Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Glass Cabinets

I wrote a post about appearances the other day, and by doing so, I could seem like I have it all figured out and I don't worry about it at all. But this is so far from the truth of my life. It's a daily struggle...it's just that I am realizing it and wanting something different.

I was awake in bed early this morning pondering this stuff again. In a slightly different way this time. We moved yesterday. After just a year in a townhouse, we got the opportunity to rent a single family home and so we moved again, just down the street. This new house has something I haven't personally had in a house before.

Glass cabinets in the kitchen.

This scares me.

Whatever I put in there, there's no hiding it.

It's wide open for all to see.

Not just the people who are so close they come in and make themselves at home and know what's in all your cabinets regardless. Those are the people that are ok with your junk (whether it be in the trunk or in the cabinets or anywhere else) and it doesn't feel quite as scary because they love you anyway.

But then there is everyone else. I wrestled for hours as I unpacked the kitchen (always the first place I unpack in a new house) and wondered what I should put on those shelves that would be available for all to see. Whether I liked it or not. Whether it was neat and tidy or not. Whether I was ready for them to see it all or not.

OK, that may have gotten a little deeper there. But that's where my mind went. I am so worried about my new glass cabinets in the same way I am worried about letting myself be "glass" for others. I like to hide the junk. I like to keep it hidden inside and only let those in that have "earned" it.

But I'm sure (in a scary and uncertain way) that this just isn't how it's supposed to be. If I hide my junk then I don't give others the freedom to see mine and share theirs. God takes my junk and uses it for others to be able to see His Glory and His redemption and His goodness. But if I keep all of that hidden inside then I miss out on His grace and others miss out on seeing ALL of me. ALL of who HE created me to be.

So, there has to be more. And if my glass cabinets will help to be a daily reminder to let others see ALL of me, then so be it. Here I am! Come have a look at my new glass cabinets. Come and stay for a while so you can have a look inside of me too. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

It's all about appearances...or is it?

I grew up thinking that appearances were one of the most important things to consider. Things need to look good on the outside. It doesn't matter as much what the inside looks like, as long as we don't let people see it and we manage the outside well.

Over the years I have most certainly dealt with this struggle internally. Not wanting to be all about appearances, while at the same time constantly wanting to appear as though I have it all together. Not wanting to try to fit in to the "mold" while at the same time just wanting to blend in to my surroundings.

But the freedom I have felt more recently by just being able to be me and not always trying to overcompensate or apologize for that has been amazing. Having friends that I really feel comfortable just being around feels so freeing. To be able to ask for help. To not have to say sorry for everything my boys do and make them appear perfect to others. To be able to admit that I have a lot going on right now and I need help with that dinner I said I would prepare. To be ok with not making something from scratch this time. To be ok with not always trying to make sure we are "even" and just knowing that we are friends and it will all even out at some point, without feeling guilty about who is giving and who is receiving at any one moment. I still struggle with all of these. With changing life-long habits and patterns, but I see that it can be different. That I can be ok with my flaws. That it's better to do life together than to appear flawless.

Freedom feels good. I am not perfect. My kids are not perfect. We are far from it. I am often weak and lonely and worrisome and prideful and I want to be around more people who see this and know this and still love me! My kids yell and hit and bite and lie and I want to be around people who see this and know this and don't try to fix them or fix me, but instead love us and through that love help us grow.

It's been almost a year since we moved to this new town. I wrote this post on my pride shortly after that move. Asking for humility is hard and scary and stretching...But it is good. Good to release the need to feel right and perfect and justified in everything. And looking back at the year, I see not only that God is growing me, but also the people God has brought into my life to help me see things differently. And feel them differently. Not to feel loved because of the appearances I have tried so hard to control, but to feel loved just for being me. To feel loved even when people do see it all, and that only makes them love me more.

And feeling the freedom to be me is something that I don't want to lose now that I have "tasted and seen." God is good. He has brought people into my life to be this for me. To show me more clearly what this should look like.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

My rainbow reminder...

I wish I could have captured the whole rainbow that day. It was random and spontaneous and beautiful.
And my thought was "this is supposed to be a reminder of God's promises" but it was a head thing. I couldn't feel it. It wouldn't seem to go any deeper than the head knowledge of the promise. I thought "it's really pretty" and that was about the extent of it.
But today, as I look back through recent pictures, I see it again and feel it more. God's promises. I feel them deeper this time.
I've experienced the answered prayers over the past weeks...months...and looking back at this picture, placing myself once again on the back deck observing the beauty I saw with my eyes that night, I feel it deeper in my heart this time. I can look back and see where God has heard my cries and is revealing himself to me. He knows my heart. He hears my cries. He has promised to never leave or forsake us and I feel this more today. Feeling grateful!

Summer Fun

Summer has been fun.
And hard.
The neighborhood pool has been great for Micah learning to swim, and for overall just wearing the boys out during the day.
But the days sometimes get long, and as much as I know I shouldn't, I sometimes wish away summer so the boys will be back in school.
I like the structure of the school year, but I also like the laziness of summer.
I like that we are moving into a new house soon, but don't like the process of packing and moving again.
Looking back on pictures for the summer, though, one of my favorite parts is getting to go to Watermarks Camp. We went for a whole week in the beginning of the summer and then for a day visit in the middle.
It was awesome because I love it there, love the people, love being outside all day exploring...and it was awesome to introduce our boys to this and watch them thrive. Watch them experience things that they wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to try...



That face sums it up. 

I am ready for summer to end. I am ready for the kids to go to school. 
But I don't want to wish this time away, so this is a good reminder to me today of some of the fun we have had and how much I love being able to have adventures with my boys and see the excitement of life through their eyes!