Saturday, January 06, 2007

Oh The Changes...


"Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it." ... 2 Corinthians 13:5

Today I feel giddy... It's a rare jewel of a day in my life.

Am I going on vacation? Traveling somewhere exciting? Going to a party? A concert? On a picnic? To a family reunion?

None of the above.

No, today is what I call a Suzy Homemaker Day, a day I get to stay home alone and putter and clean while wrapped in an apron while Tom works dayshift. Yesterday was supposed to be a Suzy Homemaker Day, but Tom called-in sick to his job. Poor guy had one of those 24-hour bugs and all day he wilted in our Cozy Room watching nearly the entire 3rd season of Boy Meets World (don't tease us or laugh or anything, but we both love that show. The dvd's were my favorite Christmas present.). But anyway, before he left for work this morning at 6:00 a.m. he told me he felt 100% better and now I can, guilt-free, revel in playing house for nearly 13 hours.

Ah, but I've not always felt this way. Uh, no. There were whole strings of days when I complained about being stuck in this house. Trapped. Days when Tom would take one car to work and Naomi would take the other to school, leaving poor car-less Debra at home to sulk about being left with all the housework... all the washing, cooking, organizing, as usual, for all those endless hours alone, especially during winter months when it was too frigid outside, too slippery, too dangerous to walk anyplace.

Those were the days where vestiges of the world's influence still draped heavily upon me in this homemaking arena. You know, those lies swirling around, the ones which declare (subtly and sometimes not so) that you are a mindless old nobody if you don't have a Real Job. Boy, is that one hard for an insecure woman to completely shake--took me years. Me! The gal who has always (always!) defended my right to be a homemaker and declared that I'm just as intelligent as anyone else.

But most likely, that was the problem (or a result of it). Anytime you feel you must go around defending what you do, yelling about your rights to do it, there's a chance--a chance--that deep insecurity is actually the one creating all the noise. And Heaven knows, I've experienced my share of insecurity walking around my house in my aproned skirts while it seemed every other woman was apronless and being fulfilled out in the workforce or on a college campus. That is, if you believe everything you read in glossy magazines, and for seasons in my life, well, I did. Even though I tried not to.

Why did I open this with that Bible verse about examining yourself? Because these past ten years (or so) I've done just that, one area at a time. It's been like God has sat me down and together (most important, that 'together' part), we've examined one area at a time inside me, whichever area He happens to choose, any in which I've felt frustrated, discouraged, walked-upon, insecure, needy, etc. And area by area, day by day, God has taken me apart (in ways only He can) and shown me the Whys... why I felt the need to keep-up with women who appeared to be getting ahead... why I would fall to pieces if Tom didn't like the meatloaf I cooked for dinner... why I felt everything had to be Just So or else I couldn't feel happy... and well, you can add about 200 things to that list.

It's like Dr. Phil quips: "You cannot change what you will not acknowledge." Unfortunately, that's been oh-so-true for me. Talk about humbling. Talk about humiliating (pride being what it is...).

But the best part? (Besides noticing that, after some months, I began feeling better, not bitter...and feeling downright great in places I once felt downright lousy...) I also begin noticing that God was still there. He never bailed. And He still loved me passionately(!), has always loved me, always will love me, even on the days of pathetic relapses and ugly tantrums.

And always, He will be the best part. Of anything.

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