Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
I know, I know… you want to hear about Bithlo. And you will. However, this post is not about our Bithlo trip. It’s a bit more personal in nature. I could give you a slew of excuses as to why I’ve been M.I.A….too much to write about, a busy work schedule leading us towards some much needed R&R, a Portland road trip to see loved ones graduate from MU and celebrate Mother’s day with Mom Elzinga, etc. etc. etc. All of these are true and valid excuses. But if I’m being completely honest with myself and you, my readers, there’s a much deeper reason I’ve been avoiding the “blogging world.” I don’t want to become one the superficial Facebook, Blogging, Pinterest lives I often read and daydreamed about. Let’s get real!
You see, I’ve really been struggling lately. I haven’t felt much like sharing the “personal ponderings from my heart” because they’ve been quite jumbled and messy. Okay, no more beating around the bush…to put it simply, I’ve been struggling with sin. What began as comparisons morphed into a battle with my deep-set insecurities. What morphed into a battle with my deep-set insecurities made way for lies, lies and more lies. These lies opened the floodgates of my sinful heart. A wave of self-criticism, self-condemnation and just plain selfishness began to flood my daily life…damaging (but not destroying) many of my relationships in it’s path (mainly my relationships with the Lord and those closest to me).
I admit; I put quite a bit of stock into being a “good disciple of Christ, wife, daughter, sister, friend, dean, counselor, mentor, church member, neighbor…” Basically, I strive to be an all around “good person.”
I have hopes of being able to dig into God’s Word and journal daily, have times of uninterrupted prayer often, trust God fully, love others unconditionally and have “heart-to-hearts” with everyone closest to me regularly. I desire to be faithful, loyal, approchable, available and relatable. I want to be lovingly firm, wise, unwaveringly compassionate and sincerely empathetic. It is my goal to serve, relate, meet, greet and respond. I also have dreams of eating healthy, exercising faithfully, resting and maintaining overall health. Not to mention, a desire to maintain a clean, welcoming and beautiful home. And if it’s not too much, I’d like to be stylish too.
Is this too much to strive for?
As I spend time with Jesus in prayer and quiet reflection, I’m discovering the answer is a resounding, “yes!”
While I can’t identify the exact moment, this tangled web of expectations I’ve weaved for myself has begun to unravel.
There have been so many changes over this past year: a college graduation, a wedding, a new marriage, a move, a new job, church and community. And with all of these new changes I’ve brought with me a lot of unnecessary baggage; I’m notorious for overpacking! You see, I’ve brought with me the baggage of personal expectations of what I “should be” and what I think others “expect me to be” in order to “be a good…”
Some people say the first year of marriage is one of the most difficult. For the past eight months I’ve been trying to figure out why people would say that…marriage is great! God’s gift! A true blessing! And while it is all those things, and more, I’m quickly finding out why so many people say this. The reason (not just the first year) marriage can sometimes be so difficult is because I’M IN IT…AND I’M A SINNER (not to mention my spouse is the other half…and he’s a sinner too).
But life goes on. And daily I have to give my marriage and everything else in my life over to the Lord. I have to lay them down on the altar. Along with my desire to be the perfect woman of God, wife, daughter, sister, friend, dean… It just has to be surrendered or it is all consuming. The Lord is gracious to give us what we need, when we need it. At least, that’s what I say. My heart doesn’t always believe this though.
All the awesome Pinterest photos, gourmet meals and my laundry list of Summer to-do’s will have to take a step down on the pedestal because perfect women don’t exist. But perfect mercy does. I’m very thankful for a Lord who daily sustains me, even when I am crying from exhaustion and unmet expectation These days with my God and Mr. E serving the community at Adelphia and living in our little cottage by the lake are good ones. They are precious even when they don’t feel like it.
I’m choosing to rest in His grace and mercy this evening.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Cor. 12:9
Snapshots from our weekend in P-town: