Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Where to begin

The last time I posted something I wrote was nearly nine months ago. That's an entire fetal lifetime. I don't think it's that I haven't had anything to say, I just haven't know how to say it, or more likely I just don't know how to get it all from my heart and onto "paper".  And I'm finding I am becoming a very mean spirited person. I keep starting lots of posts, but there is nothing gracious about them.

Like, accepting your age and being happy about it. I just had my 39th birthday, and I am good with that. I like that I'm nearly 40.  Most days. But then somehow the post turns into a rant about body image, dressing the part, and not trying to be your teens' best friend so you can continue to relive your youth. Cut that one.

Then there is the post about dealing with your first born child's senior year and preparing to move off to college within the year. In the middle of all the memories, the accomplishments, feelings of pride, I get off course. And out comes my frustrations with the college application process, the constant pressure to perform, and well wishers adding to the pressure with the constant questions of "what is he going to DO?". Needless to say, it's in the trash as well.

I've had posts on the struggles of motherhood, homeschooling, juggling time and schedules. But somehow, my husband comes off as uncaring and uninvolved.  That poor man has spent weeks fixing things around the house, sorting through junk, and he has had cleaning and putting together our library. And instead of seeing that as the blessing and act of love that it is, I'm writing about how alone I feel. Another post bites the dust.

But the worst post of them all has been the one I want to write the most. This winter has been such a struggle for me. It started with a sick baby, and probably an innocent question, "Are you pregnant?" The nicest part of the whole post (I've deleted it and started again about 20 times), has been the title, "It's Never Anything but Hateful to ask a Woman if she is Pregnant". The post just becomes nasty from that point on.  I'd like to say I was being sarcastic and punny, but my heart was really dripping with the bitterness that shows in the posts. And with each post that hit the cutting room floor, more of my heart was consumed with the anger that was taking over. Truth be told, I liked being mad. Sitting in the filth of self-righteousness. The question was asked over and over all winter. Week after week, I added the names to my list of people who were rude and uncaring. When I did find out that our eleventh child was indeed on the way, I added to the list all the people who said I knew you were, or It's about time you figured it out.  And with each name I added (seriously, in bright red ink), a little more of my heart turned to stone.

Y'all, I'm tired of being this person. My entire life, outlook, and person is being consumed.  I'm tired of not enjoying my day. Of not being thrilled to raise my children, or seeing the best in my husband. I'm tired of feeling used, taken for granted, and brushed aside. When I step back to see life as it is truly being played out, I'm being unfair and judgmental. I'm condescending, ugly, and everything I'm mad at others for being. And it's just not who I am, nor what I should be. I'm a child of God, and there are standards!

So here I am, beginning to sweep out my trash bin. I've shredded my list of names.
 And asking God to sweep out my heart that has become a nasty trash heap itself. I am looking to find joy again. To be understanding and loving to those whom God has blessed me to walk through life again. And most of all, I'm asking God to quiet my desire to put others opinions first.  To look to Him to be the only thing that matters to me.

I'm praying He will capture my thoughts.

God, here I am. Demolish these strongholds. Do Your work on me. Destroy any false or proud thoughts I have; anything that is not in sync with Your Word. I cannot take this apart on my own, I need the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Renew a right spirit within me. (Paraphrasing from 2 Corinthians 10:5 and Psalm 51:10)