about it…I wanted to be feeling love and generosity and to be happy that he could get some much needed rest, but that was NOT the reality.
That was a turn around for me. I WANTED to be selfless and happy that the man that I love more than anyone could get a bit of extra sleep because he was up so many times in the night too. Because HE is tired and worn out as well. Because HE works hard all day for our family too. So there it was. I do what I hate. I’m cranky and selfish and I hate it. But why is it so hard to be generous and kind and filled with joy and love and just not think only of myself?!
So it’s time. I decided to stop doing what I don’t want to do and strive to be a better person. Time to stop thinking of myself. To start loving my husband in more practical ways and not just expect him to work to make me happy. To have more patience with my kids by understanding that they are learning and growing and I need to help them, not prioritize my tasks for the day. To stop talking about WHEN I’ll lose the baby weight and actually start living a life that practically means I’ll do it. To start flossing every day. Ok probably not…I mean the list is big already, and seriously…who really flosses every day anyways??
It isn’t easy, that’s for sure. But it is all a process of living life on purpose. It means that when I don’t do what I want to do I’m at least aware of it, repentant for it, and back to square one…but the point is that I go back to square one and keep on. Living life on purpose means that I never really achieve the destination or goal. It just means that I continue striving.
The key is to not beat myself up over a failure. That’s what Satan wants. He wants me to lose my focus…lose patience, become more self-centered, get distracted from my goals so that I think that I’m a big failure and that this purposeful life I’m trying to live is impossible. I might as well give up. He can accomplish far too much if he can distract me from a goal that is going to bring me closer to the person God wants me to be. Satan can see my potential clearly, so he wants me to get discouraged and distracted from the purpose that God has called me to.
God knew exactly who He was calling when He called me. He knew I was flawed. He knew I would struggle. But He still called. I love what Susie Larson writes in her book Your Beautiful Purpose: “God’s will for you is your best-case scenario. I marvel at how He lovingly takes our broken pieces, our tangled-up fears, our worst mistakes, and creates a mosaic of beauty that impacts the world” (19). That’s what I want!
So, here I go. Embracing the challenge. Living life on purpose. Ready to live life as the better person that I want to be. A beautiful mosaic called by God to impact this world.