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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The One Where I'm A B*tch

Yeah. Ugly title to match the ugly attitude it went with.

As someone who shares her life and thoughts freely on a blog, I have tried and tried to be authentic, transparent, real...

But that doesn't always happen.

In an effort to convey a message and the way I am growing in my faith, the good, fluffy, candy-coated stuff often takes center stage.

So allow me to introduce you to the real, ugly, vicious me that lurks just around the corner and simmers just below the surface of the smiling pictures you see of me on Facebook.

Saturday night found me in a fowl mood; fried, mentally exhausted from being a mom, and needing a vacation STAT.

Joe came home from work and wanted to immediately go mow the lawn.

Yes, I agreed the grass needed mowed. It was literally at least a foot high. And by grass I mean weeds. So our yard looked like Sanford & Son. It was time.

And truth be told, I am not jumping up and down to mow it myself. It takes at minimum 2 hours to mow.

So, while I was thrilled to have it mowed and even more thrilled to not have to do it myself, I just wanted a break and to tag my partner to jump in and help me with the parental responsibilities.

I asked Joe to forego mowing.

That frustrated him.

Which frustrated me.

Which led to an awful argument about way more than mowing the lawn. We rolled eyes, we raised voices, we said the F word.

Okay, I said the F word.

I also said something like "I absolutely hate you right now."

And then we stopped speaking or making eye contact for the rest of the night.

And then the sun rose on Mother's Day, Sunday.

I was feeling better until Joe went out to mow the lawn.

I sat down to do my Bible study and get rid of my rotten mood (which had followed me through the night) and--as is the nature of the universe--my kids would not leave me be for a second when I needed it most.

Instead, I felt my insides start to boil again.

I decided to journal my thoughts in the notebook I'd bought for my study. I don't normally journal.

I filled 2 full pages front and back and half of another with all the vile, awful, evil, mean, hateful thoughts I had about Joe.

I raked him over the coals for every single imaginable fault he has and even some that I know he doesn't. I was on a roll. It felt cleansing, therapeutic. I wrote all the things that rolled around in my brain, but I would never say to him or anyone else.

And then I put the notebook away and went about the day (which did end on a wonderful note celebrating with his mom and sister...)

Sunday night went much better than Saturday. We were friends again and I forgot about the notebook of vile contempt that sat innocently enough in my kitchen.

Monday morning I barely remember Joe waking me up to tell me he was leaving for work.

I tried to squeeze in a couple hours more of sleep despite the babies yelling at me from their beds. Finally, I rolled out of the bed and grabbed for my phone (embarrassingly, the first thing I check in the morning).

I saw a text from Joe first. He told me he emailed me a link to an article. There'd been an accident and he had pulled a woman from her car and called her husband. He said the other woman was pretty banged up.

I couldn't open my email fast enough. I read the article, saw the picture, and frantically texted back to Joe to get more details.

Here is the picture:

photo source: kdka

Seeing that car in pieces was eye opening.

Hearing that Joe literally slammed on his brakes and fish tailed to avoid being a part of it was hair raising.

Learning that he left from home later than he wanted to because our 6 year old wanted to show him something made me sick.

The realization that I barely remembered him leaving that morning and the awful words I had spit in his face only 24 hours earlier scared the crap out of me.

And then I remembered the 2 1/2 pages of angry, hateful words that were resting on my kitchen shelf.

I ripped them out and tore them to shreds.

I realized that I can spend hours focusing on all the areas I think Joe sucks in or I can celebrate every single day we have together.

No, I don't suddenly think he's perfect and I still think my angry feelings were valid, but I don't have to dwell on them. I don't have to think my husband is piece of crap because he's human and flawed.

Instead, I choose to love him and do my best to be respectful of him, regardless of whether or not he's "towing the line"

I'll still get mad. I'll still say things I regret later, and I'll probably still drop an F bomb here and there...

But that's not going to define my marriage or how I see my husband.

As exhausting as it is, I'll do my best to cherish every moment with him and with my kids. They are fleeting and can be gone in the blink of an eye.

And all those other cliches that make you want to scream and stop time.

So, we celebrated last night.

It took a car accident to make me realize my husband is pretty friggin terrific.

He's a hero in every sense of the word in my eyes.

So we treated him as such last night when he got home from work. :)



The banner that said "You're Our Hero"






The kids greeted him in their Super Hero masks



Our hero

Thursday, May 9, 2013

With My Hand Frozen To The Sword

I've mentioned the Beth Moore study I'm doing a few times. It's about David.

