Paddling with One Oar

Something isn’t right with me.

I’ve been searching pretty hard lately. I’ve been trying to figure out what is going on with me. I’ve been feeling like there is something missing in my life. It isn’t my relationship with God. I have been reading my Bible and praying daily. I took an ecourse called #MakeOverYourMornings, because I thought that might help me. Instead, it has brought up more things I feel like I’m behind on in my life. It wasn’t until I read this blog post someone shared that I figured out what my deal was.

I’m paddling with one oar.

Several years ago, I heard a sermon that used the analogy of a Follower of Christ’s life being a canoe with two oars. One oar is spirituality – your relationship with God, your service, etc. The other oar is what you do – your career/gifting/whatever it is that God made you to do. If you only focus on one oar, you can’t move forward in your life. You’ll be going in circles.

I have been keeping up with my relationship with God, which is of utmost importance to me and my family and the world, really. When I do not spend time with God, when I have not taken the time to allow Him to satisfy me with His love, I am not the same person. I am snappy, become irritated easily, withdraw, get jealous easily, find fault (with myself) easily, and am generally just awful. However, I have found that I am still finding fault with myself, with my life, and becoming jealous of other people. I haven’t been writing, either.

The screenplay that was meant to have a first draft done by August still has no outline.

Yeah.

I’m going around in circles and I am ridiculously dizzy.

With homemaking, housekeeping (which I am lousy at), child rearing, being a wife, helping at the non-profit, family and friend relationships, and my other life responsibilities, I find it difficult to take time to pursue my passions and dreams. When my day is done, I’m exhausted and collapse on the couch next to Hunny until it is permissible to lay in bed. But I have to figure out a way to shake off my exhaustion.

The thing that isn’t right is the thing that hasn’t been written.

source

Advertisements

Emotional Roadblock

Yeeyum is turning three. Another mother would be happy about it. Another mother would be proud. I am neither. And I am torn.

When Cupcake turned three, she had a three month old baby to fuss over and love. If not for the Incident, Yeeyum would have an eleven or almost twelve month old shadow trying in vain to keep up with his older brother. But he doesn’t.

I cried myself to sleep last night. I’ve spent the day stifling my emotions and saving face, because I’ve been shopping with my mother for the birthday. I can’t explain that I’m sad about a baby who doesn’t exist in front of a child who does. It’s not right.

When I was sixteen, my mother and I shared a car. I would drop her off at work and head to school. When school was over, I’d pick her up. One day, as I approached the same road that my house was on, I thought, I should drop off my backpack. Then I thought, That’s silly. I’m going to drop off my backpack, get back in the car, and go get mom? I should just keep going. Even as I drove past the road, I felt like I should go, but I ignored it. I ended up getting hit by a car full of drug impaired people who had just bought drugs from someone. I was hit across three lanes of traffic. Two cars hit me before I ended up hitting a car in a parking lot. The wrecker who got my car gave my parents his condolences. When my parents told him I was alive, he could hardly believe it. The entire car was smashed. The back end of the car was occupying the back seat. I thought, God kept me alive for a reason.

Now I don’t know.

Am I making a difference? Have I helped anyone? I have no idea.

But that is not for me to know this side of heaven, is it?

All I know is the solitary thing keeping me from coming completely unglued is the knowledge that God loves me completely, deeply, unconditionally, and unfathomably. The love for me that led Jesus to die on the cross is still in effect. Even when I am fighting against the riptide of sadness.

Thirsty Thursday: Pink Roses

I am not a gardener. I am not all that great with indoor plants, either. I think my orchid is dead, but I can’t let it go. It was a gift from Hunny! When I saw rose bushes in the Aldi seasonal aisle, I really wanted to get one. But I wanted to be smart about it and wait until they went on sale.

Towards the end of the season, they still weren’t on sale. I love roses and even though I knew it was too late to plant them, I caved and bought two: a pink rose and a yellow rose. I’m not a yellow gal, but I thought it might be nice to try something different for a change.

The miniature rose bush my father gave me for Mother’s Day three years ago is thriving under my minimal care and attention. It had already produced a multitude of tiny velvety red roses. I had a feeling the rose blossoming season was over when I asked Hunny to plant the new additions, but I asked God if He would let the pink rose bush bloom just one flower before fall. Just because He loves me, the rose bush bloomed several pink flowers that filled the air with their perfume.

My dad happened to drop by when one of the flowers bloomed. I wanted him to see how well his present was doing, and I wanted him to see the pink rose. I didn’t want to tell him that I had prayed for God to make it bloom. It felt embarrassing. Shouldn’t I be praying about grander, loftier things? I can’t tell my dad that I asked God for a rose. It’s so stupid! In spite of my embarrassment, I added, “I prayed God would let this one bloom,” after showing him the roses. My dad didn’t laugh at me. He nodded his head and said, “Oh.” He’s a man of few words, in case you were wondering.

