I think the "just" a mom part is easy to explain. It means that I recognize that I am more than "just" a mom. I GET that! However, I AM just a mom! I fully feel that when we seek God, He will call us to a profession, a ministry, and will direct our paths. That path is different for every person. I absolutely have dreams and things I want to pursue outside the home, but for now those plans are on hold as I fully focus my time and attention on the things that matter the absolute most to me: my husband and my three amazing children. This is the calling God placed on MY life. He further placed in me the desire to home educate my children. THIS is my profession, my calling and my ministry. There will come a time that He provides me the way to fulfill my other dreams and desires.
The "refined by GRACE" is the hard part to explain. When I think of the word refined, two definitions come immediately to mind: one that describes the "outside" and one that describes the "inside". The outward description of elegant, "Miss Manners", polite, genteel, not vulgar, and modest: those are the words that I want to describe me. Granted, I do miss that mark WAY more than I want to admit.
The inward description is one of "freed from impurities; purified". This is my desire. I want to be FREED from impurities. I will NEVER attain that goal, but God provides the way to help me move forward. His death on the cross, and my acceptance of Him as my savior, provides the path for that to happen. He gives me a FRESH start every time I ask and loves me unconditionally and fully accepts me as I am. He is the REAL meaning of LOVE and forgiveness.
However, to be "refined" there has to be a process of refining, of removing those impurities (the sin, the darkness, the inappropriate thoughts, etc...) 1 Peter 1:7 describes part of that process.
"These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trails, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."
I'm sure many others are finding themselves in the same position I am....one of feeling like God must REALLY be refining me because I'm being hit from EVERY direction. Instead of letting that give me a defeated attitude, I'm letting it sink in that it's because HE believes in me and HE wants me to be MORE like him. I don't know about you, but to me that feels amazing.
Beth Moore (I LOVE HER WRITING!), points out three scenarios when facing the "fire" of trails.
- We can be delivered FROM the fire...and our faith is built.
- We can be delivered THROUGH the fire...and our faith is refined.
- We can be delivered BY the fire INTO his arms...and our faith is perfected.
So, I'm seeking to be a refined by HIM and by his GRACE. Grace of God is unmerited, undeserved favour. He owes me nothing and I deserve nothing in and of itself. However, he deems ALL of us worthy and stretches His grace to cover us. He covers me when I fail. He covers me with grace to fill in the gaps when I don't have the answers or when I can't do something in my own power. His grace is what makes each and every day worth getting up and fighting for.....for without it, I am nothing.
Therefore, I am "just a mom", seeking to always be refined by His grace! I may miss the mark, more than I hit the target, but God knows that I am trying with all that I have in me! He will never ask anymore than the best I can give Him.