"We care more about our comfort than our character" - Francis Chan
When using the word steadfast or endure, the definition requires the weight to hold to be steadfast or to endure in the strength. You are not enduring when it is removed. So when building endurance, you have to have the thing there that you have to endure. The discomfort. So many people want a comfortable pain-free life. Character isn't developed without struggle. So, I would want to choose the uncomfortable, painful things that make me stronger and better FOR God's glory. Grow me. Change me. Don't take it away and make it all better, because then I'm deprived of the opportunity to become who God wants me to become.
I actually prayed the strongest prayer I think I've ever prayed when listening to Francis' sermon yesterday. I'm posting it here to chronicle it. I said, "Whatever it takes!" I don't even want to type out the things I offered to God, but they were about as open handed as one could get. Then this morning, I got a little scared. Is this the last time I'll see my daughter? Are things so amazing with my husband right now, because this is the end? Regardless, my hand has no grip on anything in my life and I freely offer it all to God. As I write this, I realize He has always had the power to take and I just handed an invisible baton of control.
"Things are caught, not taught" -familiar quote requoted by Francis Chan
The best parenting advice EVER: Work on yourself first. If you are self-controlled and equipped in God's armor and filled with the Spirit and so on and so forth, your children will see and learn so much more than when you are throwing commands while suffering in your own internal battle.
For me, personally this translated into getting up in the mornings before my children. Around my house, I am blessed to have a husband that delights in doing the morning routine. This allows me to just sleep right through it all!!!! I LOVE sleep!!! But, for me, I felt like I was actually sinning by sleeping in every single morning. I was flirting with the depression that I am tempted by each day. During those morning hours I struggle with facing what my role is. Well, starting this morning, I set the alarm and obediently got out of bed to work on myself first! So far so good! I'm excited and challenged!