Monday, July 27, 2015

Letters to God

Do you know why I write this blog?

Is it so anyone else can see what I have to "say"? No.

Is it so I can garner any level of attention? HAHAHAHA. No.

I write this blog because it is cathartic for me. Whenever I have thoughts, feelings, etc to work through or reflect upon, I find it therapeutic to write about them.

I love to talk. I'm not afraid to share stories about myself. Not even a little. But, I'm not the best at expressing my honest emotions in a verbal and constructive way. It is easier to diffuse situations with humor or snark. It it easier to be mad than sad or upset. When I write, though, I have time to choose my words carefully (and sometimes I do, others, well, not so much). I can think through how I'm feeling. I can make sense of it. I can back up, hit delete, undo things I've written. It feels different than talking it over.

I'm not afraid of public speaking, in fact sometimes the thought of facing a bigger group is less scary than the prospect of trying to not let there be uncomfortable silences with just one or two people. What can I say? I'm awkward. This isn't new information. Anyway, I sometimes stumble over what I want to say because my brain has a tendency to move faster than my tongue and leave it behind. My train of thought has a way of derailing and abandoning the natural course of a conversation. And when having a conversation out loud, it's really hard to back track and get back to the original thought, even when I know it would be better to do so.

So I write.

I was thinking just last night about how some people keep prayer journals. They write down their prayers, or at least the things they are praying about. Since I've never done that I wondered, why do they do that? Is it easier to organize their thoughts before talking to God if they write it all down? Does it make it less emotionally draining to try to sort through emotionally charged situations if they essentially write letters to God?

And then that thought really struck. Letters to God. All these years I've thought about prayer as this spoken conversation, or really, like a phone call. It should be a two-way communication, but let's be real, sometimes God doesn't answer immediately. Sometimes we have to wait and listen for what He is telling us. You know, little like waiting for a response to a letter. Maybe prayer has more in common with letter writing than I thought. Maybe it is sort of like a spoken letter. So why not write it down? Especially if that helps.

So maybe I should start giving that a shot. God knows my heart. He fills in the gaps that my awkwardness and strained silence creates because He knows what it is my very soul is crying out for, even when I'm not sure how to say it. I don't HAVE TO write it down and sort it out. But maybe I need to do it for me; to help my little, human, finite brain make sense of what my heart and my soul already know.

I'm nowhere near an expert, but that's never stopped me before so I'm going to follow my thought train. My heart knows what it feels. My soul knows what it needs. It's my brain that can't process or accept things. It's my brain that feels more comfortable with anger than sorrow. It's my brain that makes a joke of a situation rather than actually get caught in my emotions and ugly cry in front of people. And I do. I'm an ugly crier. Blotchy face, puffy eyes, swollen lips, heaving sobs that you can't even speak through. I don't like doing it. Unless it's during a movie that I know will end happily. And even then, I like to watch alone.

But when I write, I'm forced to consider why I react the way I do. Why am I angry? Oh, I'm not. I'm devastated. Why am I making a joke right now when I should be having a serious conversation? Because stuff just got real and I'm uncomfortable so let's change the tone. And maybe if I make myself examine my reactions, my real emotions about things, I'll better understand the answers God gives me. Because maybe I'll understand His answers better if I understand my own questions better. You know, the ones my heart is asking. The ones my soul cries out.

Huh. Maybe it's time I start writing a few letters to God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Things I'm Thinking About Right Now

There wasn't really a better title for this post.

I haven't blogged for a while because I either didn't have anything of value to say, or I didn't have time to sit down and say (or, in this case, type) it.

I still don't have anything awesome or mind blowing to share.

I just feel like blogging.

So this is what you get.

1 - One of the ways you can tell that being a parent changes you? When you have dinner with your very intelligent friends from college (one of whom now gets to be called Doctor) and this group, who once upon a time spent ample time discussing religion, politics, and other super controversial topics, finds themselves having an in depth discussion about the character personalities of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. If you're not there yet, call me when you know all the words to the Hot Dog song. I'll help you ease into the transition of parenthood.

