Thursday, February 27, 2014

discontentment can be a dangerous place if you stay too long.

i have been way off this week and realized that i have an easier time telling other people that it is ok to just feel a certain way and not have to justify it. but i sometimes ignore my own advice. i need a reason and sometimes a long explanation as to why i am feeling how i am feeling. for some reason that makes it easier for me if i have a giant justification for myself and what is going on inside. however, i do not necessarily recommend living this way but for now...for me...this is where i am.

so i think everyone can agree (unless you live in fiji) that it has been an incredibly cold and long winter. our triple the normal month electric bill stands behind that. but in the midst of a cold and snowy month i had two things i was really looking forward to: two out of my three sisters were coming for a visit. my sister allison came for her spring cabi show. she sells cabi which is a really cute clothing line. basically it's an excuse to come and see us. a weekend consisting of laying around, her cleaning up our entire house while we attended a funeral, watching lyla while i took ava to med-express for an ear infection, lots of food (sushi is our jam), catching up, and being together. when she is here i am reminded once again that right alongside the fact that i love our home, this town, and our people...i miss my family. her early morning departure last monday was hard but not nearly as sad as usual because a few days from then justin's sister and her family were making their first visit to harrisonburg. it made the goodbye a little easier.

we welcomed an unexpected surprise of sun and warmer temps here this weekend. good for downtown walks, loads of sunshine streaming in the windows, picnics, and playing outside. between our two families we have 5 kids under 6 years old. so it's a little crazy and loud but thankfully our kids are obsessed with each other. we are so thankful that despite the distance my girls love and miss their cousins. however, parallel to the obsession and love between them we encounter tattle tailing, chasing, smelling booties (don't ask), and the unwillingness to share. i don't enjoy the bickering but i kinda like the chaos. it's like i don't love the clean up but man i love the party. it can be loud but it is mostly laughter and running around. don't get me wrong at the same time i would like to sleep in and have a break but once it's quiet around here again i miss it. i do love panera and starbucks in the morning, guys bike riding, kids singing "frozen" over and over, walks, food, conversations, late nights, good drinks, and sara and i talking about how we want to exercise and lose weight but than fail to leave the couch. when i married justin i gained the gift of one more sister. no words. so thankful. side note: i am joining a gym. for real. i want to be healthier.

all this to say that when monday hit and the floyds left and we waved goodbye and ava talked about them for the next hew hours straight...i entered a dark little place. overwhelmed with the absence i feel by living far away from my family and in an attempt to shove my feelings elsewhere i swept floors, changed sheets, did laundry, cleaned bathrooms, made dinner all to avoid my feelings and inability to pull it together. oh, and that it all needed to be done regardless if i was feeling up for it or not. ava watched a lot of tv, we skipped dance class, and i felt pretty down.  after not being satisfied by my days accomplishments...ie housework which seemed like the most lame way to justify how i spent my day. i decided i needed to do something that warranted growth and change and purpose and how i was currently living was not "enough.". i was having a little identity crisis. embarrassed to admit that i thought things like...so this is it? my life is cooking, laundry, and cleaning and caring for the girls? this is it? i need more. i have to have more. i need to find more purpose. something of far greater weight than a stay at home mother. i am hesitating to say all this because i would not tell anyone that this things are even truth. it's just a glimpse into my head and the parts i like to keep to myself. i realize this has far less to do with the girls (whom i love dearly...duh) laundry, the house, etc but everything to do with how and where i find my worth, purpose, and identity. this week my head has been full of thoughts about my identity and what i am worth and what i am capable of and where i am failing. its been a bit of self-loathing. on monday to warrant my day as "productive" we went to target at 5pm to get a few things to not consider myself an utter failure as a human. however, we all went in our pajamas.

reality check...life is a whole mixture of all sorts of things. not many people are passionate about cleaning bathrooms or unloading dishwashers...they are just a part of life and someone has to do it. passionate or not.

i know that i am a feeler. i am way more emotional than logical. grey always makes more sense than black and white. i am cool with the middle of the road. not when it comes to Jesus and being married and other obvious things. those are black and white. you gotta be in and in.

my emotions have been dictating how i feel, how i spend my day, where i go, what i do. i have been "doing stuff" in order to make myself feel like my day and my life and my purpose can be considered worth while. in my head i am at war. this battle between what i want to believe, what i do believe, and how that all plays out in my life. in my head it is one jumbled mess of things like this...lazy, no purpose, "just" a mom, alone, and when can i go to sleep next. not the best place to be. i get that. i am well aware that this week i have not totally been myself and i am sure it is a mixture of all sorts of things. looking forward to family visits that have come and gone...but so good while they were happening. it's cold and i am over it, sick kids is taxing, and sleep is a treasure.

what it all comes down to is this. it is ok that i am having the post my family is gone blues and winter has been long and i am ready for warmth, playing outside, adventure, exercise, and sun. all of those are good and true. i know it is way deeper than all of that. i am admitting that i am a bit of a chronically discontent lady. grass is greener. i have to admit it. because i know it's a lie. grass is grass. life is life. things are not always what they seem. for example this morning i sent a text to my friend summing up my desire to possibly work outside the home and discontentment and all that comes with staying home raising the girls and my struggles with motherhood. to which my single, educated, driven, successful, passionate friend said: that's funny. let's trade. that is all i ever wanted. this is just my back up plan. boom. she got me. it hasn't left my mind. what i want at times she has and what i have she wants. see the whole grass and greener thing is just one big fat lie. we both agreed that our chronic discontentment is a miserable place to be. i know that joy is stripped when your eyes and your heart are looking at things and people and seasons and stuff to bring joy and purpose and peace and happiness and contentment. i have the answer. i have the one thing. i know its the Lord. i know and believe that joy is stripped when you look to the world to complete you. it will only keep you searching and longing for more. i need truth. i need to be reminded and broken over where my life is found. i know the answer. logically i know. but my heart. my feeler instinct seems to have won. it wont win for good but for now it is winning.

