Wising Up

5 11 2009

I woke up thinking this: “Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”

I didn’t know why, till I looked up the scripture and it turned out it was in my Proverb-of-the-day reading yesterday. I guess God is working in me, even when I’m asleep. I have been contemplating it all morning.

Shower-wisdom. Brushing teeth- understanding. Getting dressed-wisdom. I have been unable to shake the thought. Really crazy. I bet you can’t wait to hear what I “realized” you’re getting wise to me already. I’m always “realizing” something new and *AMAZING*.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

I have totally never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever really *wanted* wisdom.

I may have prayed for it, a little, halfheartedly when I read a proverb or something. But it was always just a passing fancy, a prayer for something I knew I should want,however didn’t really much care for. The thought that someone should want wisdom “though it cost all you have” just sounds crazy. So basically I am praying for God to strip me of all my stuff that I have and give me this intangible knowledge of who knows what. Why waste prayers on that when I could be asking for my husband’s safety, money for the mortgage, that funny rattle under the hood, my uncle’s health, etc. To my very basic human brain it doesn’t sound like it’s really even worth the breath it would take to mutter.

So why on earth did God press that into my subconscious brain with such fervor?

I think I’m ready for it.

Wisdom. God said you have to acknowledge it as SUPREME, though it cost all you have, esteem wisdom and it will exalt you, when you walk your steps will not be hampered, when you run you will not stumble.

I really only ever wanted God to give me wisdom to keep all the stuff I have. God please give me wisdom in my business so I can make a good living so I can keep the house, the cars, the dogs, the Saturday morning brunches out with friends. God give me wisdom on how to manage my time so I can do all the stuff that will make me happy, everything that I want to accomplish so I can be perfect and complete not lacking anything.

The truth is, if God were to pull out two silver platters and tell me beneath this domed lid is wisdom and beneath this domed lid is your husband, dogs, house, cars, everything you have that can be taken away at any moment, which do you want to keep? I would tell him to keep his wisdom- I’ll take the stuff THANK you very much!

Do you know that someday my husband, the amazing man that God has given me through sickness and in health will die? Do you know that in eight years someone else will probably be living in this house and taking care of this yard? Do you know in seven years both of the cars will probably be in the junkyard? Do you know that in eleven years all of my dogs will probably be dead? Everything that God has given me is going to pass away.

But the one thing that he has offered me, the one thing that will help me get through all the changes and the hurts and laughter with my faith and joy intact is the one thing I couldn’t give a damn about?

You may think that for a “recovery” blog, she has been talking a lot about God.

Here are the first three steps, can you guess which one I’m struggling with?

  1. We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God

If you guessed number three than you are absolutely correct. I am having a hard time turning over my life to the care of God because the God that I have understood my whole life, his shoulders aren’t big enough for my burdens. He created the entire universe, breathed life into the first man, separated the waters with expanses of land, but I don’t think he can run my business, handle my finances or take care of my husband.

So I prayed this morning for wisdom, for understanding. Though it cost ALL I have. With every breath, I praise God for another day to get to know him, another day to understand him, another day to carry out his purpose in my life.

Yesterday, during life group one of the girls said that when she is feeling like she isn’t good enough, like she isn’t worth anything, she remembers that God saw her life before he even created the earth. He knew the mistakes she would make, the triumphs she would have, the many ways she would let God down, knew that he would have to send his son as an innocent lamb to the slaughter for those sins. And he looked at her and said, it is STILL worth it. That is how God looks at me, like I am WORTH it. That is how God looks at you. YOU no matter what you’ve done, no matter who you’ve been, God looked at you and said, you are SOOOO worth it.





God in a Box

4 11 2009

Did you ever watch I Dream of Jeannie? She was this very powerful little gal who lived in a bottle and was finally found and released after 2000 years by Captain Nelson who was this hot Astronaut. She instantaneously fell in love with him upon meeting and became his genie in a bottle. Hilarity ensues.

jeannie
There is a point to this. See, I have realized that I created a God when I was little in my head. Like an imaginary friend, like Jeannie. A God who loved me and only me, took great care of me, thought I was special, etc. Who liked my quirks and understood me. Who still loved me when I sinned against him, and thought I was just the best, smartest, funniest, prettiest little girl ever. I really think that God allowed me to think this way, because I needed to believe I was special so I could survive my childhood rejection. He told me that the stuff I did was ok. That I was ok, I was going to be ok.

This was before I believed that Christ came down to redeem my sins. I just made up whatever I thought God was.

