Fussing and Fighting

I've sat down to write a few times over the past week, and each time my brain has just shut off.  We have so much going on right now that you'd think I would have plenty to write about, but it's all tedious, uninteresting day-to-day stuff.  Like having two (almost) two year-olds (whoa, the terrible two's and teething at the same time!), running a small business, serving at church, keeping the house clean for each of the 30 showings we've had (and still no offer!), hosting out-of-town guests, etc. etc. etc.

I realize that this all sounds trivial and well, a little like life, but it's been a bit tough around here lately.  (I do realize how incredibly blessed we are, and how trivial all these 'struggles' are, truly!)  But the point is, this has been a bit of a tough time.  A trial of sorts.  And it just so happens that I am studying 1 Peter, a book that is all about trials.  (Doesn't that always seem to happen?  You study about patience, and find yourself at a total loss for patience?  Or you study about godly marriage, and yours suddenly takes a real beating?)
But the thing about trying times is that they're not for nothing.  God uses them to grow and mature us.  (This was the most transforming time of my life!)

Been seeing way too much of the grumpy face lately.  

One thing that has encouraged me through all the fussing (Gus and Lula's) and tears (mine!) of the past week or two is this illustration, taken from my Bible study (specifically, 1 Peter 1:7):

A silversmith set about his work of refining a lump of silver.  He skillfully worked, holding the lump over the fire to heat it.  He held it steadily in the very middle of the fire where the flames were the very hottest, burning away its impurities.  He gazed intently at it, waiting for the right moment to remove it from the flames; waiting until he was able to look into the perfectly refined silver and see his own image reflected in it.  

Any other time and I may have let this pass right by me (as illustrations often do), but in the middle of where I am, this very simplistic picture of how God matures us has been hugely encouraging.  The hope that I am slowly being made into His image makes all the fussing and cleaning and busy-ness worth it.  
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P.S.  I just stumbled across this blog and can't seem to read with dry eyes.  What an amazing, terrifying, difficult, glorious story.  It truly makes all my worries seem so small!