Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5 Ways, 10 Rules, 3 Tips & 8 Steps

Sometimes I wish I were one of those bloggers {or people, in general} who have solutions. You know, those people who always have life answers...

5 Ways To Be A Perfect Parent
10 Rules To Being A Faithful Christian
3 Tips For Keeping the Honeymoon In Your Marriage
8 Simple Steps To Conflict Resolution

The truth is I repeatedly fail at all of the above, and have a hard time giving myself grace.

When I'm digging around in the laundry basket, looking for matching socks for the girls, and the bus is scheduled to arrive in five minutes, I get angry with myself for not being more organized. When my kids fight about who gets the last of the ice cream, I wonder if I'm failing to teach them selflessness. When my husband and I have spent days passing each other in the halls, and our only coversations have been about the kids, I wonder if we're too busy. When someone is angry with me, I develop a guilt complex thinking it's all my fault, even if I'm not at fault.

It's those times that I think if only I had a list of steps to follow, life would run simply and smoothly. But if I'm honest, lists and steps overwhelm me to the point that I shut down.

But there's good news in what I'm learning: it's all about trust. It's about trusting that the Holy Spirit will guide me {assuming I'm tuned in and listening}. Strangely enough, even if I miss several days of Bible reading or study, He still guides me {contrary to what many people teach}. And what's really mindblowing to me is that sometimes He leads me to do the exact opposite of what I think I should be doing. The people-pleasing side of me wants everyone to be happy, but He's teaching me that it's not my job to make everyone happy. I simply have to trust Him, and offer grace to myself and others.

Trust and grace should be easy, right? I guess if they were, there wouldn't be a million different ways to live a better life. I guess because trust and grace are contrary to the flesh, it sometimes seems easier to check off a list. I guess it's why when I start feeling like a failure, I start looking for a set of guidelines to follow to make me feel like I'm doing a better job at living life. The crazy thing is that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is not always in a checklist. His guidance is found when we pray two words: Lead me.

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