A month or so later, a friend came over to visit with her children and a tag-along. After Cupcake took them to see the chickens, I felt like I should say something about the roses, even though I really didn’t want to say anything! I wanted them to see how lovely they were, but I didn’t want to admit to yet another person that my prayers were so goofy. But I did it anyway. “I asked God to make this rose bush bloom, and He did. See how great they look?” My words were bolder than my feelings inside. “Cool!” My friend didn’t laugh at me, either.

DSC08229

My rose bush is still blooming! This picture is from today!

Mini Roses from My Dad

Today’s picture of the roses from my dad.

Don’t be ashamed to share the small victories in your life. Any and every prayer answered is a beacon of Light. It is additional proof of God’s Love, Existence, and Mercy. We don’t know what other people are praying for and about. They may be praying for healing or salvation for a loved one or transportation or that the clothes they need will go on sale so they can afford them. God really does care about us. He cares about our big and small worries. He wants us to come to Him with everything. Even the things that may seem like nothing to others that may mean everything to us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you; casting all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7, emphasis mine

Love & Mercy (A Review of Sorts)

Oh my word, you guys. Hunny took me on a date June 29th, over a month ago. My plan was to share our movie experience with you the following week. It is somewhat terrifying to me that I let 33 days slip through my fingers. Does that frighten you to your very core? If not, it should!

33 days ago, the plan was to see Love & Mercy and then watch I’ll See You in My Dreams, a Doris Day / Danny Thomas movie. I can’t even explain how excited I was to see a biopic followed by a movie made in 1951. Two types of films I love with the man I love?! Life does not get any better than that.

When we arrive at the film house, we do not see a Danny Thomas movie poster. Doris Day’s enormous smile is nowhere to be found. Hunny asks the girl behind the concessions stand about the movie. She tells us I’ll See You in My Dreams is an old person movie about old people and we did not want to see that. Undaunted, we went on to watch Love & Mercy.

I went into this movie looking forward to peeking behind the scenes at the Beach Boys and completely uninterested in Brian Wilson. You see, growing up I believed I would be involved in music. I would be a singer/songwriter for some band or just myself and that would be my life and livelihood. I watched Behind the Music incessantly. It did not matter if the bands were ones I didn’t know full of people I had never heard about, I watched to learn about the ins and outs of the music business and how they found inspiration for music. Unfortunately, the show was mainly how their lives were a train wreck: affairs, drugs, thieving managers, tragic diseases, and tragic accidents involving planes or trains. I vividly remember watching the one on Wilson Phillips where Carnie Wilson talked about what a horrible father she had and how mean he was to her. I don’t know why this burned into my brain, but I felt so sorry for her. And it made me not like her dad. I couldn’t stop loving the Beach Boys, but I knew that guy was a bad dude.

When the film ended and I emerged from the emotional roller coaster, I felt terrible for Brain Wilson. Again, great writing paired with amazing acting can change a person. For the record, I still am not a Brian Wilson fan and I will always be a Beach Boys fan. I didn’t care that Paul Dano and John Cusack look nothing alike, because their mannerisms and speech patterns were similar. They were both heartbreaking and completely genuine in expressing the pain they were independently experiencing. Paul Giamatte is legitimately horrifying as the psychotic psychiatrist Eugene. This is not a movie you want to see when you’re feeling overly emotional. It is definitely worth seeing.

I Broke

It was bound to happen. And I kind of knew it was coming.

I’ve been begging for a break from helping with the non-profit since the Incident. I haven’t had any such break and, at times, have been given more work. I requested July off, but there’s an event in August and I know I’m going to have to help in July. I just KNOW.

Hunny gives a weekly lecture for the non-profit. He was and still is sick, so I prepared to give a lecture in his place. As I was preparing, I received a message from the volunteer who watches small children during the lecture for attendees. She’s quitting. She’s giving no notice. In her message, she asked a couple questions that threw me:

Have you ever thought about getting more than one person, so there can be a rotation of volunteers?

Yes. 

Have you contacted such and such person to aid in finding volunteers?

Multiple times. 

And that’s when I broke.

I cried. I couldn’t explain what was wrong when Hunny asked. I finally choked out syllables with the semblance of the news. Informed that she was getting paid, I became angry. She wasn’t even really volunteering.

Hunny pondered if we should leave the non-profit. Can we keep doing this? Does God want us to keep doing this? He was expecting a two way conversation. I was physically unable to talk. I was a mess. All I could do was sob.

I need to walk and pray. 

Terrified of leaving me alone in such emotional duress, Hunny hobbled behind me, dragging his sick self outside to monitor me. I knew I had to get myself together. Maybe talking to someone would help.

