Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh for Some Good Old-Fashioned Insecurity(?)

If this post confuses you, never fear. It confuses me, too--and I'm the one who wrote it! :)

Years and years past, I used to decorate my house, like, all the time. I'd rearrange furniture every two weeks. I'd decorate for Christmas, too, get it appearing 'just so' and perfect.

Why? I wanted to keep up--not only with the Jones'--but with the ladies at church. I mean, isn't Life just one big competition where the winner gets all the respect and the wishful stares? Isn't it?

And I'd clean my house because hey, you never know when anyone might barge in for an inspect--, uh, visit. I'd clean myself, too, get all gussied up each day for the same reason. I'd cook great meals to impress our house guests, I'd exercise to impress everyone else and I'd read books so people could see what a good mind I had.

That, folks, is what I call major insecurity. But some people call it Just The Way Things Are.

But now? Now I cannot believe how differently I live. It was nearly fifteen years ago that I gave God permission to take all of me... turn my life upside-down and change me into someone more like Him.

He took me up on it. And now, most days (not all, ok?) most days I do what I do simply because He nudges me to do it--and gives me the necessary strength/vision/ideas to do what He's got in mind. I like to call it obedience. I like to call it receiving grace and pure motive motivation. And I've discovered that I can do just one task which was His idea and it'll accomplish way, way, way more than 30 of my own ideas or good deeds.

But lately, I don't know. Either He's still giving me a break (because of all I've gone through this past year) or I'm just not hearing Him clearly. I mean, hey... I only mailed out 19 Christmas cards. Only 19! I usually send more than twice that. And my Christmas decor is only a fraction of what it once was. I'm not feeling super-elated-out-of-my-mind about tomorrow, but I'm (more than ever) anticipating the day after Christmas, my second favorite day of the year, right behind Valentine's Day.

I just can't seem to overdo anything anymore. I can't seem to run myself into early graves or states of exhaustion like other people I know... and I wonder if I'm accomplishing much after all, with this Just Obeying God stuff.... with this always sailing beneath His wings.

So part of me gets tempted to ask for some old-fashioned insecurity for the supercharged boost which it gives and for the appearance of good, lasting stuff it conjures up... and for the way it aids in my blending-in with the rest of society, Christian or otherwise. It's rough, sometimes, being the oddball and standing-out, or rather, standing alone.

But the other part of me--the sane part--recognizes the absurdity of that.

So I guess I'll just keep plugging away in the restful, slow (though steady) way which God seems to have for me now. And I'll call it Good, even though others --mostly likely--call it something altogether different.


Judy said...

I hear you, Debra.

This has been the Christmas season that I have done the least of anything considered 'Christmas-y'.

It's always surprised me that in the culture Jesus was born into, birthdays were not even celebrated. There isn't a Biblical reference to point at to justify all of the activity that 'seems' necessary.

And now that I am 50, diabetic and adding a bunch of old lady symptoms to my life, I'm TOO TIRED!

So, I have two big parties at my house. But, thankfully, I have help and an understanding family.

And great hope that no one finds the need to crawl behind my toilets.

Peace on Earth Goodwill to All!

Anonymous said...

You have many talents and gifts that our good Lord has given you - one of which is writing and when you are using your gifts you are the happiest and most content.

Myrna said...

Ahhh. Once again you write so eloquently to countless women who are going to read this, pause, and reflect on THIER lives. Like me.
This year Courtney did most of the decorating--which spurred me on to do a little more... If it had been up to me in the first place I would've stuck a red candle on the dining table and call it Christmas. We've hosted no Christmas parties this year. Haven't even had anyone over to 'see' the house! Didn't want to.
Didn't feel like it.
But, I wake up every morning to a steaming cup of coffee by my bed (Steve spoils me) and have my quiet time with the Lord. And feel content with the way things are.
It doesn't mean that it's going to be this way next year.. who knows?
But this year God has called me to a Season of Serenity. I suspect He has called you to that, too, dear Debra!
Thank you for being my blogfriend!
For inspiring me to start my own blog and for the countless times God has used you to speak to me!

May you have a peaceful, tranquil Christmas! Praise the name of Jesus!

Vicki said...

Merry Christmas to you!


Pat said...

Merry Christmas to you have been a gift to me all year long!

Anonymous said...

This post is what I love about wear your heart on your sleeve and aren't afraid to stand out...or alone. I love how peaceful your Christmas sounds.

Joy and Phil said...

It often surprises me when you and I are so often on the same wave length even though we come at our blog commentary from different points on the compass.

This year, from most of the blogs I am reading, women like us are in the majority for many different reasons. I credit my feelings to being almost 70 years old and having been there--done that. I am also diabetic and cannot eat all the goodies anymore. I am not around my family at Christmas being a full time RVer and traveling south for the winter. Any one of these reasons could take the credit but put them all together, they spell apathy.

All the time and money expended could be put to good use in so many other places!

Have a peaceful and pleasant Christmas Day.


Patty H. said...

I didnt' get all my decorations out this yr. We've never really done alot at Christmas time, tho.

Hope you have a wonderful Merry Christmas

Saija said...

it's quiet over here too ... with nary a cookie baked!

Merry Christmas!