2 - I once said that I prefer honest to goodness books, you know, the kind you hold in your hand and have actual pages to turn. The kind that have spines that make cracking sounds and smell of ink. I still do, but wow, I got a Kindle (this is not a paid endorsement, but if Amazon would LIKE for it to be, contact me and we'll totally talk) for my birthday (months ago). I. LOVE. IT. Between the Amazon bookstore and my local library app, holy moly have I gotten to read a lot lately.

Finish a book and want to read the next one in the series? No need to find time while running errands to stop by Books-A-Million (still a great place) or the library (ditto), just click a button.

Proceed with caution, though. I started off just reading a little to have some me time while my son napped. Then I read a little at bedtime to relax. Then I started getting book recommendations based on what else I read and I got sucked into more than one series that had me staying up through the night to find out what happened next. I would look at the clock, turn (or swipe) the page, and whisper to myself "I have no self control."

I spent the better part of a week surviving on caffeine and hope until I finished one particular series. And then? I felt bereft. I suffered emotional trauma at the hands of a work of fiction and I loved it. I miss the characters.

3 - Since I have been reading so much lately, I have discovered that I think about the author almost as much as the characters. I will read a passage and laugh at the dialogue and say things like "I love (insert author's name here)'s imagination!" Is that not normal? Because I get weird looks when I say these things.

4 - I'm pretty sure they lace Diet Snapple Half 'n' Half with something RIDICULOUSLY addictive. That is the only explanation for my reaction to it. I don't even like tea. Yes, I might be the ONLY SOUTHERNER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME to not like tea, but I don't. This stuff? I don't know about the best stuff on earth, but it might be the most addictive. And much like Amazon, this is not a paid endorsement, but, hey Snapple, call me and we'll talk.

5 - Luckily, something else I have learned lately is that my body can really only handle so many addictions at a time, so since reading on my Kindle and drinking Snapple have taken the lead, overeating has taken a back seat. And between my severely diminished appetite (those of you who don't know me, I LOVE food, so to be able to walk away from food I like before it's gone, or refuse it all together is a BIG DEAL) and my recently (within the last month or so) started workout routine with a friend, I have actually started to lose some weight. I still have a long way to go, but I'm excited.

I especially like when I go shopping and have to ask for the next size down more than once because my body has started changing.

6 - My son got his first haircut yesterday. His hair isn't super thick, but it had gotten a little long in the back and needed trimming. He handled better than I thought, though there was some squirming and bit of complaining. I took pictures. I'm that mom. I'm not even sorry.

7 - I feel like in preparation for seeing my son grow up enough to need a haircut and all of the other things he does that make me think time is moving too fast, the Lord gave me a little something to smile about yesterday. Over the weekend, my family ordered pizza. There were many leftovers. MANY. So yesterday, when I went to get something for breakfast, I indulged myself and had a slice. And we were out of my customary caffeine source (Coke Zero - again, not getting paid, but wouldn't say no), and I don't drink coffee, so I drank one of my husband's Cokes.

Judge all you want people. I wasn't hungry the REST OF THE DAY so I stand by my breakfast choice.

Anyway, sitting at the breakfast table I looked down at my slice of leftover pizza and my Coca-Cola and smiled. I couldn't help it. My biological mother passed away when I was still pretty young, but one of my most vivid memories of her that I have been able to hang onto in the more than two decades since she's been gone is her eating leftover pizza and drinking Coke at the breakfast table.

I guess for some of us, no matter what happens, we still become our mothers.

8 - My son now says "Uh-Oh" whenever he does something that he knows he shouldn't do, or when he does something that causes him to need help from a grown-up. That means when you think he is playing rather peacefully and all of the sudden he says "Uh-Oh" out of the blue, it is generally cause for concern. Especially when you can't tell exactly what he did to make him say it.

Also, when he wakes up first thing in the morning and you hear him say "Uh-Oh" over the monitor before you ever get to him to get him out of bed, it's also unnerving. In fact, it causes a mild flash of panic. There are still some unsolved mysteries as to the cause of the "Uh-Oh". Maybe it's better not to know.

