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The Mirrors in My House

We have a few mirrors strategically placed throughout the house. Bathroom, bedrooms, even the living room. However, there are two mirrors that I have been particularly aware of recently. They’re smaller; I have to stoop down to see in them fully, in fact. When I stop and look, I see my eyes, my smile, my slightly furrowed brow even though I’m completely content. There are some things that don’t look quite right. My hair isn’t exactly in the right place, or the right color. I don’t remember those dimples being there. But, the closer I look, the more I see what I wish I didn’t:

A snapped answer.

A short voice.

A judgmental word and attitude.

Crossed arms. Pursed lips. Sighs of frustration, discontentment, judgment.

It bothers me and shakes me deep to my core. I scold the reflection, ordering that it straighten up! Treat others with kindness! Overlook shortcomings in others and offer encouragement rather than scorn! Speak with words and tone full of grace, dad gummit! But the more I scold and berate, the more I see the unwanted characteristics emerge. Finally, I realize I’m so upset at what I see because it’s a reflection showing nothing other than what is in me. What I am.

Why I expect my children to exude grace, gratitude, joy, forgiveness under my leadership of lectures, short temper and deep sighs of exasperation is beyond me. They can only reflect what is presented to them.

Just as a mirror can only reflect what is actually on the object in front of it, so it is with my children.

Today I feel particularly defeated in what I have placed in front of my children for them to reflect. I feel a bit exactly like this:

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. Romans 7:15 (the Message translation)

I set out everyday to be the mom I want to be. Full of joy, forgiveness, grace. Someone my children would be proud to reflect; and whom I would be proud to have reflected. And everyday I fall flat on my face. The one thing that keeps me from packing it all in and giving up is that I know that my Father, unlike me, is full of unending grace. He picks me up, dusts me off, helps me see where I could have made better choices, and sends me out to try again. With Him right by my side. Some days (like today) it doesn’t feel like He’s there. My heart might not always realize He’s there, but I know He is. He’s promised it (and proven it) time and time again.

So, as I close this post, I lay my head in my Daddy’s lap, curl up and ask Him yet again to help me.

Wall Mirror Photo Credit Face Photo Credit

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16 Responses to “The Mirrors in My House”

  1. This is point on for me this week. Just what I needed to hear. Thanks

  2. Jennifer says:

    Oh that is me every day. “Lord please let me be the mother you want me to be.” And every day I feel like I fail. That God for forgiveness.

  3. Carrie B says:

    Thanks for this post. 🙂 “What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.” — Ah, over and over and over. Isn’t it amazing to stand there and subconsciously say, “I know I shouldn’t but…” and then sin wins. Sigh. Like Jennifer said: Thank God for forgiveness!

  4. Amy B. says:

    Love this. I was listening to my kids play this morning, and cringed at some of the things they said, because I know they got it from me. Thank you for the excellent reminder.

  5. Michelle says:

    I just finished my quiet time, and feel the same way. My heart is heavy with all that God pointed out. Well, actually, he pointed out that I already knew these things, but I was not disciplining myself to do them.

    Wonderful post; just what I needed to hear.

  6. Vanessa says:

    Found this from Miss Elaineous Mondays.
    Sigh.
    Oh inner ugliness. I had it hit me upside the face last week via an honest soul and one extremely harsh email. But God used it to show me. To show me how much I need to clothe myself with Jesus. Every day. Every hour. Too often what comes out of my mouth (or from my fingers via the keyboard) is NOT edifying, filled with love or wise counsel.
    Thankful that God made the first move to save me. 🙂

  7. Elaine says:

    I’m asking for help and grace in the area a lot myself lately.

    We are Catholic and my oldest is about to participate in the sacarment of Reconciliation which is going to a priest and asking for forgiveness (which you may know, not sure.) Anyway, I’m going to do the same, when he does, and beforehand there is going to be a lot of self examination. I’m so glad we have a forgiving God but I need there to be less for him to have to forgive. 😉

    Thanks for linking up, as always.

    Elaine

    • Elaine, I know what you mean. One of my favorite verses in the Bible talks about I must decrease and He must increase. And it’s only something He can do through me. Too often I try to do it I. My own strength, and that’s when I seem to fall the hardest on my face.

  8. Jessica says:

    A to the men. 🙂

  9. Jennifer says:

    I am struggling with this a lot this week. My temper is short, feelings are battered and bruised, and I wonder why my kids are acting out. Mind you, we had to put our dog down this weekend, and I’m attributing what we’re going through to grief-yet labeling it just seems like a flimsy excuse at best. Its reassuring to know though I’m not alone in this.

    • Oh, Jennifer, I’m so sorry about your dog. That would definitely account for some raw emotions and definitely acting out from the kiddos, who can’t always express their grief in words. Huge times of emotions and stress like that (death, moving, etc) always bring out more defiant behavior in my kids. Praying comfort for you all during this time. Thanks for taking the time to share with us!

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