Understanding God

30 10 2009

I have been trying to read scripture every day. I am inclined to want to spend a great deal of time and energy and effort and do it perfectly, going over a book, and the Bible and highlighting and taking notes, that stuff really jazzes me. When I do it, which is rarely because it takes such and involved effort to do it perfectly. That is NOT Biblical. God doesn’t care if you do it perfectly, half of it is just showing up. So to avoid my perfectionism I decided to just read proverbs daily, correlating to the day of the month.

It’s been a little scary to be honest with you.

Certain scriptures have been jumping out at me and taking hold of my heart and speaking to me that make me really uncomfortable.

Oct 28th: He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty, Proverbs 28:19

Oct 29th: A man who remains stiff-necked ater many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy. Proverbs 29:1

I am not really sure if it is God or the guilt that lives inside of me for so many wasted gifts and hours that makes these scriptures slap me in the face. It is said in the Bible that ALL scripture is God-breathed. These proverbs make me feel as though God is going to smite the crap out of me tomorrow…SMITE, SMITE, SMITE- Like so much Dragon’s breath. I can just see him with his lightning rod, tossing bolts down from heaven upon me destroying me without remedy, bringing me from my American dream into the depths of poverty.

Now, it is good to have a healthy fear of God. Blessed are those who fear the Lord. But I don’t think that the way I am interpreting these scriptures is correct. He is a God of love and he says that love is patient and kind and is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. THIS is GOD.

It’s hard to get sometimes.

Which brings me to my Proverb today Oct 30th:

I am the most ignorant of men. I do not have a man’s understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!- Proverbs 30: 2-4

You can hear the author’s desperation in his voice, the fact that he cannot understand God, that the knows that SOMEONE must be up in heaven, SOMEONE must have control over the winds and the waters and the ends of the earth. But he doesn’t know who. How frustrating. I have never really felt this way. I always knew that God was there and that he loved me, from when I was a tiny kid I believed. This is not the case for everybody. Especially analytical people who like numbers and facts and full explanations. For whom a feeling just isn’t enough.

The reason I bring this up, is this is a particularly meaningful scripture to me. It brings me to tears to remember it. In my Bible, in the corner above it in tiny lettering is the writing “K is here- 6/30/03”.  In ’03 I was talking to an old boyfriend again after being broken up for over a year and living in different cities. I was a new believer in Christ and he wasn’t. I told him I was only looking for a husband and only wanted a Christian husband, but we continued talking on the phone anyway.

When I talked to him I could feel his desperate confusion, his knowing that there was SOMETHING greater than himself out there, but not knowing what it was, or how to reach it. He could see the coincidences that were not coincidences, the miracles that were to big to ignore, yet too intangible to be sure. He would go from admitting that there was a God, to being angered at the very thought that he was considering it. He wanted names and places and proof and without a reasonable doubt. And I just couldn’t give it. And it wasn’t my job. So I wished him luck and told him not to call me anymore.

We didn’t talk that whole entire summer which was incredibly hard, because I had been so sure that I would marry him. I prayed fervently and so many other people that I don’t even talk to now did too. I quit smoking in June because he had once told me that he would never marry a smoker and I told him I would never marry an atheist. I decided to prepare for him to return to me. In August he called me up again. Triumphant, he understood he said. He got it. He had started going to a Bible study, and seeking other men and it happened. In January we were engaged, and by the following August, we were married. And he has been the most amazing blessing, and most Godly man I can imagine.

I am reminded that it is not my job to know, that I am human and He is God and he is in charge and I am not.

I don’t get alot of what I read, but if I continue to seek, God will make sure I know what I need to know, when the time is right. I don’t have to worry about being in poverty or being destroyed by God. Because he is with me, he comforts me, he loves me. But I need to heed his warnings, because at the end of it all, I don’t want to have nothing to show him for what he gave me, not because I am scared he’ll hurt me, but because I love him.

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Extreme Bedroom Makeover

28 10 2009

I was almost tempted to post a picture of a regular person, then one on the floor drunk— Get it? Before and AFTER Shots?  Hahahaha.

Anyway…

Ok. Just so you know, I’m not the miracle worker. I did not wash ALL of those clothes. I separated them into piles. Cleanish, and filthy or questionable and they are all in my guest room, I am going to finish the  laundry today. I’ve lost a bit of weight so I need to go through and sort them into give away and keep piles because there is no earthly reason for me to have so many damn clothes.

It’s so weird to actually see it in the harsh light of day, how dirty the room was. I mean I have been avoiding it (and making it worse) since I’ve been depressed, and my husband is so busy it really falls to me, cooking, cleaning, laundry- etc. I thought that when we bought this house WOW 2600 square feet, we are going to be SOOOOOOOOOOOO organized! There is a place for everything. Which is true, there are PLACES for everything, however there is also SO much space to throw crap around, and three bathrooms to clean– THREE! It feels so wonderful and peaceful in there now, it’s amazing. I also posted a picture of the gorgeous view from our bedroom window, with the trees and the greenbelt in the background.

Honestly, I went shopping yesterday for new bedding, because there is nothing worse than cleaning your room and it STILL being ugly. Flylady always says that the key to making your bed every morning is getting bedding you really love, here is a great article and blogtalk radio link to making your bed every day from flylady. My goal is going to be to at LEAST make my bed every day, now that there are no more “it will still look ugly” excuses.