I have more, but honestly, it's getting late and I want to go to bed...and read. So, hopefully, it won't be months and months before I return to my little slice of the internet, but I promise to be the same old random me when I come back.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Already Have That

Have you seen those annoyingly terrible Geico commercials lately that feature the "Well, did you know...." dumb endings? I dislike them immensely, but, unfortunately, one of them will help illustrate my thought for today so I'm going to reference it anyway.

Point Geico. Ugh.

The individual commercial from the horrendous series is one in which the question is posed, "Well, did you know that genies are very literal?" It then shows a guy finding a genie in a bottle and wishing for a million bucks. The screen then fills with male deer, and the man is truly disappointed when he realizes his poor diction. He got EXACTLY what he wished for, it just wasn't in the way he wanted it. He wanted money. He got bucks. Hardy har har.

I've been thinking about how that happens in life to so many of us. We want, wish, and pray for certain things and sometimes don't even recognize our blessings when we receive them because they don't turn out how we expected.

When I was younger, I wanted to be somebody special. I wanted to be a household name. I don't know why, really. I just did. I wanted everybody to know my name.

I always thought it would happen if I became a famous author, which I really wanted. Although, to be a famous author, you have to write something worth publishing, and I haven't quite worked that part out yet. So I thought, at least for now, that my dreams would go unfulfilled. Until recently, that is, when I looked at my life and realized that I already have what I have always wanted.

I am special. Not to everyone, of course, but to the people who love me, I am special. There is only one of me (and for the good of the world, I really think that's best). I'm a little weird, but my quirks make me different. They may me special. Boom. Done.

I have a household name. Everybody knows my name. That happened the moment my name changed from Kathryn to Mama. Everybody knows Mama, or Mom, or whatever else mothers are called. I have a household name.

This isn't exactly how I pictured things when I was younger and hoping for them.

This is better.

I might yet successfully pull one of the stories out of my head and publish a book one day. But even if that never happens, even if nobody beyond my own friends and family ever recognizes the name on my driver's license, that's okay. I already have everything I ever wanted...and a little more.

So, what about you? Are you still asking for something that God already gave you?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Chore I Hate the Most

I hate to do chores. Well, that's not really true. I hate the need to do chores. I procrastinate with all the other things that I need to do before I will resort to chores. Call it ADHD. Call it being messy, a slob, whatever. My step-mom even calls it "But First! Syndrome". As in, I need to do the dishes, BUT FIRST I need to answer emails. And then, I need to answer emails, BUT FIRST I should really make that vet appointment the dog needs and check in on Suzy Q from church who just had her baby to see if she needs me to bring her dinner tonight. It usually ends up meaning I have a whole lot of half done chores and nothing to show for it.

However, once I really get into a chore, I love the productive feeling I get. That sense of pride that something is getting done, that's what really drives me. Because when I'm done, I take a deep breath and feel better. And I don't just feel better about my to do list. I feel better in general. I accomplished something. It feels good.

So while I really dislike scrubbing the pots and pans, I feel good about it being done. I really don't like to do dishes. Especially since it's a never-ending cycle of scrub, dry, put away and then a few hours later, get back out, used to cook, and then have to scrub, dry, etc all over again. But I do it, because in those few hours between the new cleanliness and the start of the new mess, it feels good. Although, I might have, on occasion, gone out for dinner just to preserve the clean state of the kitchen for a few extra hours. Don't even pretend you can't relate.

I dislike doing the dishes, I dislike this particular chore on a level above the others. Still, it isn't the chore I hate the most. The chore I hate the most is one I only have to do every couple of months. It's one I'll have to do every few months, sometimes weeks, for the next several years, and then one day, I won't have to do it anymore.

I hate cleaning out my son's closet. Like all other chores, I love the feeling I get when I know I'm being productive. Unlike the other chores, I don't procrastinate on this one. As soon as it's time for him to move up to the next size because he has several other things that don't fit, it's time for the small stuff to make room for the bigger stuff. However, the feeling of pride over my productivity is often overshadowed by another feeling altogether.

