As I reflect on my time at the ranch, I have tried to put my finger on what is going on in my heart while I am there.
The picture I have is Me looking down at a version of me - or maybe it's the other way around - a version of me looking down at the real Me. I don't know which.
Being there should be relaxing and restful. The beauty and purity of being out in the country does calm my soul. The wide-open space, the delightful smells that waft through the clean air, the gorgeous view.... I love the thought of it.
However, it seems that when I am with my dad, his opinion of me takes over, and I move around with angst. I fear disappointing him - particularly when it comes to my kids.
He and his wife didn't have kids together. He was not around us much growing up either, so they have very little experience with small children. They do however, have lots of opinions about how children should behave. If my kids delay in obeying or make a bad choice, I freak out because of what they might think of me. I kept praying when I was there that God would help me release myself from anyone's opinion but my heavenly Father's. I want to be excellent - to give my whole self to God and not be affected by the opinions of man (not just any man - - my dad).
I feel like I turn into an ugly, impatient witch-mom when I am there. I had to apologize to my kids on the car ride home. Told them I wasn't very patient and gentle with them while we were there. Of course, they were like, "its ok mom."
They are always extravagant with grace and forgiveness.
When the kids were younger (little bitty), I simply felt clumsy and awkward. But now I often feel inadequate. I go through seasons of success and balance with the kids where I feel like I am shepherding them well. And then out of the blue - I'm out of control with no balance. Herding cats. Deaf cats. Cats with no common sense.
I could go on and on.
I'm not flogging myself about it. Just want to articulate these reflections so that I can continue to build awareness of certain tendencies. I just hate it when my flesh rears its nasty head. What's so good though - is that it reminds me of my need for God's transforming love, grace and power.