I admit, this may seem a bit random. But it struck a chord with me so maybe it will encourage one of you too!
I have a reoccurring problem around here. Over and over I find myself coming to my husband and saying, "The vacuum just doesn't work as well as it used to. I can't get the hose to have good suction." And he always responds with, "Is it full? Did you clean out the hose?".
I always feel like I have. I've always looked down it a few times, poking my fingers down to see if I can reach any trapped junk. But every. single. time. He pulls it apart. Actually cleans it and it works like a charm.
Lately my dear oldest daughter has been experimenting with some less than wonderful attitudes. I don't like it. But instead of dealing with the problem, I tend to just let it bother me. I nag her about being joyful. Being respectful. Being thoughtful. Being diligent. Instead of really working on the issue, I try a quick fix just to get on with the day.
As I was cleaning out my vacuum hose, feeling so good about actually fixing the problem, it struck me that same thing was needed in my relationship with my daughter as well. Not a quick fix. A heart to heart. An actually "cleaning out" of the garbage that was clogging up her attitude and our relationship.
Now, I'm not implying that working on a relationship is as simple as cleaning out a vacuum hose. But it was a reminder to me, to not half-heartily try and train my child. Or build our relationship. Often it takes taking the the time.
There are so many areas I need to apply this principle to. And hopefully the Lord will continue to challenge me in this area. Take the time. Do the work that is needed to make things run the way they are supposed to!