God does not pin himself down to one method of working in our lives. Take for example conviction: the awareness that you are/have been out of God’s will for your life in one area or another. Sometimes I feel conviction through listening to teaching at our church service.  Sometimes I feel it through reading my Bible or prayer. Sometimes as I worship God in song I feel it. Other times it’s from listening to a friend challenge me, or even confess her own struggles.

Or tonight, through my child reflecting back to me what she experiences in her life as I mother her.

I sent Emma up to her room to get jammified and into bed and told her I’d be up soon. About 5 or 6 minutes later I noticed her milling around the living room in her jammies. So I called her to me and gave her a little hug and said “Are you having a hard time obeying mommy tonight? Or is something else going on?’ She mumbled a bit and I said “Honey, something is going on because I asked you to get in bed and you’re not. What’s up?” “Well, I was just wondering when you would be coming up to tuck me in?” (this made sense to me as Emma gets a little nervous being upstairs at night sometimes.) So I said, “Oh, well you could have just asked me that. That’s no big deal. I’ll be up in 5.” I gave her a big hug and felt pretty good about my mothering in that moment. I was patient. (check) Didn’t raise my voice. (check) Got to the issue without drama. (check) While busy congratulating myself on being such a good mom, I looked up to see her with big tears in her eyes, and she said “Well sometimes you’re cranky with me about asking things like that.” Patting self on the back comes to a screeching halt. My sweet girl has tears of relief that mommy wasn’t cranky with her this time.

Yep, just a reminder that I’m not able to live up to perfect. Or holy. Or good. The truth is I’m selfish, but because of Jesus death in my place, my record says I’m not. I get the credit for his righteousness. How amazing is that?

When I was younger I would experience conviction like this:

conviction + guilt = shame

Now that God has been helping me understand grace more and more it looks like this:

conviction – guilt = gratitude

So needless to say, I had to confess and apologize to my girl for being selfish and impatient. I told her our conversation had inspired a blog and she was pleased about that. And I am humbled once again by my own inability to be good, but grateful for the One who was good enough to cancel my debt forever.


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