Wednesday, July 02, 2008

If we are really GETTIN' REAL

My blog friend Angel has challenged us to post a blog about what really happens in our lives from day to day. I love her honesty and openness about her life. I try to be honest on this blog however I don't know if I have accomplished that or not.

Let's see, where to start??? When we moved to Maryland and started attending the church we go to here we saw people being very open and honest about their feelings and about where they were in life. That attracted Brian and I to the church because it seems in the South, that is not what really takes place (we have talked to others from the South and they agree). I used to go to church with my "church face" on (no matter what just happened at home or on the way to church). I knew that I had to teach or serve in some way so I needed to suck it up and do my "job" (just what it was sometimes). At the church we attend now I have seen people be very real about many things and I hope that I have changed and now come to church "as I am" and not with a "church mask" on. Brian and I have learned a lot from teaching the marriage class at church. We know that no one wants to be preached at about how they should act so Brian and I have tried very hard to share details (many intimate) with our class to let them know that they are not alone. We have shared family backgrounds and basically all the baggage you can think of in order to help others see that there is hope that they can love each other again in the way they did when they first married.

At home my life is FAR from perfect. The laundry is usually a mess and if it is clean it may stay in a basket for several days. Many days I am on survival mode and the kids are fed but that is it and on those days they have way too much TV/computer time and not enough Mommy time (which then makes me feel like a lousy Mommy...just being honest). My children usually stay in their pj's all day unless we have some place to go (what am I saying....I do too). There are days when I literally want to run away because of all the fussiness (teething) from a 10 month old and questions that have to be answered from a three year old. On top of all that at the present time I feel really useless because I am trying to pack with two small children at home who unpack everything I put in a box. There are many days that I raise my voice when I should be more patient and concerned for their needs. I spend way too much time on the computer on most days and not enough time with my sweepeas. My daily quiet time with the Lord is sporadic many times. I do try to get dinner on the table before Brian arrives home but many nights I don't make it and you know what, THAT'S OK. I neglect Brian many times because I am so busy with children and the house that he gets the back burner because I think he understands when really he needs my time too. That leads to, some days I feel like I am the Mommy or Wife and NOT Alice. When this happens I have to get away and spend some time with out someone needing something from me and then I am rejuvenated and ready to take on the task at hand again. I used to think this made me a bad mom or a mom who couldn't handle everything in her house but I now understand that it makes me a better wife and mother when I get the time away.

Spiritually I go through ups and downs. I am starting to realize that I have only shown the love of Jesus to people that I know or would like to know instead of to the people who need Him most.....hurting, sick, and lonely. I am learning many things I have done wrong along the way. I hope that I am gradually changing this but many times I am still selfish with my money and time. I still don't know what God wants me to do with all this "stuff" I am learning from Angel's blog, Red Letters Campaign, Dangerous Surrender, Red Letters, and the book of Acts study in our small group. I know that God has a plan so I am trusting that He will show me what my role is in all of this at some point, however I am being impatient about it.

In our marriage we are, of course, not perfect but LOVE each other anyway. We used to fight unfairly (and still do on occasion) but have learned how to take care of our difference and sometimes learn to agree to disagree about small things. We were married while both full time college students and acquired A LOT of debt because we were not smart with our purchases. We are still paying for this debt in two ways (paying the actual bill off soon, PTL and still paying in the way of waiting on buying a house until we are more financially stable). We are working toward being debt free but it has taken a lot of sacrifice and patience to get to this point. We have done without A LOT and have barely squeaked by many months in terms of budget but God has been faithful to take care of ALL of our needs. When God forgives us our sins He does forget them but that does not mean the consequences of our sins are gone as well. We live and learn!

I hope that this post has helped someone know that you are not alone in life. We are imperfect creatures striving to be more like Christ everyday. No one said it would easy and we are on this journey together. We should help each other along the way.

Love to ALL!!!


Mellie said...

Can I just say THANK YOU?! It's encouraging to know that there are other moms out there who do their work in their pj's and don't fold the laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer! :) I think it's important to keep things in perspective and in my opinion a spotless house is way down on the list when there are little ones to be taken care of (I'm actually a little skittish of people who keep too clean a house, you know, when it doesn't even look lived in...makes me think what are they really hiding???).

elizabeth engelhardt creations said...

Thanks for being so real. I too, have struggled with the 'church' face thing as well as living in the south and dealing with the 'unreal' people at church. Thankfully, God has led us to two churches here that are VERY REAL! We have pj days as well, and we are struggling with our finances and buying a house.....sigh....I hope all begins to work out. Blessings.

Jman's momma said...

Found you through Angel's challenge. I have only recently realized that I have been wearing a "church face." I also allowed myself to fall into pharisee mode, being negative and judgemental all in the name of ministry. Now I struggle even being there.

The mom struggles - I love my boy more than anything but at the same time I struggle to give him my undivided attention - he craves it. I often feel like a horrible mom, I mean come on, I only have 1 kid!!

So, what do we do with all this? Where's the balance? How do we stop beating ourselves up? Maybe this challenge is a start. Maybe by being real out here in blog world, we can learn to be real in our everyday world.

Thank you so much for putting this out there for your friends as well as for strangers like me. I am interested to see what God will do with all this.

Sincerely, Anne in FL

Meredith said...

God Bless you! I am glad to know I am not alone. I could have copied and pasted exactly what you wrote into my blog but I would just need to change the name!