The only fellow staff member I trust sat in the corner with me in a room full of people.

I’m wearing makeup to hide that I’ve been crying for a couple hours. 

“That’s not good,” he cautiously deadpanned.

I told him I broke. The tears immediately resumed. As I was unloading the ridiculous demands of our immediate supervisor, the pain of being ignored by fellow staff, and how underwhelming the support for our department is, Cupcake and Yeeyum have an argument. A high decibel level argument. Fine. They were yelling and screaming.

And I deal with this at home.

After 30 minutes of crying, it was time to go. All my poor friend could do was give me a hug and the assurance of his prayers.

As I was erasing the board to start the lecture, I heard a voice ask, “Are you ok? You look like you’re gonna cry.” I’m ok, I forced. Another voice asked, “Are you ok?” I broke yet again. No. I’m not.

Tears flowed as I walked out of the room and into the bathroom. The second voice took over for me. I composed myself in the bathroom only to find the Loser waiting for me in the hallway. I was taken aback because he hasn’t been around in months. I honestly do not remember the last time I saw him.

I purposefully lied when he asked me if I was ok. He went in for a hug. I gave him my side, but he wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. As he kept squeezing, I pulled my forearms over my chest and turned my face away. In the movie version of this scene, I would have punched him in the stomach. In the real life version, I thought, How much longer is this going to be?

When he finally let go, he prattled on about his problems: his ex-wife, the impending failure of her second marriage, his doomed relationship with his kids, and his inability to find a job that “fit him.” I stood there, stunned and slightly amused at his crazy train. At some point, my expressive face gave way to tedium (Dang my expressive face!).

“You’re the one upset and here I am telling you all my problems. It’s just that you’re the only girl in my life, I mean woman, who I can talk to. Who listens and understands.” (P.S. Again, I haven’t seen or heard from him in months. When I do see him, Hunny is present. Sometimes he catches me off guard. It’s always in a hallway…) “I’m here for you. I mean, I’m here now, but I’m also here for you. I know I’m just a guy, but I’m here whenever you need me.”

In the movie version of this scene, I would have said something like, “NO, THANKS!” or “BACK OFF!” or “LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU IDIOT! I’M MARRIED!” In real life, I excused myself to talk to someone else. Hunny has teased me before about the Loser having a crush on me, “It’s all fun and games until he tries to kiss you. Then I’ll have to beat him.”

Do you know anyone else to get hit on by a struggling addict after breaking down in tears in front of a crowd? No? Just me then? Ok.

A Long Hard Look

I’m sick, you guys. As in, can’t do anything but lay there, can’t concentrate on anything, and just feeling horrendous. There’s nothing like being unable to function to make you reevaluate your life. I don’t like what I see.

I’m wasting my life.

Let me clarify: being Hunny’s wife and being mother/care giver to the Littles is not a waste. It is an honor and a privilege. All the screaming and crying I’ve heard from my sick bed confirms that they cannot function without me, so I’m kind of important to their overall well being and quite possibly their existence. However, I am wasting the precious vapor that is my life.

Aside from the 40+ hours a week I spend taking care of my home and family, I spend all my extra time, energy, and effort helping Hunny with his duties at his second job working for a nonprofit organization. Helping my husband is part of being a wife, but I have nothing left over for myself. I spend zero time and energy following my passions or chasing my dreams. If I don’t change this, I will resent my Hunny. Nobody wants that.

I am going to prayerfully consider what I can do to change this and make time for me.

image

Ridiculous (Inside and Out)

Why is it that people forget that really ridiculously good looking people have feelings? As a ridiculously good looking person myself, I’m here to tell you, Yes, we have feelings. And yes, I’m making an obvious Zoolander reference and no, I’m not excited about the sequel. I think the sequel is a BAD idea. I predict it will be better than Anchorman 2, but not by much.

Honestly, though, my feelings were hurt deeply and repeatedly this weekend. Someone laughed in my face, another person made snide comments to me, a third person was purposefully mean to Cupcake (a grown up no less!) all within a thirty minute period. That was just at one event this past weekend. I won’t go into the others.

I think it is easy to look at someone who is attractive and married to an attractive person and has attractive children around them and think, Ugh. There is NO reason to be kind to them. Their life is perfect and mine is not and I am going to treat them badly so they know what life is like for the rest of us!

I can tell you right now: my life is not perfect. If you want some proof, read more blog posts of mine. Here’s one. Here’s one. Here’s another.  No one has a perfect life. No one will have a perfect life on earth. But you have the ability to be kind to others. You have the ability to make someone cry in the car for thirty minutes or make them feel welcome in new surroundings. You can be really, really, really ridiculously good looking on the inside.