Nobody knows how bad they are until they have tried very hard to be good ~CSLewis
I have a lot of my dad in me.
He possesses an incredible ability to find religious fault.
I took that quality, and multiplied it in subjects such as manners, family obligations, and the ability to instantly judge a situation and a person based on very little information. I love rules because it gives me an easy guideline to line life up against. 9 years ago as a flight attendant we were given the rule of "No drinking from a cup standing up". It looked unprofessional so it wasn't allowed. And here I am 9 years later still unable to drink standing up without considering that rule and it's breakage.
So I took one small fault and multiplied it to an extreme that makes even me not like me sometimes.
I have a little of my Father in me.
As I age, I see both sides grow.
And I'd rather see the family side shrink while the Godly side grew. And some days I like to imagine that is exactly what's happened. But other days - other days I wonder if I've gotten away from the negative at all.
I know I'm growing, I know I'm changing. Some days are just less encouraging than the others.
Today, even sitting here frustrated and disappointed in myself the emotions only sink so deep until they hit the rock that is my foundation. The rock that says I'm loved and accepted with all my flaws. I can strive for perfection, but failure to reach my every goal does not mean utter failure. Because as long as the Rock is still my foundation, as long as I still strive, there is always hope and joy.
So tonight I'm discouraged and I say: "I want to be better than I am today."
But next week, I could be fully encouraged and happy, and I still hope I remember to say: "I want to be better than I am today."
There is no stopping.
And that is pretty encouraging.
*** 1 Day later update ***
I talked with God last night about so much of this that I'm struggling with. And today the change was immediate. It doesn't mean I won't sink back into old habits again because I tend to - but for now, today showcased itself as an immediate answer to prayer. A little bit of the footloose joy I felt years ago tinged the day today. I almost felt carefree. That's pretty incredible. Joy to the world - the Lord has come.