each week my accountability partner and i get on the phone with one another and hash out our lives.
our time is supposed to be divided up into segments (but we only came up with this idea last week or so).
a mock-up of the schedule goes a lil' something like this:
20 minutes: how are we spiritually/what's new
10 minutes: how are you serving
10 minutes: recite memory verses/discuss
20 minutes: confess any sins to be held accountable, discuss prayer requests, and pray
i love our time together because when we follow-up every week (and sometimes we DO miss, because life happens and what can yah do...) we really get to know the ins and outs of the other person's life. we get to encourage one another and hold one another accountable. we should make up a fun name for this. encountable? accountourage? maybe i should quit while i'm ahead. let's just call it
this last week, i told amanda jo that i was really struggling with my temper with the kids. and the fact that at times, i just want to give up. --not like "i'll leave and never come back. i'm movin' to tahiti kids, tell dad i said bye" kind of give up, just the kind of giving up where i stop trying so hard to teach and work on things with them that they are taking (in my humble opinion) flippin' forever to learn!
example: "let's not hit our brother when he makes us mad. let's use our words," and i say this about 75,372 times a day, and then i think, "ugh. i quit."
at one point i think i said to the children, "fine. you win. you can grow up to be banshees who howl and scream and wrestle with anyone you come in contact with and everyone will say, "holy cow, those boys are wild!" and you can say it's because y'all decided to disobey over and over again and momma just got tired and stopped trying and hid in the closet and talked to herself and her hair fell out."
amazing parenting, right? i should write a book. "what NOT to say in the heat of the moment when you want to close yourself in a dark room and not come out because you're digging a hole out of the house you are being held captive in by several short people who won't listen or obey." would you buy it?
so amanda jo, being the encouraging, loving friend that she is, did NOT say, "what the crap is wrong with you? God loves you. be nice to your kids. gosh, get your bum in gear."
she instead gave me this reference (she's pretty godly, huh?)
"let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."
and then that was convicting. (ah, the fun of accountability) so i looked up several verses on enduring, perseverance, etc.
and i found one i really enjoyed. it's now over my sink, where i can look at it for long, long periods of time doing my oh-so favorite activity: dishes.
"rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality."
--now i know that this doesn't say, "hey, love your wee ones and be patient with them." but it sums up the areas where i think God is pushing and pulling me to grow.
so i've been dwelling on this and am prayerfully hopeful that God will continue His good work in me and grow me to be a joyful, patient, prayerful woman of God who ministers to those of the faith in my community (specifically my family) and those in my community who do not yet know Christ.
so look! accountability is good. if not for amanda jo and the grace of God, i might be in a dark room right now muttering to myself trying to dig through carpet and concrete with a spoon. but instead! look! God has shown me that i am not alone. i have His guidance through the Holy Spirit, His wisdom in His Word, and accountability through my dear friend. God's got me covered.
i encourage y'all to get an accountability partner for yourself because
1. they hold us accountable (it's a given. it's in the name. did you miss it? if you did, i just spelled it out for you in a ridiculously long and painful way right here in these parentheses)
2. sometimes they make you fun, lovely gifts.
you should probably do it because of #1, but #2 doesn't hurt, either. you might get a lovely dishtowel or picture frame out of the deal. ;)