I picked out deep purple sheets from Target last Christmas, and have been trying to find a comforter to match them for JUST AS LONG. Finally, we just gave up and slept with our white down comforter w/ no duvet and the purple sheets which I now loathe because they match nothing. It drove me crazy. So I left the house yesterday with full intention of getting new bedding. I visited Target and Ross and everything was either too expensive, too ugly, too scratchy or too cheap looking. Then I went to Walmart and found this soft, gorgeous set that matches everything I already have ON SALE for $59! Yes! I am so pleased with it, I even bought the wreath, and two throw pillows, all for under $100. If you go on the website you can also order, but you won’t get the sale price unless you’re in the store I guess.

My husband was in utter SHOCK when he got home. I had to wipe his jaw off the floor. He was all smiles the rest of the night. I have to say it was not easy and it took awhile. And it is by no means perfect, since I still have alot of stuff that I just stashed away to deal with later. But here’s the thing: it feels peaceful, and I’m trying for progress not perfection. I will take pictures of the piles and get rid of them one by one, because posting it up here online makes it REAL.

Next up: I am going to post pictures of the guest room- AKA ground zero of laundry. I thought it may be dumb to do this, but I gotta tell you, there is NOTHING more motivating than knowing you’ve gotta post pictures of your crap because you promised. P.S. Thanks so much for the encouraging emails I’ve been getting. Please know that you are not alone. If you want to send me before pictures of your own impossible project, let me know and I can hold you accountable, like you are holding me!





Obey Your Mother

29 09 2009

I spent the weekend in El Paso, my hometown and went to my ten year high school reunion. I can honestly say that no one has changed. I read somewhere that when you go to your ten year reunion no one looks different, just swollen. It was kinda true, although there were too many people that still had cute high-schooler bodies for my liking! But I digress. It was really great to see so many people, lots of pregnant wives and young mothers, I guess we’re at that age.

I of course talked too much about nothing in particular, out of nervousness and tried to summarize my life’s pursuits in two sentences or less. Realtor-married 5 years, No kids, Just Dogs (insert joke). How are you??? No one asked, surprisingly if I graduated college. Which I was kinda glad about. It’s a big sore spot with me. Just because I was one of the “smart kids” in school and it’s embarrassing to see people who were distinctly AVERAGE with advanced degrees because they went the slow n’ steady route and I went the crash and burn route. All or NUTHIN. I’m not jealous, I’m really very happy for alot of them, it just makes you take a good long hard look at your life and what the hell you have been doing for 10 years.

I have concluded that my not finishing school was a big screw you to my parents, especially my mother.

It really is a huge regret of mine, something I wish I hadn’t done, something I wish I could go back and change, something that makes me madder than hell at myself. And also something I will never admit to my mother. I realize that I am constantly trying to get her approval, but not by doing exactly what she wants, which is kinda how my sister operated. But by doing the exact opposite. Challenging her to love me anyway. To prove that she still loves me despite my shortcomings. And she never meets the challenge, but I continue to test her,  just in case.

My mother is someone who withholds affection if you are not doing exactly what she wants you to do. It’s funny, because if one of her children does something wrong, she ignores all of us. EVERYONE is in the doghouse, it’s like just having children disappoints her. My little sister just doesn’t tell my mom if she is doing something that my mom doesn’t agree with. Me, I roll around in her disapproval. I seek it out, it’s masochistic and stupid and I can’t understand why I have this need to put me in a situation where I am just going to be shot down and unloved.

For my fifth wedding anniversary I got my first tattoo ever, a dove (the holy spirit) with a scroll beneath bearing my husband’s name in amharic characters. Mind you, I am twenty eight years old, living on my own and my mother is 700 miles away and it was a tattoo I had been thinking about for YEARS. I think it’s beautiful, it looks great and it really stands for something I believe in and will continue to believe in. Of course, while I am getting stung a hundred million times a second by a humongous needle, all I can think of is how pissed off my mother is going to be. I hear her voice in my head, “Only trashy girls get tattoos. What will your children think of you? This is going to kill your grandparents. Your grandpa might have a heart attack and die when he finds out.”

I do it anyway. This is ok, I believe this is a healthy response. What am I going to do, let my mother control my life from west Texas? Here is the abnormal part, right afterward, while the ink is still wet, I call her up and tell her. My sister told me not to, my husband told me not to, my better judgement told me not to. But I called her up anyway and it went something like this.

Me: “Mom I just wanted to let you know before you found out from anyone else, I got a tattoo.” Silence. “Hello? Are you there?”

Mom: “I’m here I just can’t believe it. Why on earth would you do that to your body?”

Me: “It’s been something I’ve wanted for a really long time.”

Mom: “That’s so stupid. You do these things just to get back at me. You need to stop ruining your life just to get back at me, I told you I was sorry.”

Me: “I don’t know why I tell you these things. I’ve gotta go. Bye. ”

Mom: “I thought you were over that phase in your life. I thought you were more mature than that.”

Me: Ashamed. Beat down. Depressed. Serious case of tattoo remorse. Hating myself. Wondering why the hell I called her in the first place. Worst part is knowing that even if I want to call her in the next week, she’s so mad she won’t take any of my phone calls. The most ironic thing is, she thinks she has changed. She doesn’t see it as withholding love. In her mind if you want love, you won’t do anything that pisses your mother off, if you do do something, then you clearly don’t care what your mother thinks anyway so why do you need love?

I guess that is why it is so hard for me to believe that anyone can love me if I do something they disagree with and I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop when it looks like I’m being loved unconditionally.  Because surely, I cannot keep up this facade, this perfection, eventually they will find something that they don’t like about me, or disagree with me, and everything will be over. So I leave first. I leave jobs and friends, and relationships and family. The minute they start to get too close, I’m gone, so they can’t reject me. It’s a very frustrating and lonely way to live. That is why I really really like going to these meetings. I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend. I can be myself, and they understand, without me even saying a word. And nobody gives a damn if I’m covered head to toe in God-awful tattoos.