Then I met him, and found out that there is a book to get to know him. That there are other people who know him, that he loves JUST AS MUCH AS ME. This is hard for me to swallow. See, in my head he loves me MORE than he loves you. More than he loves anybody. He still loves you, don’t get me wrong, but just not as much as me.

I am telling you this because I just realized how wrong I was and how this viewpoint has totally handicapped me in my faith in God.

I always thought I had great faith because I believed. But my struggles in life all revolve around me not being able to give up control to him. About me having to be perfect and falling short and escaping so I don’t have to realize how completely hopeless my plight is. The trouble about the God that I created is, he’s a lie.

God is so big and so great and so AWESOME, the Creator of the universe. All things that walk and live and breathe. If no one worships him, it is written that the ROCKS will sing his praises. This is how big God is. And I put him in a box, trapped him there where he could love nobody but me. This severely limited the way that I saw him at work in my life. Instead of a God, I created a genie.

The more I read of God and his character and his limitless bounds and his amazing grace, the more separated he becomes from the God of my youth. I am praying right now for him to reveal himself to me, for him to show me how big and how great is his power.

In Deuteronomy 32:3-6 it says, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. They have acted corruptly toward him, to their shame they are no longer his children, but a warped and crooked generation. Is this the way you repay the Lord, oh foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your creator who made you and formed you?”

I am going to let God free in my life, be his child. He is my creator who made me and formed me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I only know a fraction of his character because I thought it was perfectly adequate to keep him where I knew him. “Like newborn babies, crave spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is Good.” 1 Peter 2:2. It is time for me to grow up. I’m ready.





Under the Microscope

29 10 2009

I think that this is a good time to tell you why I began this blog. This is not my first blog, but it is the only one I know is going to stick. I own maybe a dozen URLs ranging from being a wife to being a realtor and in college I even made my own vanity site with pictures, etc, but none of those stuck. I’ll tell you why. None of them were true.

Sure they may have had pictures and cute quotes and told true stories, but they weren’t what I thought about on a regular basis, they weren’t who I really was, so they fell off like old skin that I just couldn’t fill up anymore. If you want to read great funny stories and fabulous household tips and see really pretty pictures- This isn’t the site for it. If you feel inadequate, uninspired,  awkward and alone, this is for you, because I am you. And if you see me get better, you will know that you can get better. This is the whole reason for it.  The reason I posted my before and after pictures is because one  lady wrote me this:  “Thanks for posting this, I was too embarrassed to post pics, but my room looks just like yours did, so if you can do it, so can I!!!!”

The reason I share all of my muck and embarrassment is for the same reason. Do I think that airing out garbage is going to make me famous? NO. I won’t be able to run for office and I won’t be able to pretend that I have everything together anymore. Truth is, I haven’t really shared it with many people I know, only people I don’t because they are kinder. Why are we kinder to strangers than we are to people we know? I think it’s a helluva lot easier to pat someone on the back and say, hey I’ve been where you are, or I AM where you are, when we don’t know them, because we don’t have to look at them everyday, and most importantly, they don’t look at us everyday. Scrutinize us and follow our every move waiting for us to fall, waiting for us to fail.

I also share because your testimony is your greatest weapon against the forces of evil. The story of how God has delivered you from the lion’s den lets others know that God is great and can deliver them too. It is hope-giving. And it holds me accountable to the changes I am making. You may not comment all the time, but when I look on my statistics and see 74 people reading, I may not know 74 people that have this address, but I feel the responsibility of keeping my promises to those 74 people. I don’t feel like keeping my promises when it’s just me because I have a bad track record with myself.

The truth: You can hide and be in denial about your life if you want to.

I don’t. I just want to get better.

I’ll leave you with one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. If you want to follow me just to pick my life apart or feel superior, than I feel sorry for YOU because the brick wall surrounding your heart is tall and that means that no one can get in.





Giving Yourself Away

27 10 2009

When I was a kid, when things would get bad, I would lay in bed and read. In my bed nobody bothered me, I used to pretend that I was somewhere else and just envelope myself in the covers. I was a little bit of a loner.child-looking-out-window

We were the house on the block where the neighbor came over to cut the grass because he said it “brought property values down,” so I was too embarassed to play with the other kids and my mom said we would get stolen. Besides, I was different than them. Sometimes my bed was next to the window that looked out into the street and I would watch them play basketball or hopscotch or ride bikes and wonder how their life got there, and mine was behind the glass, watching them.  I was so jealous.  I would tell myself that maybe I would play when my dad taught me how to ride a bike. When I was thin and fit and could play hopscotch better, or when my dad was home and he could take me to the park to shoot hoops so I could practice and not embarass myself.  I just realized I wrote embarassed twice. I guess I’ve always been a bit embarassed to be me.

