It’s been almost a year since I’ve written. Well, I’ve written since then….but I haven’t blogged. Not for lack of things to say, but lack of a steady thought. My mind goes in about 500 different directions at any given time and it’s a wonder I know my own name. I was driving down the bypass this morning and thought the road looked different. Less trees? Did something get torn down last night? No? Just me? Ok then…..
What I’ve experienced in the last year includes, but is not limited to, the following: immense joy in all 3 of my children, exhaustion, high anxiety over continuing health questions, restlessness, happiness, heightened sense of self, a messy house, an onslaught of laundry, paleo, extreme feelings of inadequacy.
Inadequacy. Something that has been chained to my ankle for as long as I can remember. I drag it around with me daily, and try to remove it every night. However, I feel like I only polish it while I’m feverishly trying to cut it loose. I can go weeks where I’m drowning in my life. Understand I L O V E my life. I love that I’m a stay at home mommy! I’m thankful I’m a hairdresser a few hours a week. I love being a housewife. But it’s a solitary existence that can lead to feeling like you’re either fussing at someone all the time, or someone is always fussing at you. My dog throws a fit when we leave the house for any reason….so I’m even getting it from him. I seem to be in constant defense mode. House isn’t clean? I picked it up 40 times today! I posted too many pictures on fb? I’m capturing the memories of my children! Clothes are piled up? They’re CLEAN! Meanwhile, I’ve lost myself somewhere. I’m no longer “Monica” but “mommy” and “wife”….which are roles I relish(!!), but also want to be able to take off sometimes. Can I hashtag here? Because #TRUTH
I went on my Walk To Emmaus at Asbury a few weeks ago. While I started my weekend tweaking out over not having my phone or access to my home life, I quickly was able to relax in people getting to know me as ME and not someone’s mom or wife. Or even hairstylist. I was just me. I could be vulnerable and open and honest. I could laugh and cry and have the tears be about me and what I was experiencing then and there. That sounds so selfish saying it like that, and maybe it is. But it was GREAT for a few days of guilt free self time. It’s why I was there in the first place–so that I could find my relationship with God. I’m exhausted of playing a role. I don’t want to play mommy. I don’t want to play wife. I don’t want to play Christian. I want to BE those things, and be in relationship with the people who make me the titles of mommy, wife, and Christian. It is way too easy to define an entire person by the choices, specifically the mistakes, they make. I’m guilty of doing that, but I’m also aware of it. I do not want to be defined by my poor choices. I don’t live in a land of poor choices. I may pass through there, but I didn’t build a house. I don’t want to be defined by my past (and sometimes even my present)….what I hope defines me is how you feel when you’re with me, if I can be of help to you, make you laugh, help you see your worth. What I hope defines me is how people see Christ in me. I’m trying to rest in God’s grace and love for me. I’ve never fully accepted those things…..my life has been a wonky wandering to heaven. My focus has been to stay out of hell. My focus has not been on the gifts of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and relationship through Jesus Christ. I very nearly missed the point.
Relationship. That’s the point, right? To be in community with people….to have relationships, to have friends, to help each other, laugh together, do life together, encourage each other and to make disciples. The promise of God includes the perfection of Heaven, but we aren’t there yet! We are still living our lives….we still have work to do. We still have purpose. I have purpose. You have purpose. I don’t always know what that is….right now, it’s my family. My children, to be sure, but it’s also my husband. And Biblicaly, he’s the most important one……
There’s a reason I feel inadequate. It’s because I am. I am inadequately showing love to my husband. I am inadequately receiving his love to me. I am inadequately in relationship with him. I’ve gotten so wound up in my life as mom to our precious babies that I have dropped the ball with him. And I am sorry. I began to do what I’d imagine a lot of us moms do….we go 110% into mom mode (because our days are spent with our children and not our husband), and squeak by, by playing the part of wife. Like a play, I put on the costume and the makeup and set my stage. I act out the scene. But I do not engage, not really. It’s not an ensemble cast. It’s a one woman show. If I allow him in, I go off script and improv has never really been my thing. I like printed words. I like a script. I like my(!) script. I like arguing in text. I like control……as in my relationship with Christ, I couldn’t trust him because I didn’t believe his love for me. Why should God love me? I’m foul. I’m rotten. I’m spoiled and frustrating and all things unworthy. Why should Chris love me? I’m anxiety overload and tired and grumpy and frumpy and needy and all things annoying.
But Christ does love me. Because He made me….he’s a good, good Father, and
made me for a purpose. My husband loves me. Because he chose me. We are man and wife by God for a purpose. While I am still learning how to talk to him….while I’m realizing how I need to listen to him…..he loves me. “He” being both God and my husband.
So while I may acknowledge I am inadequate, that does not mean I am damaged goods. I have failings and shortcomings. I have things to improve within myself. I could always be a better wife/mother/Christian. Always. But what I have to remind myself, and perhaps anyone reading this, is that I am worthy. I can accept God’s love. I can accept the love of my husband. Not because of anything I did for them, but of what Jesus has done for me and for the ways Chris does show me he loves me. Chris and I don’t speak the same love language. At all. We are both very stubborn and combative and prideful. We cut each other to the core because we are 2 people hurting and it’s easy to deflect and hurt the one you love the most. Yep I said it’s easy. He questions where clean clothes are (typically the dryer….), I question if he even knows how to use the washer. Easy. He questions me about an empty wrapper on the counter, I ask the last time he took the trash to the curb. Easy! And pointless. It’s hurtful. Plus, it tarnishes everything. A few years ago, I thought I was encouraging Chris to ask for a much deserved raise. I used words to describe him such as “smart,” “educated,” “experienced,” “loyal” “amazing,” “deserving”….but because of years of snappy comebacks, all he heard from me was “inadequate” (…..#gutpunch)
This weekend has been rough for us. We had a fight that, per the norm, escalated too quickly and destroyed our time together. While we have different perceptions of how it all went down, we used the same, single word to describe how we currently feel: defeated. He went to bed an hour ago, defeated and done. I watched him silently walk down the hallway and I was equally defeated and done. I started to write because this is how I work things out in my head and my heart. I blogged vs just scribbling because I’ve talked to friends and my feelings are not unique to me. God does not tell us we are inadequate. God does not tell us we are unlovable. God asks us to love Him because He first loved us…that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Take. That. In. Seriously. I got saved at 6, but didn’t accept that until 2 weeks ago! But since accepting it, I’m also seeing other love than I’ve basically been rejecting because I didn’t feel adequate. In not accepting the love offered to me, I come across as unloving. That is absolutely wrong, but perception is for real. How one feels
often trumps how things are. The same goes for him….what he says to me gets perceived as unloving and unkind when I don’t like how he said it. Tone. And round and round and round we go…..
This has gone in a fairly different direction than I thought, but there it is. I hate feeling inadequate. I hate feeling like I’m less than. I hate thinking that my husband thinks those things of me. Because the truth is that he doesn’t. The truth is, while he gets frustrated with me and can oftentimes also do/say the wrong thing, he loves me. In spite of my failings. In spite of my shortcomings. In spite of everything, he loves me. I hope that, in spite of all of his own feelings of inadequacy, he knows that I love him regardless of ANYthing. I can perceive whatever. I can feel whatever. But the truth….the truth is love. And I can accept that…….