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.





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.





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!





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.





Off the Wagon

24 10 2009

Life was going really really really well. I mean, I’ve been really happy in a great mood, grateful toward everything, even the tiniest blessings were getting acknowledged and praised. I have been having some incredibly productive days that begin with scripture and end tired and satisfied. The kind of days that I dream of having. The kind of days that make life worth living. I was a little sick last week, while it stopped me from going to a few meetings and I slept more than my schedule allowed, I was still doing well. I didn’t post on my recovery blog because it didn’t feel like I had anything to recover from. I felt wholeness.

Then Thursday morning, I slept late. Then I got a phone call from a client asking me to withdraw her offer on a house I know is perfect and one-of-a-kind for her. Then I didn’t put the trash out before the garbage truck came. Then I didn’t go to the gym, didn’t go to Alanon, and didn’t shower. Then I ate chips in bed and watched youtube videos. Then my husband came home at 1pm from school after not having slept at all the night before from working on homework and I had the nerve to complain to him about how “dissatisfied” I was. Then I pestered him about whether or not he “loved me” or was “mad at me”. Mostly because I felt like an unloveable lump of crap that I was really really mad at myself.

Then he got this really really sad, frustrated look on his face and said, “You fell off the wagon, huh?”

Nothing mean, or condescending. He walked in the bedroom and began picking clothes up off the bedroom floor to put in the washer. I turned away from him in bed, ashamed. He went downstairs to make himself lunch. I layed in bed. Ashamed and angry, desperately willing myself to change, but not having the strength to even move. I tried to sleep some more but only succeeded in wanting to die.

Then I thought about my husband. How he didn’t get any sleep the night before and had still gone to school.

How he was going to work right after lunch, because he had to pay the bills to keep my depressed and lazy ass in chips to eat in bed, electricity and internet so I can while away the precious days that God has given me in comfort. I was disgusted with myself. What nerve did I have to tell him what a shitty day I was having, when the only thing that was shitty that I had no control over was the client. The rest was all on me, baby.

I would love to tell you that I immediately got up and didn’t waste the rest of the day. That I showered and got dressed and ate well and went to the gym, the office, read my scriptures, cleaned my house. Anything that was productive. That I was so inspired by the thought of my husband working so hard for us, that I just had to get up and get going. That I vowed that minute to do everything in my power to change and never look back.

It’s not true though. I did take a shower, and got dressed in some comfy sweats and went downstairs and kissed my husband and told him that I would get right back on the wagon. That he didn’t have to worry anymore, that things were getting better. That things were GOING to get better. He looked at me with compassion, and said, “I hope so.” Then went back to his sandwich.

Then he went upstairs to take a nap, and I went with him. I slept the rest of the afternoon and into the night. He went to work. He asked me if I would wash some socks. I didn’t even get up to do that. He came home at one AM, exhausted and crawled into bed with me again. He cradled me in his big arms and I wailed, “you shouldn’t hug me. I didn’t wash the socks. ” He said he had been getting them off of the floor and he’d just do that again. I sniffled, “you can have mine tomorrow, they didn’t even touch the ground today.”

“Ok,” he said, holding me tightly.

Sometimes I want him to hit me and scream. It would feel more appropriate. Sometimes I want him to threaten me with leaving and falling out of love, anything to shake me up. But he doesn’t. He holds me and I’m secure and I have no reason for acting the way I do. I was doing so well. What happened?





Stuck in 1-2-3 Cycle

8 10 2009

Since I have been having problems working the program and getting going, I am going to try to post my step-work. I have gotten a little better, no longer feel so hopeless. However– And this is a big however– I still feel immense pressure to get everything perfect really really fast. Or what’s the point.

I know that this is not what the program teaches us. For your reference, here is steps 1-3 in the ACOA program: We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable, Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God. That’s it. Pretty simple right? In one way yes, it is simple. Easy to acknowledge for me, someone who already has a very strong belief in God. However, for someone who has been acknowledging God for all the good things in her life, and blaming herself for all the bad things, this is a very trying set of steps.

The problem is, when I am in the depths of despair, is when I realize that I need God and I am totally powerless to climb out of this hole myself. When I see a little light peeking through the dirt I’m buried in, I get excited and think that I just gotta force myself to climb up the muck and crawl out. Instead, I just end up flailing around in the dirt and bury myself deeper. It occurs to me that I don’t really think of this as trying to control things, just seems like what I need to be doing, since I’m so far down. I tell myself ridiculous things, like I will get up at 4:30 in the morning, work out, clean the house, work on my business, spend time with my husband, mow the lawn, return the library books, update my blog, etc. etc. and then am suprised when I feel disinterested in even getting up.

Recently, I had to make a schedule for myself and my business and give it to my business coach. I did it in Excel, and it was three pages long, starting at 4:30 in the morning and had something every half hour till 8 at night with free time being scheduled between 8-9 on Monday, Thursday and Friday. This is for someone who has never been able to follow a schedule. I was so embarassed by the in-feasability of the document that I had to change it just to show him that I was not unreasonable. But in my head, I was thinking, “You can follow the original schedule, Martha Stewart does it, I’m sure Oprah does it too. There are lots of people who have days like that. Don’t be weak.” Needless to say, I have not gotten up at 4:30 maybe EVER in my life. These are the demands that I try to make on myself and end up failing at every time.

I am very embarassed telling you this, but I think it needs to be said. I am going to be starting work as a Property Management Assistant again M-F 8:30-1:00 pm starting next Monday because I really worked more when I had to be at the office rather than being able to go in whenever I felt like it. I feel like I failed, well it’s not really a feeling. More like a fact. I have failed. I did not have the discipline to work my own business myself without supervision. I am a good realtor. I have special skills such as listening, compassion, and understanding. I am also a good guide and a good teacher, and truly have a desire to see people in the property of their dreams. People are people to me, not just a commission. Having said that, I have not been disciplined enough in marketing, prospecting or the other half of real estate. Getting clients has proven to be challenging, mostly because I am too proud to ask for business and the other half of me is convinced I have nothing to offer.

The only reason I know my good qualities is because in ACOA there was a passage talking about us HAVING good qualities and I really was intrigued by that. Usually, I look at myself in the most negative light possible, if someone tells me I’m a good wife, I say, “At least I haven’t cheated on him.” In the very depths of my despair I lamented to my little sister that I couldn’t think of any good quality in me. When she pressed I said, “Well, there is one. I’m not a drug addict or an alcoholic. Yet.”  Talk about a downer. People can see that negative energy all over me. I’m so embarassed it’s like a shroud covering my heart. I have never ever ever wanted to be one of those negative people that just suck the life out of you, so I withdraw so no one will know messed up I am. I know that there is a postive, fun loving person that I should have been inside somewhee dying to get out. I want to uncover that person, but how?

I  find myself still trying to control everything, keep all the balls in the air, be perfect. How can this make any time for fun, or for that person who wants to be different, deep inside of me? Not to say I don’t have time for myself, I’ve had the luxury of lots of time these past few months to wallow in frustrated despair. It’s like I took a vacation and instead of visiting some sunny paradise I decided to camp out in the cold, damp doldrums- Party of one please.

This is very frustrating. Contrary to the way I act, I don’t want to be here. It is not fun being here. It is not fun being this person. I don’t know how to get through steps one-two-and three. I keep thinking I have power. I keep thinking that God will help me only once I restore myself to sanity. I keep thinking that I am turning my will and life over to the care of God, but then just grab it right back. What do I do? I really am asking. I don’t have the answers.