We just finished reading this book for our Ladies' Bible Study for church. The book was so refreshing and so convicting! Each week Joanna Weaver, the author, managed to say something that I exactly needed to hear and she said it in such a way. . . . She has a way of saying things that hit right at the heart, bypassing all reason and previous ways of thinking. She made me look at myself in a whole new light. I am a perfectionist and she made me realize that God doesn't want a perfect me--I'm working on being perfect/mature/complete but while I'm here on earth it is a process of becoming perfect. . .I will fail. . .I will take two steps forward and one step back. . .I will keep falling into the same sinful habits. . .
"Realizing that God is more interested in the process than the product has transformed my walk with Christ because it allows me to concentrate on obedience, not perfection. The goal of perfection only points out how far I have to go, but obedience marks how far I have already come. Perfection frustrates and torments. Obedience releases and makes whole.
"I can't become everything I ought to be overnight. But I can proceed step by step if I'm obedient to what God asks of me today."
Of course, it all hinges on our heart attitude and desires. . .am I truly trying to please God and do what is right or am I just living day by day doing my best to get by, frustrated when I sin or slip up on something but not really convicted and saddened and move on and forget about what God has shown me--like that man who sees his face in a mirror and walks away, forgetting what he saw there or not even truly seeing what was staring him in the face. I don't want to be that man. . .or that woman. . .I want to be changing little by little every day so that others will see Christ through me.
The author Joanna Weaver is extremely well read and includes lots of little extra things in her book to help explain or to illustrate what she has been talking about. The ladies in my group and I found the following prayer to be hilariously true:
"Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from getting talkative, particularly from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
"Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details--give me wings to come to the point.
"I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others' pains. Seal my lips on my own aches and pains--they are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.Help me to endure them with patience.
"I dare not ask for improved memory, but for growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken.
"Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint--some of them are so hard to live with--but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.
"Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so."
--Written by an anonymous seventeenth-century nun
It mostly cracks me up that it was a nun saying all this. . .guess I have this expectation that a nun would be mostly. . .like a saint!
--a few days later--
I was typing at Starbucks while my little helper was taking a nap but before I could finish things up my computer battery died. I am now back outside Starbucks typing again while waiting for big sister to get out of her youth group meeting. I know, I'm really suffering here (ha, ha, ha) but I do feel compelled to purchase a cup of coffee (Pumpkin Spice Latte tonight) even when I sit outside the store so that if ever questioned by the proper authorities about abusing the Wi-Fi offered, all will be cope-a-stetic. So tonight little helper is awake and since we are sitting for a while I let her loose--in the car--oh my!
All that to say, I forgot my book at home and cannot double check the above quotes to make sure they are perfectly accurate. I proofread and will spellcheck but any other mistakes are totally mine and I take full responsibility;-)
I am once again a stay at home mom with lots of ideas! My husband is a man of vision and has started his own Christian school--Paideia Academy. We have three daughters and one son--the thorn among the roses;-) We hope you enjoy getting to know our family along the way. . .