It seems like every where I turn, lately, I'm dealing with backsliding.
For a New Year's resolution this year, I decided to give up pop. It's actually been a little easier than I thought it would be. I'd attribute that mostly to the fact that I haven't had pop around the house. A couple of weekends ago, my parents came over to visit me and the kids, and they like to drink pop. Diet Pepsi, to be specific. That's exactly what my vice was, and I thought I had successfully given it up. After all, it had been over two weeks since I'd indulged in a bubbly glass of goodness. My mom was sweet enough to not even have it in front of me, but I insisted that it would be fine. Throughout the evening, I kept looking at it, thinking about how good it would taste, but I managed to stand firm on my new quest for a healthier me. After they left, there was one bottle left on my counter, unopened. A few nights later, I went into my kitchen to get a snack, and reached for that bottle, poised to open it and pour myself a drink. Only as I had started to twist the top did I even realize what I was doing. Without even thinking, I almost backslid into a bad habit I had worked so hard to break. I quickly moved the bottle to our back porch, in hopes that not seeing it would help me continue on my journey. Last night, I managed to get rid of that last bottle, so it would no longer be a temptation for me.
I also made a commitment to myself to start blogging more regularly in this New Year. I wanted to make my goad at least four posts a week, something I'd managed to keep up with for a short while. Until this last week, when I could not find words to put on a page, or find the time to upload pictures. As quickly as I had made a commitment with myself, I managed to break it.
It's not only reserved to me, this problem I've been noticing. My dear Jayce, my three year old who has been successful at potty training lately, has also recently backslid. It's definitely taken some work on both of our parts, but he had been doing so well. I had even started telling people of the success of my method. Then last night, he decided he didn't care anymore. Again, I have a three year old who refuses to be potty trained.
Lately, I've been involved in a bible study for women through my church. We've been going through a study guide on developing an abundant life, specifically by focusing on our priorities. It has really made me evaluate my life and my relationship with God in a very positive way. One of the things I've been convicted of through this study is how my relationship with God is developing "fruit". Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things." Ephesians 5:8-9 says, "For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what it good and right and true." Philippians 1:11 says, "May you always be filled with the fruit of you salvation - the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God." I was reading through these verses a lot over the past couple of weeks, feeling very convicted about how my life was really reflecting God. Ironically enough, or not so because God is that cool, a friend of mine, who does not go to the same bible study, asked me to do the Beth Moore study of the fruit of the spirit with her. I really think God is trying to get a point across to me, don't you? After going through some of these studies, I've really been feeling challenged to exercise more patience in my life, specifically with my family. I know this an area of my life that I need a lot of growth, and I've been praying for God help me choose patience instead of impatience and anger at situations and people.
Wouldn't you know, this afternoon we had one of "those" days when it seems like life (Satan) is trying to bring you down, is trying to take away any and all progress you've made towards living a fruitful life. Instead of stopping, breathing, and reaching out to God when I was getting frustrated, I snapped, I yelled, I jumped to exacting punishments instead of showing God's love to my kids through me. Every where in my life, I'm experiencing backsliding. When is it going to stop?