I really don’t like that I have character flaws.

What I like even less is when those character flaws make a not only slightly noticeable, but a HUGE appearance. Never is this so true as when I am getting stressed out and need to find order somewhere. And that somewhere is typically my house. And that order I speak of is very hard to come by. Especially when I live with three other people (or slobs as I am known to call them when this particular character flaw is rearing its ugly head) who don’t care about order as much as I do.

Control. Obsession. More control. Compulsion. These are the character flaws that recently showed up again for me, and unfortunately my family, to see.

I like order. I don’t like chaos. I like organization. I don’t like mess. And when I am stressed I really need order and organization to be present in my home. And my family does not. Which becomes an issue. An ugly one. And I admit, I can get pretty ugly about it. To the point of berating, saying things in the heat of the moment that I can’t take back, and being generally mean. All because I haven’t gotten what I want – order and cleanliness.

But the real issue, (although I do need order and cleanliness) is how I handle stress, how I take on too much stuff so that I am stressed, how by controlling the house and the way it looks, I am trying to control one aspect of a life that I have in one way or another let get out of control.

Ouch. I don’t like talking about this. It’s too personal. It’s to vulnerable.

Yet when I put it out there, I am asking for help. For grace. For forgiveness.

I had to ask for forgiveness from my kids a few weeks ago for the way I handled the most recent bout of stress. I got angry and mean.

And they forgave me. Just like the Lord does when I choose to go with what I know instead of asking for His help. Just like the Lord does when He has been working on me in those areas and we have moved forward only for me to take two steps back.

I am so thankful for a God that loves me even when I mess up. I am so thankful for a God who forgives. I am so thankful for a God who keeps working on the same things in my life over and over to bring about His plan for me. And even though it is uncomfortable, I am thankful for a God who allows me to see my character flaws and how much I need His help overcoming me.

How is God building your character?