April 23, 2012

Day 23: Interrupted by Self-Control ... or Lack Thereof

I'm writing daily this month on being interrupted by grace.  Learn more and join in here.

Still not feeling 100% today, but much better than yesterday.  Thankfully there was nothing on the calendar, so we were able to be home.  I was not completely prepared for school, but we did get to all of the subjects, the kids had a great time playing together, and I even got some things done.  Which brings us to the topic of self-control ...

I was talking with Brian and Elizabeth today about having self-control at lunchtime, the specific behavior for them at meals is the constant need to touch things or have something to play with.  Busy, busy, busy.  It drives Colin and me nuts!  But as I was talking with them, I had to admit that I too lack self-control and am likely not doing a fantastic job teaching them to practice it.  I had just been speaking with my friend Chrissie about this very topic a few evenings ago.  For me I lack self-control with food, my tongue (too much talking!), doing my work before relaxing, the computer, and on and on.

In (until today) unrelated thoughts, I'd been thinking about trying to be more disciplined about just being with my kids, like sitting and playing with them from time to time.  I'm terrible at this because I let myself be distracted by duties or - more often - my cyberlife.  When I feel guilty about it, I want to make a plan: I will spend the hours of x to x playing each day, or MWF, or TThr.  Yeah, that never really amounts to much.

Today after the kid's rest time, and the time of the day that I have the toughest time letting go of the fact that "me time" is over, I had few more dishes to do.  So I suggested to the kids that they continue with something they'd started in the morning, while I wrapped up my task.

Then came the moment of decision.  Would I sit with them for the half hour before I had to feed Katherine or would I take advantage of their happy together play to free myself up to sit alone in front of the computer ... not practicing self control and not doing something my heart had been prioritizing?

I think because of our conversation at lunch, I chose to sit with them.  As I sat there playing Little People pirates on my kitchen floor with two of my favorite little people, I was thinking: Will they remember this, that their mom sometimes sat with them?  Does this matter?  The temptations crept in.

They probably won't remember that bit of time together.  In fact, if they inherit my memory, they won't remember much of their childhood!  But that's not the point of.  The Spirit had been gently impressing upon me the need to sit and "be" with my children more, and in that moment He gave me an opportunity and an obedient heart.  I'm thankful for that lunch conversation and how it prepared me for 3:30pm of the same day.

Interrupted by my own lack of self-control, my kid's lack thereof, and how we all need Jesus to forgive and help us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-25

This series has been helping me to keep in step a little better.  How about you?  Do you have a story to share today?  Leave a comment!

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