The first question this obviously leads to is, what is God’s will for us? We think of it as something scary, oppressive, controlling. When we consider following God’s will, we tend to think only of rules and regulations. We think of lines like, “Whomever wants to come after me must take up his cross and follow me” (Mt. 16:24) and of having to do hard things and give up what we are most attached to. We think of having to change. We think of Job, Lazarus and Calvary. How could that possibly make us happy? What’s in it for me if I’m called to “die to myself” (Mk. 8:35, Jn. 12:24, etc)?
Are you ever angry about life? Don’t know why things are going the way they are? Are you having trouble believing that you can let go of control in your life in order to find peace? Despite your efforts, are your well-intentioned and well-designed life plans somehow not working out or living up to everything you imagined? Are you blaming it on God?
Are you ever jealous of people who seem to have a close relationship with God? Do you wish that following Him didn’t seem like such a chore? Have you ever heard that religion is more like “falling in love” than following rules or memorizing bible verses? Do you ever wish that you felt that way? In love with something you knew was right? Do you wonder if such a relationship could actually be fulfilling? Dancing with God is the answer!
How do you feel about the way others see you and the way you see yourself? Did you ever try to put on a front hoping to make someone else see you in a different light than how you see yourself? Have you ever thought about it? There’s a whole new craze of self esteem promos out lately… how are those working out for you? Does repeating a mantra change the way you see yourself? Does it ever make you feel torn between worlds when the way you see yourself, the way others see you and the reality of who you want to be don’t seem to match up? Have you ever asked why?
Love begins with Need
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me. ~ John 14:6
The first and most basic level in any relationship is that of need (not to be confused with “neediness”, see below). Need is the most basic element of human existence. We are not self-sustaining beings. We could not create ourselves, we could not raise ourselves, nor could we feed or protect ourselves as children. Even in adulthood we still have needs and limitations, we cannot survive without food, water, warmth or shelter. We have a basic relationship with the bank teller and the supermarket clerk because we need their services. Thus, the fundamental foundation level of our relationship with God is that of our recognition of our need for Him.
I have been trying to stay out of all this politics garbage because of all the beloved friends I have on both sides of the issue. I have felt the pain of women dear to my heart as they confessed to me that felt they had to no choice but to make decisions they try not to regret. I am also a mother who sees every day the beauty of the life of my children. I have personally experienced my own capacity for love grow to lengths I didn’t know were possible because of them. I am pro-love. I am pro-life. I am pro-woman. And I am so sick of all the fighting, bickering, bantering, arguing, attacking, and defensiveness. I am sick of everyone trying to be right and prove everyone else wrong… I can no longer hold back.
Often my kids are trying to get down off a bed or a chair or something and they inch themselves backwards off the edge until they can’t go any further without “falling” the last inch or so to the ground. But what they don’t realize is how close to the ground they really are, so if their little toes don’t touch anything they start screaming for help in sheer panic…. They’ve backed up too far to climb back up and can’t go back any further without losing their precarious hold on the bed sheets or the edge of the chair.
Everyone says I’ve got it all together, everyone looks at me in envy. Everyone sees my cute kids and my loving husband and thinks my life couldn’t be more perfect, that I must be living heaven on earth and that I couldn’t possibly emulate with anyone in tough situations. It is true that I am very blessed and have a life that seems picture perfect now (don’t let that fool you), but it hasn’t always been this way. I have a secret. I am NORMAL!
To my fellow mothers who are loosing themselves…
Wine, chocolate, the occasional beauty parlor visit, mommy groups, bubble baths and escaping to the grocery store alone isn’t the solution…. hate to break it to you. They are like medicine when you are sick but not the cure. The true cure for sickness is a healthy immune system and sleep. Did you know that you will die without sleep sooner than you will die without food? The tips I am going to share with you are as essential as rest and Vitamin C, ladies…. no medicine can replace overall health. So, how do we become a healthy us instead of a medicated us?
I watched a hilarious video from Imomsohard this morning about PostPartumDepression (if PPD could possibly be funny, they did it). Clearly it had gone pretty much viral with all the Fb shares. I laughed so hard there were tears coming out of my eyes. It’s not the first video like this I’ve seen either. There are so many people out there now who do these spoofs on the difficulty of motherhood, work, cleaning house and life in general. I mean, really, its what mime writers LIVE off of. Is it all comically difficult at times? Is it true that wine is sometimes an indispensable relief for daily struggles? Is it true that we reach adulthood and feel ourselves “loosing ourselves” to the irritations and inconveniences of work, family and life choices?