Welcome! I will confess right up front, I am not a blogger. Actually, I am not even a blog reader, yikes! So, here I am contributing to a blog by posting. My first thought is, “what do I have to say that someone else might want to take the time to stop and read… “ Well, good thing this is a ministry blog because the source and strength of ministry is Jesus and He has a ton of stuff worth reading. So, I dug into the heart of God and asked Him to pull a blog posting out of my soul. Grab a mug of coffee, a cuppa tea, a can of RedBull, a bottled water or perhaps a stray juice box and let’s see what Jesus wants to speak to our hearts today.
“Perfection is not what is required, but rather faithfulness is.” This has been ringing in my mind for the entire month. Earlier in October my hubs surprised me with a long awaited trip up the east coast to become a “leaf peeper.”
I was beyond excited. We traveled from North Carolina all the way up to New Hampshire! And being the retired Navy people we are we were able to connect with one of my husband’s best shipmates who is also retired and pastoring a church in Vermont. So, I was able to spend some time with his wife who is a dear friend of mine as well. We had not seen one another in years, too many to number. But per usual military friendship style, we picked up as if we had never been apart. And what is the topic of conversation when two friends get together, who are Moms? Our kids.
We caught one another up on what’s going on with each kid. We have 5 kids between us and here is the tally of the current situation: 1 is a newlywed, 1 is a college graduate, 1 is a junior in college, 1 recently made a cross country move to Oregon and 1 is raising money to leave for school in Australia! WoW! There are some busy times ahead of us both.
In the midst of our catch-up, we each expressed moments of complete brokenness and ridiculous joy over the choices of our kids, the good, the bad and the most ugly. And just like normal Moms, we blamed ourselves. We should have done more, said less, prayed more, worried less, held more faith in our souls and less fear in our hearts. We had both played and replayed the shoulda, coulda, woulda tapes in our heads and it all came spewing out of our mouths. We were able to affirm one another in our failures as Moms, good times. But praise God the Holy Spirit did not leave us in that state.
Over the next few days as I was thinking and praying the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit assured me that the pursuit of perfection is not the same as a pursuit of faithfulness. Perfection is allusive. But, faithfulness is. Faithfulness is within my grasp because it only requires that I never give up, never.
Our Lord Jesus has a lot to say about faithfulness:
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Whenever I am struggling with the current circumstances of my life I remember this quote, “You need to put some Word on that!” It’s my own quote so, I scream it with authority! My friend and I forgot the one truth that sustains our faith, the Word of God is powerful and the strength of it triumphs in victory over all things. The Word of God declares that our God is faithful towards us and it is for His glory and our good, always. The faithfulness of God is unfailing and never ending. The Word of God says that He has put His faithfulness into our hearts, minds and souls through the work of the Holy Spirit. That truth resonates within me. I can be faithful because it is not in my own strength but, in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s faithfulness at work in me. Once I am able to wrap my mind around this truth I can take a deep breath. I can release my drive for perfection and embrace the pursuit of faithfulness.
Ladies we are not perfect wives, moms, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmas, friends . . . you fill in the blanks. We are not perfect at anything except forgetting who our God is and who He says we are. We often wander away from that truth. There are so many things I do not know or understand and they all provide me with countless opportunities to miss it.
But faithfulness – now that is something we can get after! Your life takes a sharp left turn; remain faithful in your quiet time with God. He will give direct instructions on how to navigate this new part of the path. You wake up one morning and the whole world screamed, “PLOT CHANGE!” while you were sleeping; remain faithful in your daily prayers. God will provide you with peace that has been shattered by the chaos. You begin to suffer the consequences of poor choices and sinful behavior; remain faithful to the Cross of Christ. The Holy Spirit will hold you in the grip of grace because your sin was nailed to the Cross of Christ and your freedom from the anguish of sin has been paid for through the shed blood of Jesus. Yes, remaining faithful is within our grasp.
As we walk this often rocky path of being military wives or active duty women, we must cling to the faithfulness of God. It is something we must even claw after if necessary, moving forward with all of our might towards the goal of remaining faithful.
When I walk I like to listen to my iPod and one of my favorite songs to listen to is “Stay” by Big Daddy Weave.
This section of a verse nearly brings me to my knees in the middle of my walking path every single time I hear it, “Break my heart with what breaks Yours, until You’re all I’m living for, show me what it means not just to believe but to remain.” It should break my heart each time I decide to believe me over Him and walk away from remaining faithful. My daily prayer is, “Lord teach me what I cannot see. If I have done wrong I will not do so again.” This brings a whole new picture of walking in faith, right! Well, by the end of my visit with my sweet friend we were both able to gain a godly perspective. Even on our best days of being Moms, we were not more powerful than our God. So, why did we believe we were more powerful than God on our worst days? Foolishness, that’s why we believed the lie!
As a parting gift, I left one of my favorite bracelets with her. It is a leather one with a metal tag attached that reads, “The greatest thing she learned is that there’s no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.”
I wrapped the bracelet in a note that read, “Perfection is not the goal, but rather faithfulness, and you my sweet friend have been faithful and you are a good mom!” I wish I could carry around a stash of these bracelets in my bag and hand them out each time I see a Mom struggling. I love some sparkle and sparkle with a truth nugget attached is some serious accessorizing!
Next time you are tempted to pursue perfection, STOP! Run in the direction of faithfulness and get after it quick!
Standing with my LORD!
<3 Claudia ~ Zephaniah 3:17