I am disgusted with myself. The thoughts that I have let run through my head in recent weeks are appalling, embarrassing, and frustrating. I have done a terrible job letting the Lord take my thoughts captive and I am finally sick enough of myself that I am publicly declaring that I desperately need God’s help (and your accountability/encouragement). And because I haven’t [enter cliche here] let go and let God, I have been harboring everything but contentment…and I want it back.
To give you a glimpse into what I’m talking about, here are a few things running through the hallways of my mind recently:
I wish we had extra money to have professional pictures taken of our family/Serafina/etc. (I am acutely aware of this when I see people post new ones they’ve had taken on Facebook. When I really think about it, I probably only really want them so I can show them off…WRONG!)
I wish _____ would call me/invite me to hang out/email me/etc. (This is especially ridiculous because in the last few weeks, I have had three friends text me, two asking to come over. The other one lives across the country so that’s not terribly feasible…)
I wish we were more plugged into our neighborhood/I wish we knew more people within walking distance we could hang out with/babysit swap/etc. (We have not been to a single neighborhood meeting…entirely our fault yet I still complain about it.)
I wish I was more disciplined to get more things done throughout my time at home. (I’m totally productive with Netflix on in the background, right? NOT.)
I wish our church was bigger so we didn’t have to help out every Sunday. (Seriously? I can’t believe this EVER enters my mind. Especially because the small-ness of our church is what makes it so much like family and so awesome.)
I wish more people read my blog/people would ask me to be a contributor to their blog/I wish I was more like the gals who contribute to blogs like Keeper of the Home/etc. (Those gals have been blogging SO much longer than me and have such better things to say! Plus, they’ve done such a better job being faithfully consistent with their blog they deserve to be part of those websites. Sheesh, Rachel.)
The really sad part of all of this? God has been so good lately. We have been incredibly blessed in nearly every part of our lives. Yet somehow, I think about the things I listed above instead of what God promises us in His Word.
Let’s break it down:
Money: what a load of crap (sorry). It’s not money that is evil…it’s the love of money. Or the love of what money can get you. In this example, attention, praise, and pride. The crazy part of this is that God gave Ben a teaching job 5 blocks from home (saving $200+ on gas a month) with a substantial raise. So we do have more money. And sadly, the first thing I think of using it for is something that brings me glory, not God.
Friends: the whole woe-is-me thinking here is really ridiculous, especially when Ben points out examples x, y, and z of how wrong I am. That’s why God gave us husbands, right? To point out when we’re totally deluded? 😉 But seriously, God did not make us to exist without each other and I simply need to be patient with this season of life and the friends that He’s given me even if it seems right now that the people who want to/can spend time with me happen to not be close enough to hang out with often.
Neighbors: this is something I need to stop complaining about and change. When I was cleaning the alley the other day, I chatted with someone down the street regarding getting the block watch started up again. He said he and his roommates would come if I organized it. Alright, sounds like there’s a job that needs doin’ and I’m just the gal for the task. Like the alley, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and make it happen rather than keep waiting for someone else to make the first move.
Self-discipline: goodness sakes…this one is embarrassing. Especially because everyone thinks I have it all together. I swear I could waste an entire day – getting nothing done – and somehow still find a way to convince someone walking into my house that I had been working all day. I’m that good at making myself look good rather than actually getting things done. And why? Because I wanted to catch up on That 70’s Show or I got lost in reading how other people have it together way more than I do. Sure, I am fairly efficient but I make excuses for myself rather than exercising this extremely important fruit of the Spirit. And you only get stronger when you exercise…of all people, I should know this. When I lacking self-control/self-discipline, it makes me vulnerable to attack, something I’ve been feeling lately which is entirely my fault.
Serving at church: I think this one that makes me loath myself the most…my attitude is disgusting, inexcusable, and downright wrong. Which is what hit me in the face and made me confront my discontentment. We are part of a wonderful fellowship of families who take turns filling up our children’s hearts and minds with Jesus’ love. Yes, we rotate through more than people at a larger church might but that just means we have the privilege of being Jesus’ hands and feet to little ones more often, arguably one of the most important jobs on Earth! Going to a small church means we are known, loved, and supported in ways that are hard to find in larger churches. How could I be so selfish? I hope you are disgusted with me as I am sick that I ever let thoughts like that enter my mind.
Blog traffic/readership/contributor sites: somehow I forget that I am a contributing writer. I also forget that when I write something worthwhile about someone worthwhile (like my personal tribute to an amazing professor who passed away suddenly in June). I even wrote a blog post about how God can use even small blogs! How quickly I forget His goodness like the people of Judah that Jeremiah laments; I didn’t show up to my wedding naked so how can I forget Him day after day (days without number)? He asked me to be faithful with a little and I need to be content with that until He gives me more.
That’s the long of it. The short of it is that I need to pray more, be in His word more, and line up my thinking with His. Not mine.
Money: God’s richness and generosity calls me to rest in His care and provision.
Friends: God’s love and presence compels me to look to Him for completion and company.
Neighbors: God’s nearness and support demands that I reach out and share His love.
Self-discipline: God’s perfection and sacrifice commands me to follow His example and exercise my own self-control.
Church: God’s goodness and mercy insists that I respond with humility and praise.
Blog: God’s vision and plan for me pleads for me to be diligent and persevere.