David the shepherd boy turned king.

David the king turned adulterer.

David the adulterer turned grieving father.

David the grieving father turned restored sinner.

David the restored sinner turned righteous king once again.

David was fierce in battle. He was known for his many conquests and successful wars.

But after decades of fighting, he grew tired.

One day he just couldn't do it anymore.

He was exhausted; he wanted to run away from the enemy that plagued him.

It was then that a brave man stepped in and saved him. Eleazar fought when David couldn't.

"...but he [Eleazar] stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand was frozen to the sword." (2 Samuel 23:10a)

I underlined that verse in my Bible because it struck me. I want to fight like that.

Sure, I might not be wielding an actual sword, but every day I take up a battle.

A battle with my own will.

A battle with my kids' wills.

A battle with the world.

A battle with my husband's will.

A battle with the enemy.

And I am wielding the Sword of the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:17 says the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.

In this world filled with hate and greed and selfishness and evil I sometimes get so totally overwhelmed. I want to run away like David.

How many times had he stared across a battlefield littered with bloody bodies and thought, "How much more can I take?"

The headlines on the news and on Facebook bring me to my knees.

A toddler killed by her mother when she wouldn't stop whining.

Women kept in chains for 10 years by a man who wanted to use and abuse them.

A wife killed by her husband for insurance money.

A woman killed and her baby stolen.

A young girl brutally murdered because she annoyed someone.

A man shot because he cut someone off in traffic.

A man imprisoned and beaten in Iran for sharing his faith.

Teens bullied and belittled until they can't take it anymore and decide to leave this planet.

Women in Kenya ostracized and belittled because they were raped and had a baby out of wedlock.

Girls stolen and sold into slavery to the highest bidder.

Children assaulted simply because they're easy prey.

Babies murdered because they aren't wanted.

And on and on and on.

And I find myself looking at the bloody battlefield that is our world and I think "How much more can I take?"

I don't understand. And I'm weary of trying to.

I want to forget about these things and stop worrying about them.

I want to flee and close my eyes, bury my head in the sand.

But I can't.

I know that's not the answer and that's not what I am called to do.

I know there is a purpose for me on this planet--just as there is for everyone--and I know I have to yield to it. Even if I may not always understand what that purpose is or how to yield to it.

And I want to be like Eleazar.

I want to fight until my hand is frozen to the sword.

I'll grip the Word of God and cling to it until I can't let go.

I read a blog once that detailed how a woman stenciled her wall using a stencil pattern, a sponge and some paint. She worked on it so long, and with so much intensity, wanting it to be perfect, that she had a hard time opening her hand afterward. She called it having "claw hand" because her hand was fixed in the position of holding the sponge. But it paid off. When she stood back and looked at her wall it was exactly as she wanted it to be and the few mistakes she made were hardly noticeable.

I want claw hand from holding onto the Word of God--my sword in battle--so tightly and with such intensity.

I want laser sharp focus so that when my time on this earth is over and I stand back and look at the design of my life, I won't see the mistakes. Surely they'll be there, but I want the areas of practiced patience and effort to be most evident.

And then I hope it can be said of my efforts, like Eleazar: "The Lord brought about a great victory that day." (2 Samuel 23:10)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

And Sometimes You Just Walk Away

From it all.

TV

Facebook

Twitter

All the negativity.

And sometimes you have to walk away from people.

Maybe not forever.

Maybe not for a long time.

But for a while.

Until you can get yourself together, get your head on straight.

Until you can hear only the voice you should be listening to.

Even Jesus told the disciples to shake the dust from their sandals when they were not welcomed. (Matthew 10:14)

Sometimes in your effort to love and share and forgive and show grace, the other person chooses to take advantage, use, and manipulate.

At what point do you step away, take a breath and regroup?

How much of your precious energy is wisely used in a situation where you are the only party trying.

At what point does the other person's problem become your own?

When does offering support cross the line into enabling?

I don't have hard and fast answers to these questions.

I don't think they're rhetorical, but I think the answers are different based on each situation.

You can stick around and have the very life sucked out of you or you can take a break, and come back later.

At what point do we stop allowing any goodness, mercy and grace we offer from being syphoned from us?

I think it all begins and ends with prayer.

And the occasional frequent glass of wine.

Jen Hatmaker wrote a much more eloquent and impactful post about this very subject. Click HERE to read it.


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