In thinking about my relationships, I've come to realize that it's often not the outstanding and overtly generous things our friends and loved ones do that cause us to see their real value of us, but the little everyday things that show how they really feel about us (and how we feel about them). It's the reflex action - the action that requires the least thought - that reveals the Truth in our hearts. I’m paying more and more attention to my “first response” and examining what my subsequent actions reveal. What are my motives towards others, really? And do I really want to be rid of my “wicked ways”? Or do I kinda like being mean and selfish sometimes? If I’m to be what I am called to be, I need to have a clean heart, and the only way to be clean is to clean up. You can clean your house every single day and one day you look around and find you have to just empty everything from its place and get all back in the corners and scrub. And you still find dirt back there! What the…??? And as you are scrubbing you marvel at how it got back there in the first place, behind all the stuff you had neatly packed away. Don’t be fooled. The remains of the day nestle into the nooks and crannies of our lives and settle in those dark corners. Gotta take time every once in a while and really clean up cuz that old stuff can get real funky back there! Clean it up…
I've been on a long journey of cleansing for the past four years. It began with the decision to have a child. I believe the most important decision anyone can make is to bring another human being into this world. And it takes two, no matter what the most independent of you will say, so we made the decision together. More than the life of my child is my joy that she was created with intent. I was an “oops” baby, with a life surrounded by drama that my mother shielded me from the best she could (and she did an outstanding job I might add). I wanted a different experience for my child, and I’m glad that when I did get pregnant it was on purpose. Not that I am knocking anyone who “slipped”. Despite our precautions and best intentions God has lives He plans to introduce into the world regardless of our plans for or against them. Life is the most precious gift we have, and bringing another life into this world is an immense responsibility. That’s why I cringe at the whole abortion issue (I’m definitely pro-life)…but that’s a whole other palarble as my mother would say.
So I started eating better, taking my vitamins, preparing my body to be the vessel to house this little person for nine months. But in my journey to make my body a healthy place for my child I also found myself taking my spiritual vitamins more, and I eliminated toxic people from my life just as I eliminated toxic food. No soda, no negativity. I’m happy that I had a gloriously easy pregnancy…one day of morning sickness, and a labor and delivery that was a breeze compared to the horror stories I was fed for nine months. I was calm upon my entry to the hospital, knowing I was engineered to birth this child. And upon the revelation that I had a daughter I was determined to be the type of woman I wouldn’t mind her growing up to be. Think about it – those of you who are mothers of little girls – if your daughter was to say she wanted to be like you when she grows up, or those of you who have sons – that they wanted a woman like you to share their lives with - would you be okay with that? I think about that every single day. I noticed as I lost the taste for certain foods that I knew weren’t good for me, I lost the taste for certain people who were polluting my life. Not to say that all of a sudden I thought I was better than anyone, but I knew what was healthy for me, for my sanity. And most of all for my spirit. It was a hard pill to swallow, because my relationships mean so much to me, but sometimes you just have to let go.
I’m at a point of contemplating what the new year will hold – we’ll have a new President, and we are in a recession, and we still have food to buy and children to feed and lives to live and careers to advance and in the midst of it all we are trying not to lose heart and step up and live and laugh and love. I've been searching myself for that "do the right thing" vibe that spurs me on to be a better person. I'm sooooo not ambitious. To my detriment, I sometimes feel. My ego is but this big; I often don't have the time to think about me in the midst of everything I am doing. I work first and think later, often when I am tired from working myself too hard. But I’m a server, a nurturer, a giver...that’s who I am. The problem is that I often give until I am empty. So I’m seeking more balance, more “me” time to fill the tank. It’s like you give to the point where you are depleted, and then what? I swear Beyonce was in my head with this new album. Songs like “Broken Hearted Girl”, “Hello”, “Save The Hero”……….especially that one, had me hitting that repeat button over and over. But “Ego” – wow. Lately that ego of mine that I thought was yeah big is coming to the forefront. It’s getting big. So I’ve been in conflict. I’m standing on the precipice of a new era of my life – newly married, and looking to see what the future will hold. I’m jumping off…feeling the wind in my face as I descend but sure of the tuft of soft grass that will cushion my landing. Life is a fall. One big fall after another. It’s the lack of courage to jump that kills dreams and stalls destinies. There is something out there calling me but I’m not sure what it is. Some people may ask why the concern, but my family is at the core of my life. And I don’t want my increasing ego to get in the way of that. My husband and my children are the center of my world and who I am is reflected in their eyes.
I’ve been so introverted lately, concentrating on myself and my little universe. I’ve come against some opposition, with some questioning my “allegiance”. My allegiance is to that little universe of mine. I can’t function in the world outside if all is falling apart in my circle. And my circle is tight. I’m very private. Not because I have anything to hide but because you can’t let any and every one inside. Some people come in and break stuff. I’ve been hurt and not by this man or that but by sisters who claimed to love but did the unlovable. But I’ve been the unlovable sister too – so I know the other side of the fence. I think that’s what keeps me motivated to live right. I don’t want to be “that woman”. I want to be the wellspring of love and wisdom that embraces everyone who is around me. I want to be that Proverbs 31 woman in whose mouth is the law of kindness. I believe that love – true love – of self and others is not natural. Not in the least. We are naturally selfish beings – I don’t care how nice you think you are. Goodness comes by fighting our flesh to become intrinsically kind and good. Fighting our selfish hearts until love is a reflex….a first response.