coming up we have a young life weekend full of worship and truth and relationships. my soul needs it. craves it. i just hope i can show up and not sit in my own lies. i wanna be genuine and real but i sometimes feel fake. i know Jesus shows up everyday. i know He will show up this weekend. i know this is about me and not about Him. He is constant. i am flippant. His love is eternal and unchanging. i am flighty and tired and weary. looking ahead to march we have a wedding, i am attending a conference in dallas with myself and 3 other friends and a lot of other ladies who love Jesus that i hope are in the same boat. not going to hold out for these events to make it better or staking my hope in them. but looking ahead and seeing it all as a gift. that i will be surprised and broken and healed and that my passions and visions can some how be formulated into what the Lord has for me. but what if i don't know my passions. can i take test or something to tell me. i think i want more. i think that is ok to say right? i know that "more" can be overrated. this has far less to do with adding more to our life and our schedule and our time. but maybe it is me discovering what gives me purpose and live and joy in addition to everything else. can you even have it all? what does that even mean? i think that no matter what you do or how you live or spend your time...life is full of sacrifices and choices.

this is not meant to be a "woe is me" i get it that life is not just about the "or." married or single. kids or no kids. work outside the home or work in the home. healthy or sick. grief or joy. life is about the "and." i am a woman and i am married and a mother and i stay home and i kinda wanna work and discover my passions and i do lots of laundry and make dinner and sometimes i experience joy and grief in the same moment and same day. life is a whole bunch of "ands." thank goodness for that. or is boring. it is way too black and white and concrete for me or maybe for most of us. i like the and. i like that my life and my heart and my mind and who i am is a whole lot of ands. and for right now i am thinking beyond some of the basics. i have had seasons of being more content in my life and seasons of growth and challenges and risks. i want to be that person. i want to be that wife and that mother. that is passionate and risky (in a good way) and also loves to bake and put my kids to bed and play games. i know this is has nothing to do with wishing away this season and longing for the next. i do not want to miss the now. yes i want spring and summer to come but i refuse to miss the process. the process of becoming who i am and changing and forming. i love that. i want to change and evolve and stretch and work hard. but if i am honest with myself and everyone else...i am scared and timid and not sure what this means. my tendency is to stick with what is safe and comfortable and although i want to take challenges i have a track record of not following through. i am afraid to fail. but i know that along with risk comes failure. it is not an easy street. every choice we make usually means a sacrifice somewhere else. i guess i am not sure what i am willing to sacrifice.

i like the idea of being this person. that mom who seems to juggle it all. it is such a fallacy though. i know that. i believe that life can seem to be one jumbled mess of trying to find contentment, joy, safety, wholeness, freedom, and love as we manage the tendency to feel like we need to keep it all together, not fall apart, have direction, and not be afraid. what i think i have come to as i am writing this is that...it isn't about having it all and always being happy and having it together. i do believe the most vulnerable and broken and honest and risk taking people are a little more interesting. but i also know that what i want and what you want and where i am going and where you are headed is different. what a joy that is. the freedom that we do not have to be same or look a like or do what same thing to matter. our worth isn't found in that stuff. i am trying to navigate the place that i am in where i feel a little restless. not sure where to go or what to do or what it means...my husband and my girls and our home and our life and town and our family and our relationships and life. it is a treasure. one that i do not want to miss or ignore or fail to thank the Lord for everyday. those things i believe are right and true.

i guess i am ready and willing to move towards what the Lord has for me...either in our home or outside or alongside justin or on my own. but thank goodness it all gets thrown together into one big ol' and. i want the and. i want to be more than this or that or blah, blah. i do not want to waste my life and i do not want to miss my life because i am too busy trying to find it instead of experiencing it everyday. 

9 comments:

  1. I love this so much! Thank you for sharing, I feel like you wrote this for me today :) you are an inspiration to me and many other mamas and not mamas I know !!

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  2. Totally relate to everything you wrote. Thank you for sharing so beautifully and openly. Your words are comforting and inspiring all at the same time! So....here's to that journey we are all on, that reach for purpose, search for identity and meaning.

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  3. Amen and thanks be to God.
    What a beautiful testimony to how life truly is.
    Being honest. vulnerable. real. it can be hard. but I commend you for taking that step
    A woman of great wisdom, heart, love and truth you are.
    A real inspiration

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  4. Thanks for sharing this Libby. I definitely feel like this a lot of days - but especially in the winter. Random sidebar- if your YMCA is nice in Hburg, I just joined our Y and they have child care while you workout and shower. I feel like its a loophole for moms and if Justin is ordained they have a clergy discount of 50% off the monthly rate.

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  5. Oh man, I am there today. Amen.

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  6. I feel like I should say something. Thank you for being so open honest and transparent. It's so real and raw and touching. I've been there. I struggle too. So much of what you wrote touched me. You are constantly on my prayer list.

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    Replies
    1. Amen, Libby! Thanks for you honesty!

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  8. Love this so much. That greener grass takes a lot of money to water...and effort to grow. And it never satisfies our hearts desire for real life! You are so good at expressing what so many of us feel.

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