With every piece of clothing I pull out of his drawer, or off of his hangers, I realize just how quickly my son is growing up. I realize that those days that seemed long, were shorter than I thought. Those moments that seemed like they would never end, when he would cry and reach for me because he needed me to do every little thing for him, are getting fewer and fewer everyday.

I get more chores done around the house now. I can scrub pots and pans, do laundry, and even cook simple meals without him having a conniption that I'm not standing or sitting right next to him every second. My house is cleaner. My to do list reaches completion more often. He doesn't need me to entertain him at all times, because he has learned to entertain himself.

We still have play time together. We still have reading time together. He still needs me to make meals, give baths, kiss boo-boos, and do all the other things that a one year old needs his mom to do. But he already doesn't need me all the time anymore.

With every pair of pants that is now too short or too snug, with every shirt that isn't long enough, with every pair of socks that no longer completely covers his heels, he has hit milestones that means he is becoming more independent. He needs me less.

He is my son. To some degree he will always need me. Even if it is just to love him. But one day, that's all he'll need of me. And that is so very bittersweet. One day he will be grown. He will have a job, a home that is not mine, and a family for whom he is responsible. He will have these things because each day we (I'm not in this alone, after all) teach him new skills. We teach him right from wrong. We are slowly, each day, teaching him not to need us. Not to need me.

There are still days, usually when I am carrying him into church or the store, when I think, "Little man, you need to learn how to walk because you are getting heavy." And then I know that one day he will be able to walk, run even, and I will chase after him and wish he was still small enough to carry.

I open the box his old clothes go into and look at all the other outfits in it. He was so small once! I remember when he wore this. He woke up every three hours to eat and I felt like a zombie. I prayed he would sleep through the night so that I could, too. I remember when he wore that, he couldn't crawl yet and would just roll across the floor to get to his destination, which was, more often than not, me. Now I put a new batch of clothes in the box. Ones that I will long for a few months from now. Ones that I'm sure I will weep over someday when I clean out the attic and this is not the only box of things he has long since outgrown.

As a mother, the days can seem very long. You have laundry to wash. You have dishes to clean. You have floors to sweep or vacuum. You have shelves to dust, towels to fold, toys to pick up, and bills to pay. You have food to cook. You have emails and phone calls to answer. You have a million little things that you need to be doing and you have this little person, this beautiful, wonderful, adorable, hugely needy little person pulling at your pant leg. You wonder, will this phase ever end? And then? It does. It's over. You still have a million things to do, but that little person isn't as little anymore and is off doing something without you. It makes your to do list easier, but your days are shorter. The years are shorter. And that breaks your heart.

I'm proud of every milestone my son hits. I'm proud of every new thing he learns how to do. But I know just how fast time is going by. I know because that deep, wide box of clothes is almost full. I'll have to start a new box now. Another box to pack memories into and close the lid on.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have chores to finish. I need to do the dishes, BUT FIRST I think I'll play with my son a little longer.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fanxiety

I can't take credit for the title. A friend of mine has been using the term since Mississippi State Football first hit #1 in the polls.

But I TOTALLY get it.

I'm the kind of State fan that has ridden the roller coaster of hope and disappointment before. A LOT. We, as Bulldogs, embody the old adage of "hope springs eternal". Perennially, we hope that THIS will be the year that we go back to Atlanta. Each year (except 1998), we quickly realize that THIS will actually be the year that we will only squeak into bowl eligibility, and Atlanta is COMPLETELY out of the picture.

Not this year.

This year is the season (so far. knock on wood.) that even us seasoned, jaded fans are starting to raise our eyes to that metropolitan skyline in Georgia. It is full of possibilities, good publicity, fun games, close calls, and more positive comments from color commentators than we have EVER received.

