My New Self
I awoke to frozen water pipes. This 175 year old farmhouse sometimes gets the better of me. It was an adventure we were seeking when we bought this old farm and it’s an adventure we’ve gotten. These almost five years here have been a test of skill, patience, strength, and courage. So many stories to tell, with not much else to show for it, but my, how strong we’ve become. Physically, mentally.
It’s the New Year, and here on the farm these first, cold days are typically spent gathered around the coal stove, pining over dreamy visions in our heads of all we’d like to see done here over the coming months. Chickens, goats, sheep, gardens, orchards, home improvements, etc etc . . . . Typically, about 10 percent of what we dream gets accomplished. Life just has a way of getting in the way. Time, money, and simple human limitations slow our progress and it can be disheartening.
Sometimes the slow progress, goals unmet, the failures, can become suffocating. It’s usually then that I hit the couch with a cup of coffee in one hand and God’s word in the other. I do my best to ignore the background noise (there’s a lot here, folks) and seek the solace and peace and wisdom that only He can give. And that’s just what I was doing one morning recently, when this verse struck me:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
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God gave us ambitions and strength and purpose for a reason. My goals for our farm aren’t necessarily evil. But should they be at the top of my resolution list? This year instead, I resolve to be made new in the attitude of my mind. To put on a new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
No time was wasted before my new self was put to the test. When I woke this morning, already I knew it was going to be one of those days.
I sank down behind the quiet of a locked bedroom door and the first words that poured desperately from my mouth were,”Dear Lord Jesus, please, please let this be an easy day.”
But even as they left my mouth, I knew these were the wrong words. Because in this stage of life, and in many other seasons as well, there really are no easy days . . .
. . . but, ah, there can always be good days.
We can make these days good by renewing our attitudes, by striving for holiness instead of happiness.
Let my prayer be for a joyful attitude. Joy for all that surrounds me, even messes. Lego messes, food messes, laundry messes, school messes, relationship messes, heart messes. All.
For patience and strength, and the wisdom to know that adversity makes me stronger and wiser, sometimes crazier, but always more dependent on Him.
For character humble and meek. Knowing that it’s not always my will that’s best.
For wisdom. And everyday knowing that any small victory won or lost is not necessarily an indication of my parenting ability.
For self-control. Strength to harness both my thoughts and my actions. And to quiet my tongue especially.
And lastly and most definitely, thankfulness — for it all.
I’m pretty sure I’ll still have plenty of un-holy moments as the days of 2018 pass quickly by, and that’s all right. For He gives us grace. And I probably won’t get everything done that I’d like to this year on the farm. Again. And that’s all right too. There’s always next year.
I encourage you – As you make your resolution list this year, ask God to renew your mind – to show you what He wants you to put at the top of that list. Be obedient, rest in His will for your life, and the rest may just fall into place.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
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About the Author:
“I mother eight lively children. I dream, I pursue Jesus, I live passionately and somewhat wildly on an ancient and windy hilltop farm in upstate NY with my handsome and handy DIY husband of nineteen years. I write about my ambitions, my aspirations, and my inspirations.”
I’d love for you to join me here:
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