Feeling quite discouraged about not being a light to my neighbors, I hurried to church with our almost two year old. (Ask me sometime about the beached whale style dive I made into my car instead of introducing myself to the new family on the block. And other graceful stories.) Back to the current story: we walk the block and a half to get there, and we are always late. He stopped to check out a lawnmower on the sidewalk, and as he fascinates over it the owner comes up, apologizes, asks if we are going to church (yes), asks what I think of it (I like it. They have a cry room, and they are welcoming), and says he’s been getting an itch to maybe start going back. Turns out he was a lifelong, faithful churchgoer until his dad died.
I felt encouraged that I was there to talk with the guy. As a friend put it, “I think the Lord meets us where we are at.” Continue reading →
Don’t get me wrong, I easily sit down, take a load off, and get lost in Pinterest. But I am afraid of this. I just realized this fear when, arms full of clean laundry, I remembered that I needed to do one more thing in the laundry room. I hesitated in indescision way too long. If I put the cloths down in our basement family room where our cozy-est chair resides , I worried, I would sit down to fold them after my laundry room errand, and never get up again. If I didn’t put them down and get my hands free to check stains in some other laundry, I would “never get anything done”. That “getting stuff done” mindset is a whole other topic. For now, I simply want to report that this fear of sitting down has been discovered!
And I figured out the source. There’s this scene in Zola’s L’Assommoir (1877) where the main character, a successful, hard working woman who owns a laundry facility, sits down at work. The novel centers around this event as the sole cause of a slow, painful, really tragic decline of the entire family. Something about how, that first time she takes a load off, she allows herself to progressively get more lazy and disinterested, if I remember correctly. Somehow, I project this story on myself and feel that if I sit even once when I should be doing something else, I will disintegrate into a pudgy couch potato while my family rots around me.
Full disclosure, I am sitting as I write this to you. I plan in standing up in a minute, but I am not confident in my ability to do so. If I am still here tomorrow, send help!
Last week we talked about the Accuser, the Enemy, who lies to us and condemns us. But he’s not the only one condemning us – it’s often ourselves. And the trickiest part is, these accusations are often based on a grain of truth. It may not be true that “I am a terrible mother,” but it is all too true that I have lost my temper at my children. It may not be helpful to tell myself “this house is embarrassing,” but sometimes it’s true that I’ve misused my free time and that a messy house is one of the consequences. What then?
Here’s what I’ve been hearing from the Lord about this problem: Don’t beat yourself up.Continue reading →
I did a terrible job today. I am never going to get anything done. I’m sure my husband is disappointed in me. This house is embarrassing. My friend/sister/acquaintance is so much better at this than I am. I am ruining my children. I will never be good at this. I’m never going to be happy as a mom.Continue reading →