So the month of September was a complete blur. I can’t even believe that time is going as quickly as it is. Nor do I want to think about my to do list. I should be cleaning the bathroom, tackling the pile of stuff that we tried to pack in a suitcase and send with Mark’s parents but couldn’t due to weight, folding laundry, and planning dinner. Yet instead, my heart is needing quiet time. My mind is needing major help. And my spirit is urging me to just slow down. So I purchased a book that’s been sitting in my wish list for sometime. Amazingly, the book was on sale for 99 cents today (a God thing). Only two chapters in and I’m having to write down notes as the light bulbs are going off left and right. Hello, where has this book been all my life?! Why did I not purchase it earlier?! And so I had to take a break and process . . .
To say that our lives are not crazy busy would be an understatement. To say that we have undertaken a major task would also be an understatement. And to remodel the kitchen while having your in-laws in town while your husband also takes his only two weeks of vacation for the year is borderline crazy. I felt semi-crazy this past month. I felt like Mark’s parents saw a bit too much crazy as we were a bit uptight, a bit scattered, and just far too stretched. And of course, the baby has been in a stage of screaming at everything, and the three year old has been out of control. Not to mention that the three year old and five year old fight constantly, which just makes everyone feel crazy. But I will say that in all those moments of crazy you learn to either just let everything get out of control or you stop and say what is going on? Why are we shouting at our kids constantly? Why are we uptight? Why are the kids falling apart? Why is everything stressing me out? And how can I stop or at least help change this behavior? How can I choose a different way as this way is not the right one?
For me personally, the source of any yucky behavior is my mind and feelings of being out of control. My brain has always been my biggest issue. I am one who thinks far too much. I am the one who NEEDS her mind renewed on a continual basis as I could easily drive myself insane. But with God’s help and by His grace, I’m not going to go that way. However, I can’t get lazy, tired, or complacent. It’s almost like being an addict who is bound in over thinking and has to learn to how to place her mind on other things. How can I relax? How can I find things that allow my brain to get in a flow of peace, joy, love, and just calm? It’s not easy. It’s not easy being married to me either. I’m sure it’s not easy to be my son as my oldest child would probably say. Yet I have to believe that there’s hope. I also have to take the steps to get to a new place. I have to make progress that moves me forward.
And progress is so hard!! Yet it’s so valuable. My son’s teacher recently commented on how easily Ryder gets frustrated and how if he makes one mistake he has to erase all of his work and start over. Hello? He’s a firstborn. He’s just like his mama. No wonder we get easily overwhelmed. No wonder God showed me this idea of how beautiful progress is (through Joyce Meyer who I will always so appreciate) because it helps those of us who get stuck in the big picture. If I know I can handle one step, and if I just keep taking one step after another, I can do it. But if I think I will fail before I even start, then I won’t even attempt it. I will never move forward. Yet where does one even find the first step? How do I look at the picture in a way that allows me to see the starting point?
Sometimes, I feel like the Christian lifestyle is one in which things can easily become cliche. Like we can just throw a lot of pat answers around without realizing how those answers affect the ones who are really struggling. For instance, for people like myself (people who are perfectionists yet deal with thought issues) when people suggest to us that we just need to be in the Word, just need to study the Bible, just need to change our thinking, it can begin to feel like an overwhelming endeavor. Like where in the Bible do I start this process? Where do I find all the verses that apply to my situation? Once I have found those, how do I get them from my head to my heart? It can feel and become exhausting, which is the last thing we need. It can become mechanical as well. And I don’t want any part of my relationship with God to be mechanical or to be because this what I have to do. I want to speak with Him as my Papa God and find the answers that I know He has for me. I want the Word to be active, living, and breathing in my life. I don’t want cliche or pat answers. I want real change. I want to see correctly.
And I’m just beginning to see that real change comes with deep desire, sincere study of the Word, and faith that as we obey and seek His counsel, He will answer. Change will come. He desires it for me more than I desire it for myself, so of course, He will help. He’s ready to make this journey with me. And just as my son’s kindergarten teacher tells Ryder that it’s okay to make mistakes because we learn through practice, it’s okay to make mistakes when making progress. It’s just one step at a time, and if you miss a step, you redo it, and move forward. God’s grace is always there; He’s always helping, always leading, always cheering us on. We just have to see ourselves as He does; we just have to see our circumstances as He does. And I know without a doubt that He will teach me to see like He does. I just have to start by looking at Him.