Tuesday's challenge was to spend 30 minutes a day in quiet time with God. I managed that again yesterday--30 minutes of time with the Bible and in prayer in addition to prayers offered throughout the course of the day--but just barely. Right towards the end of my time, the phone rang. I ignored it, but my son answered and brought up the phone. I quit what I was doing. I'm still very self-conscious about praying in front of other people. Why is that? It's one thing that I do that could be a GOOD example for my family.
Yesterday's challenge was to keep positive in the face of problems and problematic people. I thought, Oh, I can do this easily...the kids are all going to be gone most of the day! That thought crossed my mind around 7:30. By 8, my 15 year old son was asking for a ride to school because three drops of rain had fallen and he didn't want to get wet on his bike. For a variety of reasons, none of them good reasons to be mad, giving him a ride was a problem for me, and I got so annoyed. I went storming upstairs to get my shoes, and by about the time I reached the top of the stairway, it hit me...this is exactly what I'm supposed to be working on...Chastened, I went back downstairs with a better demeanor.
Really, all day long I felt much like Peter after the cock crowed three times. After the ugliness had slipped out of my mouth or behavior, I would realize what I had done. The good news is that, while I was not at all successful in initially reacting the way I'm sure God would want me to, at least having the challenge on my mind DID help me to more quickly change my behavior, actions, and attitude to a more godly one.
Today the challenge is to practice forgiveness. It's funny. I have been able to forgive some pretty major things that have happened to me...my ex-husband's infidelity and leaving me, some really poor choices on my husband's part, etc. It's the smaller, far less important things that I find harder to deal with. A big source of anger and unforgiveness I have dealt with lately has been my mother-in-law. For whatever reason, she has no problem turning us down when we ask her to babysit our son, but she watches my sister-in-law's two children once or twice a week all day long. This has upset me to no end. God has been working on my attitude, though, and I have made some real strides with it. And I've seen some changes in her, too. Since my attitude improved, she has called a couple of times to invite us to join her for lunch and then kept Jacob afterwards to play. I don't think this is due to my outward attitude towards her, because I was always careful to not let my hard feelings show. I think it's God at work...and, once again, I'm impressed. :)