Friday, August 23, 2013

This and That

I have so much on my mind right now, I don't even know where to start...so many things to get off my chest...so much to work out through writing because that's how I process things. Honestly it's too much to write about in too much depth during my short, precious alone time while both girls nap (this does not always happen!), but even writing a tiny bit about each thing will be like taking a few layers off of an onion, leaving a lot to go, but I'll be okay with just that for now.

So here goes...

people can not fill a void, nor can they be counted on for my own personal happiness, contentment, joy or satisfaction. the truth is, people are just that...people, not God. completely and totally imperfect, which means inevitably they will let us down. they will hurt our feelings intentionally or unintentionally. they won't follow through when we were counting on them. they will frustrate us and be selfish and mess up our plans. and i'll do the same to others, even though i wish i could promise otherwise. i've allowed myself to develop some bitterness towards a few people, and i realized recently that all i did was put up a wall between myself and God. then i realized (with the help of my husband) that my feelings upset me and create stress in my life, while the person on the other end is living life, most likely unaware or worried about the so-called situation i've been dwelling on. so...i'm focusing on living to please God, not man, and finding my happiness and contentment in Him. 

that leads me to the next thing which is my people pleasing nature. it seeks to distract me from what's important. it causes me stress and worry and anxiety. it annoys brad. it makes life harder. i don't care what people think of me superficially. you know, my clothes, my hair, whether or not i have a nice house or yard, a nice car, expensive things. totally irrelevant. i do worry about not stepping on toes. ever. ever. to a fault. i don't want to hurt people's feelings. i don't want to offend. i don't want to leave anyone out. god forbid anyone get upset or annoyed with me! well this is making life more difficult and the funny thing is that in all my efforts to make everyone happy, i'm making lots of messes. For example, the Bible study i've been leading this summer has gotten off schedule from when i went on vacation, and in an attempt to get back on schedule, i asked each person individually when they could meet next, and then set a date i thought was good for everyone. when it didn't work for one person, i changed the whole thing so that that person could go...this messed it up for someone else, and everyone else was annoyed that i had changed it yet again. you see how ridiculous this gets!!! i'm learning. always learning and growing. a work in progress until the day i die. I am dwelling on the verse that paul wrote..."am i now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? or am i trying to please people? if i were still trying to please people, i would not be a servant of Christ." I love this verse and it gets my mind right...until i slip back into my old, comfortable people pleasing ways. sigh...

next thing looming in my mind...i feel a desperate need for simplicity. and the more i feel that need deep in my heart and actively work toward it, the more the devil whispers in my ear all these things i must have. all this stuff i suddenly 'need'. i've given in a few times, but in all honesty, the process of simplifying is so wonderful. this is a topic i could seriously talk about for a loooong time, but i'll keep it short. basically, the more stuff i have, the more i want. the more i want, the less my eyes are heavenly focused...as in thinking/doing things the Lord has placed on my heart to do for Him and His kingdom and the church. The more clothes i have, the more clothes i want and the less content i am with what i have. i must say, i want to throw out my whole wardrobe and start from scratch, but keep it extremely small. i would rather have a few pieces that are comfortable, cute and functional that i would wear often, than a whole lot of clothes i hardly like or wear. maybe those last two sentences are me being discontent. i don't know. i'd like to say my motives are good though. i want to have less choices so that i spend less time thinking about what i'm going to wear. less time changing clothes five times before i'm content with what i have on for the day. ahhh. obviously i have issues there. back to simplicity...in a nutshell, i want to spend my extra time, money, energy and resources on helping the least of these, on those who are desperately hoping someone out there will be willing and able to reach out a hand, a dollar, some precious time, to help them along in this life. i'm privileged compared to most of the world. if living more simply unties my hands, my heart, my resources...count me in. i don't want a life wasted on things that don't matter. the rabbit hole gets really deep here, as simplicity has so many shades of grey...it's impossible to be black or white here. and there's so many areas in which to simplify. it's a process, and honestly i feel more convicted about some areas and less about others. brad is on the same page. we're not looking to get all legalistic and extreme and live on the streets in the name of simplicity, obviously. simplicity is not just getting rid of stuff. we may have a big house someday, who knows, but if we do, we want to be generous with it and practice hospitality often. we might have some nice things, but we want to be willing to lend them, or part with them at any given time if the Lord tells us to. media wise...i am struggling with that one! life was simpler before facebook and instagram and smart phones and the internet in general. before the world of blogging! but i love these things! it's how i keep in touch with family and friends spread out all over the country. blogging...i don't just write, i read other's blogs, and love them, and most of them are inspiring/edifying! instagram...i don't have a fancy camera, so it's the cheapo way to edit a picture and capture a beautiful moment. there's nothing wrong with any of this. but...it can definitely get out of hand, and i'm feeling a need to simplify to some degree here too. to set some parameters for myself.

okay i definitely didn't keep that last one short at all! last couple of tidbits....

i actually feel content about where we live. life is good. our family is nearby and we get to see them semi-often. our friends and church family here in town are amazing. we are involved in so much...church, school, community. it's a safe place for our kids...if there is a such thing. of course, i say all this in the dead of summer. ask me again in mid-january.

and speaking of summer, i am absolutely, positively loving it. i cannot explain just how much i love summertime. last night we walked two blocks to the little neighborhood park with the girls, my in-laws, and some chocolate peanut butter cup gelato.  We sat in the grass watching Addison run around with another two-year-old, letting Lily explore the grass, just enjoying the evening. This. is. the. life.  I'm telling you, it doesn't get any better than picnics, walks, hiking, lake trips, gardening (and eating it!), eating outside, grilling everything, sitting on the porch swing, leaving the windows open all the time...i just love it all. i feel so much more alive in the summer. more energy. more motivation. more creativity. i'm sad it's coming to an end, but at least summer is followed by my second favorite season...fall. if we had to dive straight from summer to winter, i think i'd die.  

That's all. Kudos if you made it through this long, rambling post! I was serious when I said I have a lot on my mind. i feel a lot better now:)

Of course I can't post with out adding some pictures because I'm constantly taking them, and I have to share with someone! So here are my favorite shots of the week...








Have a wonderful weekend!!

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