Monday, January 20, 2014

What I'm Learning

Hi, I'm Carrie. I'm type A with a tendency to control everything. I can be dominant and overbearing. I have OCD tendencies which further contribute to me obsessing over details, in addition to often blowing things out of proportion.

There. I said it. Happy?!

I admit my faults as a segway today. God has been teaching me something and this morning it struck me like lightning. No subtle nudging here. This was one of those whack-you-upside-the-head-make-sure-to-get-your-attention kind of lessons.

All of the above lend themselves to me often losing my patience. I am sometimes "hard on people," meaning I often expect perfection, leaving no room for error or failure. I'm ashamed to admit the first people who bear the brunt of these tendencies and attitudes are my husband and son.

HOW DARE I!!! I'm riddled with mistakes and mishaps. Where this becomes overly problematic is in my home. When I demand perfection from an active, overly energetic, at times very impulsive 5 and a half year old, or when I set the bar of expectations beyond reach for my patient, loving and servant of a husband, I find my fuse inching shorter and shorter to the point where I lose my cool. Again I say...HOW DARE I!!!

The other day I wrote on our white board "Love is patient, kind, long-suffering..." You know the passage from 1 Corinthians 13. And so do I. But that doesn't mean that I'm living it.

This morning I was reminded by a devotion: I've learned the importance of loving my husband unconditionally. I need to receive Dennis as a gift from God. And I need to remember that God is working in his life.  - Barbara Rainey

How did I lose that perspective?! After all it's taken to receive the gift of my adopted son and my godly husband, how could I not see them as the gifts they truly are?! God is using things in my husband's life to teach and grow him. God is using circumstances and lessons in my son's life to shape and mold him. So where does that leave me? 

First of all, it leaves me with the harsh reminder that I am not always the teacher. That's right. Miss control freak, you've got to remember you're not always in control. I'm not always driving the bus. Sometimes I'm not even invited for the ride-along. So my role is to wait at the bus stop, praying all the while, and being there the minute one of them return from their day at God's school.

Secondly, when I become disappointed or frustrated that someone isn't doing things the way I want, or when I get upset because what I wanted/planned/hoped didn't happen, I often hold one of them responsible. Then I realize, God is using my own circumstances - including, but not limited to, my husband and son - to teach ME. Through lessons they may be learning, through life experiences they're facing, through disappointments or failures they've encountered, I am not just an observer. I am here to be an active part, praying, encouraging, supporting, and sometime serving as an instrument as part of the lesson. Conversely, they are in my life to do the exact same for me. 

What I have to remember is that God isn't finished with any of us (thank The Lord!). Sometimes I'm a part of the lessons God is using to teach and grow them. Sometimes I'm not. Sometimes my own failures and mishaps will be instruments God uses to teach them to be patient and loving (and forgiving) toward me. 

I'm still swallowing my pride on this one. It's going to take awhile to choke this all down and truly process it - and grow from it. I just hope and pray they'll extend me more grace than I give them! And I pray to truly see them as the gifts they are. 

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