Monday, February 26, 2007

The Underside of Things

I am continually amazed at the ways God speaks to me. It would fancy me if there was an angelic visitation, a prophetic word (maybe)!, a vision, a translation or something "spiritual" like that. But, I realized the other day that that may not be the case... I think God speaks to me where I am at, and will capitalize on a free, quiet moment.

The other day I was pretty overwhelmed - a common state of being lately. There is constant motion and noise and activity all around me from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep. I've found that the best place for me to relax and get away from all that is sometimes that bath tub. Our water bill was WAY up last month! Anyway, the other night the house was cluttered, the kids were grubby, dinner was just over and I was hiding - very honestly - hiding! But, I had cleaned the bathroom just before. Mind you, it was a surface clean - no scrubbing, no cleaner - just making sure there were no underwear on the ground, no T.P. still clinging to the toilet, I even wiped the lid - but it was clean. It helps to try to relax in a somewhat un-cluttered environment.

Anyway, I had just gotten in to a very hot bath (don't tell my mid-wife) and was unwinding. Then I opened my eyes. It just so happened that from where I was sitting, I could see the underside of the toilet rim. Yuck - double yuck. There went my serene, relaxing, un-cluttered bath. Arghhhhh....

Anyway, I had a mild breakdown - crying in the tub - pretty pathetic. But, as God is so faithful - he began to speak to me through my toilet. He has a sense of humor. I started thinking about my life. It is so easy to put on a front; to act like everything is okay. To present your "house" as clean and in order. And it might actually be. But how often are the really gross, really dirty areas left neglected. Too often I will realize a messy spot in my home, or my life, and acknowledge it but feel to overwhelmed to deal with it. But, obviously, the longer I ignore it, the more deeply seeded the stain becomes and the harder it is to scrub it clean.

My goal, my desire, is to arrive at the point where I no longer to crisis management, but am able to maintain order. I realize this may not happen in my home for a while, but do know that it is totally possible spiritually. After all - God calls us to be holy as He is holy - I know it is possible!

I dare to hope....

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rules of Engagement

My life is pretty crazy. I think I am at a point where I can finally, fully admit it. Though, sometimes I wonder if it is more the life I lead or the one who leads it that dubs it as crazy - it is what it is. I know that things could be more hectic - I've seen it in action in others lives, but for me - right now, right here - this is my truth.

For the first time the other day I was aware of trying to schedule, actually schedule, a date night with my hubby. It seems in the past that they kind of just happened, but we were in the car with the kids and doing a run down of my week vs. his week - who was going out when and with whom and who was watching the kids on what nights and can we possibly squeeze in some "us" time - Lord knows we both need it! When did life get like this - was with the birth of Kylie, or did it happen a year later with Caleb. Maybe it got officially hectic when Macey was born or...ughhh - who knows. It's here and it's now and oh my - how do I cope.

Now, that's an interesting thought - coping. I have come to realize in the past week a lot about my coping skills or lack of them. I lived a pretty sheltered life growing up. I didn't have to cope with a lot - I experienced to major tragedies, no deaths in the family, no intense trauma. I think the closest I got to grief was when I was five and my goldfish jumped out of the bowl onto our blue shag carpet and fried himself on the heater - yikes.

As I've looked more deeply and "dealing" lately, I realized that I tend to choose to not deal. Not healthy. Not really even practical - because, hey - even if I don't acknowledge the issue, it's still there, and it will patiently wait and grow and fester and wait and wait and wait...oh, how they like to wait. It's kind of like ignoring a baby elephant in your living room. Whether you acknowledge it or not, it's there - and it's going to grow and it's going to do things that growing elephants do. And if you don't deal with the stuff, then one day you will wake up with a pile of grown up elephant well, you know...not a pretty thought. Not only do I tend to ignore the problem, but everything else as well. If something is already raw, why involve yourself in an activity that could make it hurt worse - and sometimes everything hurts. Sometimes, every little action seems to require attention to the "thing."

I feel like God has calling me to engage more in my issues, in my life, and in the lives of those around me. It is WAY too easy to sit back and let others do the work, to choose to not engage. Being the word lover that I am, I looked up what it means to engage or be engaged. Here are my favorites:

To draw into; involve
To enter or bring into conflict with
To interlock or cause to interlock; mesh

Ouch. Especially the one about conflict. I mean, who wants to choose to draw into conflict - not me. But, as I have learned - conflict is a key to growth, to relationship, So - bring it on, right?!?! Yikes!

So - instead of withdrawing from life - I choose to engage in it. To seek out ways to interact more with my surroundings - my kids, my friends, my husband - heck, even the lady behind the counter at WinCo. Why not - can't hurt. Oh wait, what was that about conflict...? Anyway - I think I am learning that engaging is good - for me, for those around me, for everyone involved. Why not train that baby elephant to get rid of his stuff correctly while he is still young? Seems to be the wise way to go.

So, here I go - embracing this crazy life that I dearly love and would not trade for anything; choosing to be engaged, whatever it may bring!