To make up for it, I became very personable. In school people liked me. I was generous and funny and charming. I never got made fun of for being chubby or too smart. I was respected. Nobody knew what my house and yard looked like at school. I needed that to make myself feel better. When somebody didn’t like me I was baffled. Didn’t I do everything right? What could I change? How can I appeal to THIS person, what facade can I conjure up? And then do it. I’ve always had lots of different groups of friends, even the bullies were my friends because I made them feel special.

It feels wonderful to be liked by everyone.

It feels terrible to know the you that everyone likes is a lie.

I got help at first because the facade was slipping off. My husband made me feel too comfortable being me and I began to be uncomfortable being that charming wonderful person that people loved. This made me depressed that I was no longer charming and wonderful and made me try harder to be that person, that lie. So I stopped going out as much and just tried EXTRA EXTRA hard when I was out. I really got help because I wanted to keep living a lie. I liked that person I was in front of other people and I wanted to get her back. I wanted to be stronger and better at conjuring up that persona. I didn’t know that it was just going to make me scrape it away and let it all hang out.

So right now. I don’t really think anybody likes me.

I’m a little depressing to talk to. I cry alot. I’m not really trying to keep my chin up or be strong. I would love to say that I don’t give a damn if nobody likes me, but it’s not true. It kills me. I am a popular person. I have always been a popular person in crowds and classes and clubs. But I’m not willing to go there anymore. I don’t want to be liked for being a good actress.

I want to ACTUALLY be a fun person. I want to ACTUALLY be a positive person. I want to ACTUALLY be a loving and caring person. Not just the person who loves and cares when someone is watching or to get you to like me. It is my goal to learn how to step outside of myself and love people. I can’t seem to do that yet. I am still caught up in my appearance and my mess.

One of the motivational speakers at the seminar yesterday kept saying that to find yourself, you’ve got to give yourself away. I have been woefully fantasizing about a sponsor, or a woman of God to take me under her wing and “mother me” . Gently guide me, give me help, give me help. Love me, spend time with me. Care about me.

Do you see a pattern? ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.

Ick.

We learn in ACOA that we build a protective wall around the “real” us so that no one finds out our inadequacies. This makes us incredibly selfish and self-serving people, unable to step outside of our problems to care about anyone else. We are constantly worried about our own perfection. Realization: the only way I am going to get that relationship that I desire is to step out of “me” and give a damn about someone else.

Ok: Here is my favorite part. The ACTION: I am going to serve my husband. He doesn’t read my blog so he won’t know I’m doing it.

He might suspect when he comes home and the laundry is done. (I’ve been so DEPRESSED…woe is me that I let it pile up and we are in a standoff right now. He’s bought packages of socks and underwear twice!) I want you to hold me accountable. I am going to post before pictures of my bedroom and after pictures. Tonight: I am going to do the laundry and clean our bedroom. It may sound small, and probably everybody is better than me and doesn’t need to motivate themselves with something so completely inane, but I am going to try it. And I’m going to publish this before I change my mind.





An Alien in a Strange Land

26 10 2009

Ok. I’ve stopped bawling now. I’m ok. It’s pouring outside. We don’t have gutters on our house yet and the dog tore up the weather stripping on the back door so it’s coming in. When it rains really really hard, a bunch of little grubworms come into the house from underneath the back door to get shelter from the storm.

That kind of persistence has always really really amazed me.

I always thought of myself as the kind of person who would rather die than fight. Like that scene in the Titanic. I didn’t get the people in the lifeboats. You know who I identified with, the old people that just went to “sleep” in one anothers arms. I always thought why the hell would you jump off the boat into that freezing cold water??? I know that I am going to be with God in Heaven and that is – pardon the expression- a “HELL” of a lot better than being here. Hahaha. I know, I’ll be here all week folks. But, I digress. The point is, I never really saw a reason to live. I don’t do it well. I am selfish and rotten and lazy and egh completely disgusted with myself.

So I was really really really surprised when I watched the movie “District 9”

and it totally BLEW MY MIND.

It’s not the sort of thing that I like. I didn’t get why on “earth” hahhahaa (it’s an alien movie) the lead alien in the Michael J Fox from Back to the Future vest would bother to try and put their spaceship together. Why did he not just accept his fate? That they were a lost race. That they were going to be stuck here for all of eternity living like slaves. I just didn’t get it. Why did he try? This is the old me, the me that is used to coming out. The me that always prayed to God that I would just stop living because it was so bad.

