How I Know I'm Growing {Despite the Failures}

  Ethan overcomes the cattle guard   

I like steady and predictable.

Until I get bored, and then I want some excitement and shiny-newness.

It's the same with my spiritual life. I have steady forward movement, a little climb to the top, and then some crashing descents thrown in for - I don't know - humility? Variety?

January 2013 076

We're always trying to have dialog with our kids about discipleship and growth, and I'm inwardly assessing my failures and multiple shortcomings, my try-and-fail life and all the things I'm not, yet.

Can we point out the highs and disregard the lows?


January 2013 078

I'm still trying to be all the things I'm trying to teach, and I fight off the dreaded H word because I know what to do, I want to do it, but sometimes I just don't.

My husband was telling me about a job he looked at the other day. The couple wanted some remodeling done, a deck built, some holes patched.

There was a hole where a smoke alarm should have been. There was a hole in the bathroom door where the previous owners had shoved a fist through. There were holes in odd places from odd things and the oddest thing of all was that they were each covered by a picture of Jesus.

I don't know what to think of that. Someone covered up flaws and outbursts and mistakes with Jesus. I don't know whether to make a positive analogy of that or to pull out that H word, hypocrite,  and ask why they didn't fix the broken places? A little putty, some paint?

Had the holes just piled up so deep that they didn't know where to begin? Just hang a picture, a nice religious one, right over it and I'm sure no one will notice. 

I talk to my kids about how to be a disciple and that same sarcastic voice shows me holes. Impatience and covetousness and discontent and go ahead and just hang Jesus over that. You'll be fine.

It's the accusing voice that I recognize for its lies. It's accusing me of being victory-less and hopeless, self-condemning and who-are-you to think you could show Jesus?

I tell that liar that I'm looking for small victories now. Little mole hills of overcoming and baby steps of progression. I move away from his holey-voice and I know. I know I know I know that I'm victorious in Jesus.

Ethan overcomes the cattle guard 1


This refining life is slow and steady work, and while I'm all for slowness and I love His steadiness, this long-enduring walk is death to me at times. As it should be.

Looking for small victories helps me inch along. Here are a  few inches I've noticed:

  • I looked through an entire homeschool catalog and only marked 2 things that caught my grass-is-always-greener eye. Two things! And I eventually tossed the catalog in the recycling and ordered nothing. I guess that after 13 years of this I'm finally overcoming the need to try every new thing.
  • I took my daughters to the craft store and bought nothing. No. Thing. I spent 45 minutes looking at all the amazing-things-I-could-do and walked away just fine and content.
  • I refused dessert. Oh yes. That feat of all feats.

These were small,  overcoming-my-flesh type things.  I have bigger issues to get over, yes. But small victories surely strengthen us for the bigger ones to come, and I have to rejoice and build brick upon tiny brick, filling in the holes with Jesus and not just covering them.

Mommy fails. Jesus doesn't.

Sin is that irritating kid that comes along to knock down your tower, just because. Victory is building again, Right. In. His. Face.

January 2013 084


Linking up with The Better MomGrace Laced MondaysPlaydates with God, The Mom Initiative, Soli Deo Gloria, and Titus 2sdays.