Seriously, in the past when we beat a team by whom we were expected to be made in minced meat, it was always their own fault. Commentators talked about how our opponents fell apart, never about our own efforts. For the most part, this was with good reason. We've been really bad in the past. REALLY bad. On an EPIC level. Sometimes, though, it was just insulting.

Now, each week, the praise gets better. Our mistakes are noted as unfortunate, but not insurmountable. When other teams rattle us, even for a few minutes of play, it is OUR fault, not THEIR strength. Oh, how the tables have turned. For the first time in forever (fear not, I'm not breaking into a Disney song here), WE are the team to beat. For the first time EVER, we are NUMBER ONE. IN THE COUNTRY. And we did it in RECORD TIME.

We are the first #1 ranked team to ever be announced by the selection committee for the college football playoff. We are the answer to a question in a future version of Trivial Pursuit.

I LOVE IT.

And I hate it.

And I LOVE it

It's a roller coaster. Did I mention I get motion sick? Us Bulldogs, we're not conditioned for this.

Why the hate? Because every week, WE ARE THE TEAM TO BEAT. For any team that can manage it, we are a statement. We are a moral victory. If they can beat us, WE are their big win. I'm not comfortable in this position. I'm not accustomed to it. To know that EVERY team you play against will NOT be looking past you to the next big team on their schedule, but that you ARE the big team on their schedule. They are all gunning for us. US. The Bulldogs. Smallest athletic budget in the SEC. Small town, cow college, no respect, backwoods, maroon and white, MISSISSIPPI STATE. Suddenly, we have a target on our back. And our chest. And our helmet.

Every week matters. EVERY WEEK.

It's both beautiful and horrific.

I love it because I love winning. I love the celebration. And, truthfully, I love the team this year. I'm not the biggest fan of each and every individual player, but for the most part, I really like this group of guys.

But on the flip side, every time a turnover happens, or an opponent makes it to the red zone, I start to feel a mild internal panic. Because THIS could be the moment when it all goes down the drain. THIS could be the moment that ruins the rest of the year. THIS could be what keeps us out of the playoff. THIS WEEK. THIS GAME. THIS MOMENT.

It's exhausting.

I knew it would be lonely at the top. I didn't realize it would be this nerve wracking.

Of course, that might only be because I'm a tad too emotionally invested in a sports team.

Stop judging. I'm sure you have the same problem with something in your life. It just maybe isn't sports. Glass houses, people.

Anyway, I'm enjoying this season immensely. And also trying not to have a coronary event at every turn.

And if Dak Prescott doesn't win the Heisman, I might lose the only ounce of cool I have ever possessed.

Y'all pray for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Be Quiet and Know...

I have taken a pretty long hiatus from blogging, with the exception of a few shared thoughts here and there. It started off unintentionally. I was busy; I was distracted; and then, strangely, I just didn't have much to say. As most of you know, that's usually not a problem for me. I'm never at a loss for words. I even talk when I'm nervous (which, often, leads to just babbling). Too much quiet makes me uncomfortable, so sometimes I have to say something. So why didn't I have much to say? Because for the few times in my life, I was busy trying to listen.

I've been going through a Bible Study at church this fall which is just fantastic. I love the women who lead it. I love the women who attend. I love all the things that God has put on my heart since starting it. I even love the sense of conviction that reduces me to tears sometimes because I know that God is speaking to me.

It's not like there's a big, booming voice that shakes the room saying "I'M LOOKING AT YOU, KATHRYN!" There is just this realization, this truth, that hits me like a ton of bricks and I KNOW that I NEEDED to hear what was said.

For those of you who are wondering, the material for this women's study is Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst. I strongly recommend it. I have never met Lysa, she is not paying me to endorse her book, she doesn't know I exist, but after reading this book and going through this study, I feel like she knows me. She is very open and transparent about her struggles and I share so many of them. Every chapter or so she would describe something that she has or has previously had problems with and my reaction has always been, "RIGHT?!" Because I KNOW. I've been there. I AM there. Girlfriend hits close to home...HARD.

