James 1: 5-8
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
What have I learned? I have learned to trust in God in all things, above all things and through all things. He is my rock and my salvation. In Him I shall not want. Though He leads me through the valley of death, His rod and His staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23 paraphrased)
What have I learned? I have learned that I will make mistakes. I will fail. I will fall short. And even on those decisions that I labor over the most. I, often times, will choose the wrong path, doubt my choices, and sometimes even doubt my sanity. But out of all that I have learned, what I cling to the most is that God is bigger than my mistakes. Not only can He work in spite of my failures. He can work through them. Of all my failures, and there are many, I mourn my shortcomings as a parent the most. Every time I lose my temper, I can feel the damage to the foundation of my relationship with my children. Every time I fail to prioritize, I regret the loss of that moment. Of all the things that I desire, what I desire most, is a life well-lived, devoted to the service of God and others. And yet, often times I find myself devoting my time, my life, to those things that I do not most highly regard. Oh granted, they’re not immoral, or wrong, or even unimportant. They are the dismal, daily tasks of survival, logistical necessities, but hardly priorities. Dr. Henry Cloud states in his book, One-life Solution, “Your time is your life.” It sounds so trite and simplistic but how true. Our time is our life. If we will spend our time as faithfully as our money, perhaps we will experience the growth and fulfillment of a life well-invested. If we will tithe of our time, to the Lord, perhaps He will multiply it. If we will devote both quality and quantity time to our children, perhaps it will pay dividends for the future.
In this section, I hope to impart both the practical and the interpersonal. I hope to give you some insight into those things that have worked well for our family and those tragic mistakes from which I have learned so much. Please don’t look at this as a text or an instruction manual, but a heart-to-heart talk from a friend who is both tattered and worn from the weathering of life, a friend who is trying to confess her own shortcomings, not out of self-imposed authority but instead from contrite humility, a friend attempting to save others from the dismal misfortune she has thrust upon herself and to point others to the God who held her hand and guided her through.