This morning, as I watch my boys eat their breakfasts, I can’t help but smile at how different they are.
I made each one a slice of buttered toast to go with their cereal. My guys love a hot breakfast, and most mornings, that’s what I serve. But on swim lesson mornings, we try to eat a little lighter.
The boys love hot bread of any type, even a simple piece of toast. I watch as my not so littlest immediately goes for the toast. He has it gobbled down in a matter of seconds. His brother, however, eats his cereal first, and then savors the buttery goodness of his toast—one slow delicious bite at a time.
It is a flash back in time to my sister and me. I was always the little girl who gobbled down my ice-cream cone, then sat and wistfully watched my sister slowly lick her lovely treat around and around the mound until it finally disappeared.
I’ve never been good at it.
Oh, I’m not talking about the big things. But it’s the little, everyday things that make or break me.
Like, holding my tongue, instead of criticizing.
Choosing chips instead of yogart.
Forgoing family time to do something my selfish heart desires.
God has been speaking to me about self-control.
Proverbs 25:28 tells me, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control”.
That’s how I feel when I make a poor choice: broken down. Vulnerable. Unprotected.
“When will I learn this lesson, Lord?” I ask Him, over and over.
He is teaching me.
I get discouraged.
I am learning that self-control has a lot to do with humility. To ignore my fleshly desires sometimes means to put myself last.
This is easy to do with my kids.
Not so easy to do with the pushy lady at the grocery store who edges in front of me in line.
So I have been practicing.
And I am learning.
I have learned that this humble state of mind is something holy. When I master it, I am closer to Jesus. I feel Him near. He breathes His strength into me, and there is a sense of peace.
But mastery is rare and intermittent.
I am offering my heart up to Him.
I think I’ll take my sister out for ice cream in the meantime.