The new me, the me that is recovering saw that alien and was amazed at the “human” spirit he exhibited. The fact that he was getting off this planet, the fact that he would die trying, not die in a tent on a compound. The fact that he gave a damn. I have never ever been near death. Perhaps that is why I can be so cavalier about my life. But that alien wanted his son to grow up on a planet where he was respected, he taught his son to want better than he had. He taught his son to work and dream and they would make it. The rest of the aliens were savages, fighting for cat food, living in the damn alien ghetto acting like filthy pigs, while he quietly exacted and worked day and night for something that he never even knew would work.

I hate to admit it, but I am one of the savages. I am trying to turn into a person who appreciates this life that God has given me, not sink to the lowest human denominator. I find myself still fighting over the catfood, living in the ghetto, unable to see the bigger picture. God is so much bigger than all this shit that surrounds us. That is what the alien got. The hope and love and the bigger picture. He blessed his son by teaching him to always look ahead.

Sometimes I see such stupidity and it makes me sick to my stomach. Especially with people of my own culture. Those people who have twenty five children out of wedlock and are on foodstamps. Those people that have a new baby for every guy’s name they tattoo on their boobs. Those people who are acting like it’s ok. It is not ok. No kid wakes up in the morning saying, “I never want to know my dad” because my mother has been sleeping around to work out her daddy issues. That my friends, is how generational curses get started. I want to be the alien that gives a damn. I INSIST that you watch District 9 it is a commentary on the human experience. And a pretty damn cool alien movie.





Highschool Reunion

25 09 2009

On Tuesday, I went to a weight watchers meeting. You remember, I’m a meeting junkie now (almost typed meeting chunkie, hahahaha) anyway. The leader asked, “Anybody in here who is here because they are getting ready for an event?” There was one lady who was going on a cruise, another who was going to a wedding, then I piped up with, “I joined because I wanted to go to my reunion, but decided not to go because I got fat.” Immediately like four people voiced their opinions, “GO!” “Just do it!” “NO one cares” “They all got fat too!” “It’s not high school anymore!” My favorite, “If you go they’ll think you’re filthy rich.” Excuse me?? “Yeah, because those are the only people who go to those things, the ones who are filthy rich and want to brag, or the ones who are still skinny!” Hahaha.

Seriously, it got a big reaction. It made me start thinking too. I am so damn tired of having to be perfect. Because I am the worst perfect person I have ever met. I mean there is nothing that I have not failed miserably at, yet I always want to be perfect. Notice I didn’t say “strive” for perfection, it’s not a trying thing, just an idle want, and then hide myself when I’m not perfect. Anybody wonder why I’m in hiding so much? Why I barely leave the house some weeks. Why I am constantly lying when it’s not really a big deal. Exactly. I was taught that if you are not perfect, you are NOBODY. So I couldn’t let everybody think I was NOBODY. I have to be SOMEBODY. So, I am going to be perfect or be alone. That’s it.

So I’m alone a lot.

But I did decide after everyone’s prodding and encouraging that I will go to my high school reunion. I will go and drink punch and dance to stupid 90s songs and try and make up some excuse for never finishing college when I was all Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement in high school. I will try to be gracious and listen to people talk, instead of wondering if I look skinny. And I will not worry about what those people are saying about me behind my back, because chances are I am saying worse things about myself to my face. Those are my promises.
Just so you know, I have only been to two Al-Anon and one ACOA meeting this week, I have been doing kind of crappy on the program, AKA not doing the program. I need to get with it, this is basically life or death here folks. Maybe I’ll look back on this 10yr reunion as  a turning point in my life, and my 20th I’ll be happy, recovered, have well-adjusted kids and a good career and no apologies. That’s what I’m holding out for. Oh yeah, and if WW works, I’ll be skinny too! Basically PERFECT. ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Old habits die hard, what can I say.

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Fear with Feet

24 09 2009

So My house is a total freakin disaster area. It looks like a kind tornado came through, nothing is really destroyed, but there is crap everywhere. It is really easy to say how BUSY I’ve been, how I simply haven’t gotten around to it, how I need a full day to just focus and do the job, blah, blah, blah. But the truth is I have been at home. I have been not busy, I haven’t even really been doing the marketing work I’m supposed to be doing. Just kinda lolling around. Playing on the internet. Goofing off. Reading my “literature” working my program on paper, but not in practice.

