I have always struggled with my weight. I have always measured in the overweight/obese category on a BMI scale. I never learned anything about nutrition or a balanced lifestyle from my childhood and acutely felt the lack of knowledge as an adult. It wasn’t until after my first child was born that I finally began my journey to a healthier self.
My husband and I have been going through a string of hopeful days that somehow end in horrible nights – miscommunications, exhaustion, unkept promises, lack of time for each other, etc, etc, etc. A couple nights ago was the last straw…
After what seemed like an eternity of hostile silence, I finally asked my husband, “Do you think we are under attack?”
I was trying to get ready to leave on a trip with my husband. We were finally completely packed and ready to go… all I had left to do was put the kids to bed so we could wake up bright and early the next morning and head out….Then I remembered how I meant to fertilize all the plants and quickly spray down our fruit trees before we left. So, we all went outside… Fertilizer went well but, when I went to put the fruit tree spray in the hose attachment to do the trees, I discovered that there were two rather large cracks in the bottom of the container. Oil based bug spray concentrate was pouring everywhere!!!
I thought Tarcisius was going to be a dejavu child, a replica, an afterthought, a double take. After all, when he was born he looked indistinguishable from my others and his birthday is the same week as 2 of them. I thought that the fact that we didn’t travel during his pregnancy to pick out his name (like we have with all the others) would make him less special. I thought that somehow he was going to get lost in the busyness of 4 children. I thought that he would forever live in the shadow of my first boy who even daddy is jealous of most of the time. I thought I wouldn’t have enough love to go around and that I wouldn’t be a good enough mom once I was stretched this thin… but I was wrong.
Last week I was told to reflect on Psalm 22. I had been crying to my friend about the trials of bedtime with 4 littles and a tired mommy especially when daddy isn’t there to help…. and my prayer was a beautiful experience, not just, I think, for mothers but for anyone trying to live out any vocation or, simply, a truly Christian life.
The Psalm is meant to be a foreshadowing of Christ’s sufferings at Calvary and the biggest shock I had was how much I related to it – how we all can relate – how much it felt like the Psalmist was describing my own life at that moment (minus the melodramatic psalmist vocabulary choices – or maybe with them – I’ll let you decide – haha).
I am a worrier. I worry about everything. I worry about every single decision I make, from what to make for dinner to whether or not I should spend those $20 extra at the grocery store. I worry about my abilities as a wife and a mother. I worry about my eating habits, my weight, my beauty and my ability to be loved. I worry about my children and their futures. I worry about my husband and his health. I worry about the health of my relationships with friends and family members. I worry about my problems and other people’s problems ’til I can’t sleep at night. But there is one thing I no longer worry about
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.
Do you get frustrated by failure? Do you feel that all too often your best efforts and best laid plans are thwarted by irritating nothings that somehow have the power to ruin everything? I’m pretty sure most human beings can agree that we aren’t the biggest fans of not measuring up to our own standards, or, even worse, to the standards we feel others place on us. As disappointing as it may be, we are all human, and part of being human necessarily entails weakness and imperfection. How can we ever find peace with our reality if we are trying to become something we are not (namely, perfect)? Is there any way to see our weakness in a more positive light?