Anyway, one of the things she talks about in the book is being a woman of intentional words, meaning that everything I say should have a purpose. It is about more than just not gossiping, although, that is a factor. It's about protecting our mouths. She gives several verses that relate to this idea and I would like to share them, and a few more, to help make my point.

I have always thought of Ephesians 4:29 when I think about what I say, though, we all know that I'm not always so great at adhering to it. It says, "No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear."

I have used curse words, sure. I admit that. I still have to fight them off every time they want to spill forth from my mouth in either anger or hurt. But, I always focused only on that half of the verse. I was so focused on the importance of not using profane language, that I sort of skipped over the part about only saying what is good for edifying someone in need. That doesn't mean that I can't hold someone accountable. What it means is that I have to give my criticisms in a constructive way and with love. I shouldn't tear people down. My mean streak, decorated with wit and sarcasm, needs to be put it its place, which is out of my heart.

I also recently was struck by Job 18:2, "How long until you stop talking? Show some sense and then we can talk." This is in reference to Job's, well, pity party. He is upset because many disasters and tragedies have befallen him, so he is lamenting, and lamenting, and lamenting, and lamenting. Finally his friends call him on it. It isn't that he didn't have a right to grieve, but we cannot live in grief. We cannot wallow.

Not only do I sometimes wallow, but I also tend to babble when I'm nervous. So this verse speaks to me. It shows me that I need to stop and quietly reflect sometimes. I need to shut up and listen for what God has to say about my situation. He has a plan. He always does, but if I can't hear Him because I'm too busy droning on, I'll miss out.

The second half of Matthew 12:34 says, "...For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart." So when I tear people down, when I'm mean, crass, or profane, I'm putting my inner darkness on display for the whole world to see. I'm showing that I'm not letting God rule my heart, because if He had control, I wouldn't say such things because I wouldn't feel them. I'm showing my failure in the battle to rid me of myself, maybe that day, maybe that week, or longer.

Or to people who don't know God, but know me, I'm scaring them away from Him. If I'm cruel and mean in my speech, what does that say about the God of my heart? If I babble nonsense, stick my foot in my mouth, use profane language, I'm giving people the wrong impression about who God is. Because they may not know that it isn't God who is saying those things, but the very human, very broken, very defensive and easily offended me.

So what does ALL this have to do with my blogging absence? I'm not just babbling here, really. It's related. I've spent the last several weeks trying to be more intentional about what I say. I'm trying to guard my heart by conquering my tongue. It isn't easy and I don't always succeed, but in those moments or days when I am successful (because I let God be in control of my heart AND my mouth) I feel....better. It's like a weight is lifted off of my chest at the end of the day. I don't lie awake thinking of all the things I said that I can't take back. It's freeing.

Psalm 19:14 says, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." I've been trying to live that out. It has been my cry, my plea.

And my silence? My lack of anything to say at all? It isn't because my heart is empty. Within the last week, I was struck by something that has made me want to be quiet a little more often, which is VERY hard for me.

My son's nursery has Bible verses on the wall in several places. They aren't for Him, he is far from being old enough to read. Although, a few are in his honor and for him to see each day as he grows up and learns to read. Most of them, though, are for me and my husband. There is one that hangs over his crib. Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God..."

My son turns a year old next week and we put that on the wall before he was born, meaning that verse has been on the wall for a year, or a little longer. I have seen it many times a day, EVERY DAY for a year. I have stared at it in the middle of the night. I have looked up at it from the rocking chair at nap time. I have glanced at it before and after diaper changes. It's been there. THE WHOLE TIME. But this week, A YEAR LATER, God used it to speak to me.

I chose the verse originally because sometimes it helps me remain calm when I'm faced with too much...anything. It reminds me that God is there and He is in control. He's got this. Calm down. It's going to be okay.

This week, though, the verse has said something else to me. It's as if I could read it as BE QUIET and know...

It's like God said directly to my heart, "Stop talking, turn off the music, close the 2,568 tabs your brain has open, and just listen. You might just hear Me."

So I did. I got quiet. And It. Was. Wonderful.

