Isolation

10 11 2009

I have been hesitant to post anymore dark dreary posts, just because I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I’m supposed to be salt and light. All I am is sad and lonely tonight. Which is stupid. I spent all day with a friend, and we had five dogs in the house. Yesterday I went to the movies with a great friend and talked on the phone with three people. Saturday I had wonderful quality time with my husband. I had several “friend” encounters last week too.

But I feel different from everybody else. Even my friends. I attended two (!) meetings today, Alanon and ACOA and both of them, went late, left early, said nothing. I’m supposed to be in my “safe place” there and I just shut down. I don’t really even feel like writing now, I’m just doing it because I feel I must.

Right now is a season of sacrifice for my husband and I. He is working like crazy and going to school. I leave the house when he’s gone, I get home and he’s gone. I came home at 1:30 after my workout and meeting and I saw the three dirty pans that he left on the stove, the butter and sriracha he left on the counter and I wanted to cry because I had missed him. The man refuses to use a damn microwave. I make full meals when he’s gone, and put them in pyrex dishes so he can just heat it up when he has the time. He to reheat every component in a different pan, using different utensils. Keeping up with the dishes is a full time job but I don’t care, because it’s him. I love his particularity. He once put a single serving of frozen microwave lasagna in the oven for an hour and insisted it was worth it.

I don’t really feel like being with anybody but him, he’s the only one who really knows me. I force myself anyway because I know I need to. It’s all very codependent. When he is there I feel so full and complete and loved and perfected. When he is gone, the darkness closes me in. I know that God is really trying to get me to count on him and these are just terrible little growing pains. That’s why I force myself. Because I have to give God my effort. My trying and eventually, it will be true.

You see, my husband won’t always be there for me. I know he will be there as much as he possibly can but God is showing me that though he may not be there, God will provide me with friends, and life and fulfillment all ripe for the picking if I am willing to accept it.

I realized Saturday that the single most important thing after breathing in and out is giving my minutes, my hours, my days to the Lord and committed to doing so. I got busy today and I forgot. I pulled into the driveway at 8:15pm, and tried not to get my hopes up that my husband would be home yet because I know not to expect him till 11:30. But I did anyway, then I sat in the car not wanting to go into the big empty house, and trying to figure out why I feel so desperately lonesome when I finally remembered. And I gave my God the pitiful leftovers of my day hoping he could piece something together that made sense in the short time left.

Hey Jude is playing right now on my Pandora, and it was the part where he’s screaming over and over again, better, Better, BETTER, BETTER!!!!!! It made me smile. It was like his promise to me, God’s promise to me. Things will get better, I will get better, Better, BETTER BETTER!





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.





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.