I keep thinking, TOMORROW I WILL WAKE UP AT 4:30 in the morning and the house will be all sparkly by noon and then I can enjoy my day. Blegh. I’ve done that once. I know that it is possible, and it can be done, but the truth is it may have been a once in a lifetime sighting, like a UFO. UCS- Unidentified Cleaning Spree. Never to be seen again.

By 4pm yesterday, I hadn’t even showered yet. I guess my house isn’t the only thing that’s a wreck. The only thing that got me up out of bed (4pm!!!) was the mantra I started to repeat to myself over and over again. “It didn’t get like this overnight, it’s not going to get better overnight, but it will get better.” Then I started to do a little to make sure that that was true. I piddled around, put some clean dishes away, took a shower, then got totally overwhelmed and sat down, about to start crying.

Then the phone rang.

It was a number I didn’t recognize, a 760 number. I answered, in trepidation. It was my a coach from the marketing company that I pay $200 a month to, calling to check up on me. He asked how I was doing on the program. Before he even got the words out of his mouth, I said, “It’s not working because I’m not working it.”

Then he asked, “What can I do to help you?” I wanted to say, give me back my $200 bucks a month, but instead I said, “I don’t know. There’s nothing you can do, I can’t even help myself.” This poor guy had no idea what the hell he was walking into.

But here’s the kicker, it didn’t phase him. Like at all. He just rolled with it. The conversation went like this:

Coach: “How committed are you to your business.”
Me: Silence. “I don’t know.”
Coach: Can you picture yourself being a successful realtor.
Me: (Thoughtfully) Yeeees. I think so. I just don’t know what to do all day. It feels like I have nothing to do.
Coach: That’s not a problem, we have tons and tons of stuff for you to do to get your business going. But you need to be sure that that is actually what you want to do.

Whoa. Coach has a point. It is something I want to do. There are lots of things I want to do. I want to clean my house, I want to work out, I want to write a book, I want to be a successful realtor, I want to be a good wife, I want to be a good dog owner. But there is very little that I actually DO.

Coach: Once you plan to do something, you need to make sure you are committed, or there is no point, don’t you agree?

Totally. I didn’t realize it, but I have committed to very little in life. Then once it fails a little bit, I quit altogether. My self-defeating attitude has cost me alot of gifts that I feel that God has given me. I have squandered them. There was that parable of the talents, and I am the guy that buried them in the ground, like a moron. Just because he was too lazy. People like that piss me off so much. Mostly because I hate the fact that I identify with them.

I am scared of life, scared of living. I don’t want to start cleaning my house, because I might not finish. I don’t want to market myself, go back to school, work out,or basically start anything worthwhile anymore. I’m tired of the disappointment. So my house stays filthy, my business stagnant, I don’t have my degree, and I’m overweight and unhappy. Sheesh. I’m like a mom who figures her little kid is just going to dirty his diaper anyway, so why change it?

I have little to no perserverance. According to the list of ACOA traits, that is number 14. I am a reactor, not an ACTOR. I wait till I’m already late to get going, I wait till the trash truck is rumbling in the distance to get the trash outside. I wait till I need to get out of the house to take a shower. I wait till I don’t have anymore clothes to wash them. I wait till I can’t find my chihuahua in the junk piles to sort through them.

Don’t ask me. I don’t know how to change this yet. I just know that anything worth doing is not going to happen in a minute, an hour, a day. But if I don’t take a minute, an hour, a day to address just a little bit of the problem, then nothing will ever change. I will constantly wait for the perfect time to meet the perfect motivation and explode into perfect fireworks of a job well done.

In recovery we learn the Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. I know now why that is so prevalent a prayer in this program. I am always dwelling on the things that I don’t have the power to change, all the way from not getting a bigger scholarship in high school to not waking up at 5:00 this morning, instead of having the courage to change the things that I can.

In the Al-Anon meeting I go to, there is a lady who says, “Courage is just fear with feet.” I need to put walking shoes on my fear and just step out. Wake up, take a shower, get dressed. Get going, even if it is 4pm by the time I actually start. And know that GOD is in control, not me. He will decide what I need to do. Nothing will get done perfectly, but eventually, when I look back on my life it will be clear that in the moment, I moved FORWARD and didn’t just age in one place.

Just so you know, I talked to that career coach for a good 30 minutes and COMMITTED to do two things for my business before Monday morning at 9:30 when I talk to him next. 1) Make a schedule for myself, and 2) Do Level 1 webinar training for “Power Productivity”. I guess now I have a sponsor for my business too! I will let you know how it goes.