Monday, May 27, 2013

Control Freak!

I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago how God was prompting me to be more transparent. Well, I’ve been kind of falling back into my old self-controlled routine. I still need to work on giving up control. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to become a basket case, always appearing to fall apart at the seams, and unloading all my emotional garbage on people I love (or stranger’s unfortunate enough to cross my path). But I need to allow myself to be more transparent. I need to not bottle up my concerns or frustrations…because they poison my body. It’s necessary for me to let people know when I feel overwhelmed….which is frequently. It’s important that I don’t always appear confident….because sometimes I’m not. It’s important that I stop and release that control before I unknowingly hurt myself and those around me. Sometimes it’s important I just LET THINGS GO!

I look back and see all the times I used the word ‘I’ or ‘me’. Yup, it’s all about me! I know it’s not, but sometimes those of us that are such control freaks forget to take care of ourselves, and every once in awhile we have to be reminded that we are important. We need to pause from trying to be all things to all people and stop and try to look after our own needs and desires. Looking after ourselves improves our emotional health, and energizes us to be more capable of meeting the needs of others.

Frequently we keep ourselves so busy doing for others that we fail to see that what we are doing for them are failing to meet their needs or desires. God tells us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. So often we get so busy that we feed the naked and clothe the hungry. We have the best of intentions, but we’re running in so many directions that we aren’t seeing that the hungry are still lacking food, and the naked are still unclothed.

It’s almost comical how when I get overwhelmed, the first thing I remove from my ‘list’ (oh, you better believe I’m a list maker) is my own wants and desires. I think that I’m helping others by completing all the necessary tasks. But at what price? I am exhausted, frazzled, angry, overwhelmed, and resentful, and I take it out on those closest to me….the only people I allow to see the cracks in my fa├žade.

Years ago I wrote an article about the importance of fellowship. I wrote that I hoped that we got so busy chatting with neighbors on our porch that I didn’t have time to make supper, and we were forced to throw together some sandwiches. Those of you that know me know what a huge stretch that is. (I only recently started purchasing cereal) I got a nasty response from a woman berating me for shirking my wifely and motherly responsibilities. She actually said ‘how dare I’. There’s one in every crowd. My husband laughed and said told me that nothing would make him happier than to sit around and fellowship with friends and for me to really relax and let my responsibilities rest.

See, I fool myself into thinking that getting everything done and keeping everything in order is what makes the people I love happy. I feel like I’m doing my job, and taking care of my family if I feed them well, make sure the house is clean, provide clean clothes and hold things together. But sometimes they feel neglected. And I think to myself ‘I’m giving it my all! What do you want from me?’ But I completely miss the mark. They aren’t hungry. They aren’t naked. Those aren’t the needs that I’m failing to meet. Do you know what they told me makes them happy? What is the most important responsibility that I’m not getting done? What do they miss most about from me? Hearing me laugh.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hello Stranger!

You may have noticed that after a one year hiatus, I'm back!  Seems I still have something to say after all.  I should warn you that the severely damaged filter that I had between my brain and mouth (or typing fingers) is now damaged beyond repair.  There.  You've been warned!  Continue to read at your own risk.

Spring Resolution

Some people have New Year's Resolutions. That always seemed so odd to me. The new year occurs in the dead of winter. Spring is when I think of change. Spring is when I resolve to examine my life garden and see what needs to be discarded this year, what needs to be added, and what things need to be planted in greater quantities. I want to examine what areas need to be plowed before the first weeds start emerging from the warm soil. Spring Resolution...........TRANSPARENCY. I resolve to attempt to stop hiding behind this poker face, and reveal the true me hidden beneath. No makeup. No jewelry. Be forewarned!

It still amazes me how some people expect/demand to be able to believe what they believe, and share their beliefs with others, BUT the moment someone believes otherwise, the same people are the first to judge and attempt to censor. We are all guilty of this at times. I know I am.

Some people think I'm just more compassionate and loving than some. They think I overlook the flaws of others. Sometimes they think I am just more accepting of people's shortcomings. I'm nowhere close to that pure. It's just that I have a different view of who is unlovable than most. I'm still guilty of judging others. I just am more likely to judge the judge and jury than the accused. I usually find those that others view as 'flawed' or 'sinners' as beautiful. Those that appear 'perfect' or 'righteous' are the ones that appear ugly to me. I believe that our differences make this world more rich and colorful. That doesn't make me a hypocrite. That makes me flawed.....just like you.

Empathy, Compassion, Love. Christ taught us to show each of these toward others; friends, enemies, family, and strangers. He loves them with their faults, just as He loves us with ours. Maybe you don't believe in Him, so you don't believe in what he said. Truth is the truth whether or not you believe it to be. So you don't agree with everyone. So what! Neither do I. I don't have to. I'm quite sure not everyone agrees with me. That's the beauty of free will.

This is my one beautiful life. I will make a mess. I will clean it up, only to make a horrible mess in another area. Sure, some areas of my life may be super shiny and sparkling clean. You can bet if my life were a house, only the smaller rooms.... maybe the closets and half baths would be clean. The largest rooms... the ones I live in all the time.... are covered with dust, clutter, books half-read, and muddy footprints. No matter how hard I try, parts of my life will be horribly messy. Who am I to judge the mess of someone else just because it doesn't resemble mine?

Well, that's my soapbox statement for the day. It's also my confession. You may agree. You may disagree. That's your choice. Even though I may sometimes shake my head and roll my eyes, I love you anyways.