Monday, January 11, 2010

Beauty for ashes

It's late, but it's quiet. I'm learning to take my new life day by day. I struggle with this new role God has placed me in...not because I don't think I can handle it with His grace, but because it's not one I chose. It doesn't seem to fit (yet). I ache to be home with my kids--playing, changing diapers, cleaning up the milk that spilled again. To be scrubbing who knows what off the kitchen table...would make me happier than any woman in the world.

But (apparently) that's not what God wants for me right now. And I'm learning to give up some of my "what ifs" and to embrace "what is" so that I can be the best Me there ever was. I had a really rough Christmas. I struggled with being very sick, working full time, preparing for Christmas. The "perfect gift" we bought for the kids was damaged when we went to set it up on Christmas disappointing. I was so sick that I had to ask my mother-in-law to cook my own Christmas dinner while I sat on the couch. (Thanks, Mama S!) I was very emotional, and all over just down in the dumps. (when I get this way, Marc calls it my being "in the depths of despair." Reminds me a bit of The Princess Bride..."the pit of despair. Don't even try to escape..." ha ha)

Anyway, over the past few weeks, I'm on the mend, the damaged gift is being sent back for a replacement, and my hormones have settled. I'm left with this sense of disappointment, and I've been thinking about it a lot. I mean, really, I have so much to be thankful for. In the scheme of things, compared to 95% of the world, I have no reason to complain. And yet, I have been complaining. I've been discontent...I've been mad.

What is disappointment, really, but just something short of your expectations? That made me think about my expectations--do I have them set unreasonably high? What makes me think that I deserve anything, anyway?

I don't know that any of my ramblings will even help anyone, other than help me get it all out there. Even if no one reads this thing but me. :) I guess I just needed to say it out loud. It's hard right now...ALL my friends and family are long-distance. That stinks when you work full-time and all your friends are stay at home mommys. Not only do I no longer feel connected to that life, but by the time I think about calling, it's 10 pm. I email all day long now at email my friends just feels cold and impersonable. Facebook is an old friend I like to visit for 10 minutes a day. If I don't comment on your page, nothing personal, there's just no time.

Marc & I joked that on Sunday, we'll put an announcement in the church bulletin: "Nice, normal couple in the 3rd row needs friends. Meet us at the coffee cart after service." I know, I know--"you have to be friendly to make friends." Yes, true. But friendly is hard. Sometimes you just want someone to notice you are new and make an effort. And I move so much...honestly, I'm tired of always being the one to make the first effort in friendship.

Not being whiny, just expressing myself. I finally feel at liberty to express myself without cussing anyone you should feel lucky! Ha ha.

I know that all the things my sweet mommy tells me are true, like "this will pass." And, "you've just been through a lot of big changes...don't be so hard on yourself." And believe me, I KNOW I've been negative--especially with my family. But honestly, isn't anyone allowed to really STRUGGLE anymore? To wrestle with their thoughts and feelings without being judged? I guess not...even my friends on facebook are always posting things in their statuses & then posting things to "take it back" because people get mad. Thanks for letting me do that here.

I guess everything I'm trying to say can be summed up by Solomon:

There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I've had a good look at what God has given us to do--busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time--but he's left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he's coming or going. I've decided that there's nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That's it--eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It's God's gift.

I've also concluded that whatever God does, that's the way it's going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God's done it and that's it. That's so we'll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That's how it always is with God.

--Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

The more I read this passage, the more I take it to be positive and not negative. Yeah, sure, the author was probably depressed. I mean, most of the book of Ecclesiastes is pretty moody. But....I love to serve a God who doesn't show all His cards. Sometimes it's tough figuring out which "right time" it is. Through it all, I remember that I need to "quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear." Whether I agree with His decision or not, it Is. He alone can give me the grace to see beauty where I think there are ashes. He is to be praised!

1 comment:

crookedtoes said...

Refreshing! I miss you.