I heard Him. It affected me. I was more joyful in my daily tasks. I was happier. I was upbeat. And He even prodded me a little when it was time to stop being quiet and share my thoughts with my husband, with my Bible Study class, and with my blog.

Two women in my study group came up to me last night and hugged me and told me how blessed they felt by what I share in class. They praised me for my wisdom, especially at my age (they are both my parent's age or older) as well as my honesty and transparency. By the end of the conversation we were all in tears. They commended me and I was so humbled for it. Let me say that again, 'cause y'all KNOW I can be quite prideful. They COMMENDED ME and I WAS HUMBLED. It was beautiful. Truly.

And somewhere in my head and in my heart, I felt that now it was time to break the silence and share. Because now, I had something to say. More than that. I had something WORTH SAYING. And that's the real reason I haven't been blogging, I realize now. I didn't have anything really worth saying.

Maybe now that I've broken through the block I had, I can finally right a decent post about my excitement and weekly anxiety about MSU Football and it's current #1 ranking. That's for another post, though. Now, I think I will close the computer, put my phone on vibrate, and enjoy the quiet while I work on some of my daily tasks. I'm not uncomfortable in the silence now, at least not all the time. I learning to appreciate it. And maybe, just maybe, I'll hear God along the way.

Friday, September 26, 2014

I Don't Even Like That Girl

I really, REALLY love the song "Lead Me to the Cross". I don't even care which of the MANY Contemporary Christian Artists is singing, and seriously, A LOT of them have recorded this song. I love it all.

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot lately about the chorus:

Lead me to the cross where Your love poured out,
Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down,
Rid me of myself, I belong to You,
Lead me, lead me to the cross.

I especially have been focusing on the the "rid me of myself" part. It is an everyday struggle for me to relinquish control and give it to the Lord, to whom it really belongs. Sometimes, it is a battle I fight several times in the same day. I love the Lord. I trust the Lord. I want Him at the helm of my life. So why is it so hard to let Him?

When the Lord is in charge, when I'm committed to serving Him, I am nicer. I am more productive. I feel love and joy in ways that I just can't explain and don't even compare to when I'm steering the ship of my life. The trouble is, I'm a bit of a control freak.

But why do I want to be in control, when I KNOW just how much better it is when God has the reigns? Who am I, when I'm in control. I look in the mirror to see.

Oh, the mirror. WE ARE NOT FRIENDS. I know that girl looking back at me. It took me a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY long time to learn to love her. I do now, I love her. I love the kindness I discovered deep down in her heart. I love her endless creativity. The trouble is, no matter how much I love her, I can't seem to like her. Her kindness is buried within and her creativity is hidden behind the fear of sharing it. She has a constant need for approval, but she has trouble letting people in. Her heart is not hidden behind a brick wall, but a barbed wire fence. She is witty, but often uses her wit in a cutting and judgmental manner. When she feels she has been wronged she can be vengeful and mean. She's not so great at the forgive and forget mantra. She loves food a little too much.She's moody. She can be really condescending.

I DON'T EVEN LIKE HER. So why is it so hard to let go of her?

I know her. She's comfortable. I am her, after all. To give everything over to the Lord I have to step outside my comfort zone. I have to willingly walk into the unknown. The thing is, it is not unknown to Him. Recently, I was given an illustration. Take a piece of paper and draw a line all the way across it. Pick up a straw and look through it to see the line. You can only see a little bitty, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot...wait, scratch that last part. The point is, you can only see a very small, minute part of the overall line. The line is like a timeline of our lives. We can only see the day to day. A tiny piece of the overall line. God sees the whole line, though. He knows what is coming. He knows how to prepare me. The trials I face each day are his way of shaping me so that I am best suited for what is coming.I know that. And it helps, really. It's still a little scary to relinquish control.

I love the Lord. I get to know Him more a little each day. But I have a finite mind and will never understand all that he understands. That girl in the mirror? I know her completely. That's why she's so hard to let go of.

I'm working on it, though. Everyday. All day. Constantly.

Rid me of myself. Please.

I don't even like that girl.