Things are happening in my heart that I need to analyze and record.
(Just pass over this if your not into introspection.)
There are moments of spiritual growth when God just brings together lots of influences to open certain things to me. And it usually starts after years of preparation– years of being bothered by certain things.
So I’ve been bothered the last few years by lack of satisfaction in home schooling, and bothered by my struggle to forgive certain people in our church, well, particularly one person.
Years go by, I live my days, things happen, good things, but still, these two things have, as a pattern, troubled me. And I pray about them, do what I can, as God shows me.
Like the unforgiveness: months back, God showed me to just stop the thoughts, just stop thinking so much about this person/situation and giving it so much “air time” in my brain. Just. Stop. That helped a lot to clear out my mind and be able to not be focused on negativity.
With home schooling, I have been reading, studying, understanding more and more. But I’m still not satisfied by it or enjoying it.
Years ago, I went through this Big Deal with learning about child discipline–the years of preparatory dissatisfaction, then all the influences coming together to bring it all together and teach me something very transformative. And God brought me to this place of joy, where there is a lot of healthy, emotional satisfaction and joy in my relationships with my kids now, as a pattern.
So now, in church relationships and home schooling, I feel like God has done the years of preparatory work, and now He’s going to move into the transformation phase, and I need to write about it. So I can figure things out better, and analyze and enjoy the process.
Phillip Keller, in his book A Gardener Looks at the Fruit of the Spirit,” starts out by talking about types of soil in our hearts. Not just for salvation, but as Christians, the soil of our hearts for bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
And I start to see parts of my heart in the “road” soil he describes, the soil that has been tramped, tramped, tramped down and will not bear.
For example, I started to envision my relationship with this person in my church, and you know, my critical thoughts just tramp, tramp, tramp down the “path” between us. It is impossible for joy to grow in this relationship. It’s impossible for kindness to grow in the path of this connection. It’s impossible for meekness, self-control, goodness, faithfulness, and peace to grow where my critical, suspicious thoughts are tramping, tramping, tramping down the soil.
He talks about our amitions as things that also tramp down the soil. And I’ve been analyzing for a long while now why I am home schooling. I’m fairly sure it is the will of God for me to be doing this, though we are open to other options. But for these years, this year, right now, it’s pretty clear that home schooling my kids is God’s will for me.
But just doing His will doens’t mean I’m doing it for the right reason–or maybe I could say I could do His will but for wrong or selfish reasons. I have my own little ambitions about home schooling, it seems. Like I have this fuzzy ideal in my head about what our home school should be, and I think that this is my ambition, to achieve this … feeling, or ideal. Where I am the center.
So my ambition is tramping, tramping, and the section of my life’s garden is not bearing peace nor joy.
So that is where I am right now. There are other threads of influence in these realizations:
Love is a major theme because of 1 Corinthains. 13– I spoke about this at a baby shower and from Keller’s book we’re going through how the qualities of Love in 1 Cor 13 match with the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. And how Love is the life of God, and the fruit of the Spirit come only as the actual presence of God (not like in a package separate from God).