Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oh, For Some Good Old-Fashioned Insecurity(?)

I'm gonna run this one again because it returns to me sometimes. It still amazes me how my former insecurities came with such energetic boosts to keep me going and going and going......


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(Originally from 12-24-2008)


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?

...er...

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 (Christmas), 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.

3 comments:

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Gracious Debra, your attitude [shown here] is right in keeping with the latest Simplicity movements, etc.

The kind of Simplicity, which would like us to only have the stuff which we love, use and need. In other words, not gather and keep all the "stuff," which is just "stuff" to us.

And the kind of Simplicity that feels it to be FREEING, to have less "stuff." And to take on less "Gotta-do-this-and-that's." And believe it good to not let other people push our buttons and manipulate us into running around, wearing ourselves out, doing this and that and the other thing... which THEY want us to do... But which WE don't resonate with doing.

The kind of Simplicity which makes time for what's IMPORTANT. Time for what's Important, to each of us.

In other words, you are right on the cutting edge!!!!! :-) How about that? :-)

So don't pine for some old-fashioned insecurity. 'Cause you are in the right place, already.

Hugs & ♥'s...
'Cause Valentine Day is coming!

Odie Langley said...

I prefer the quiet, listening method anytime. Hope you are having a great week.
Odie :)

Jenny the Pirate said...

My journey has been similar to yours, Debra. This is going back a quarter century (could I possibly be that old?) but I used to do everything I could to win my mother's approval, gain my husband's love and respect (both of which I already had but didn't quite believe I had), and secure the admiration of my "friends."

One day when the kids were little and I was stressing over how little cleaning I'd been able to do in the house, and maybe nagging my husband about leaving a water ring on some table or other, he stopped me cold and made me listen. "Jenny, we live here," he reminded me.

Right! Not a museum; not a showplace. Our home.

Now, like you I've scaled back more than ever on heavy cleaning and overdone decorating. Oddly enough, I think it's made my home more inviting than ever. When a visitor comes through my door the first thing I say is, make yourself at home -- I mean REALLY at home -- open the fridge and the cabinets, get what you want or need, sit where you like, put your feet up, torment my dog, whatever.

If I cannot sincerely say that, and add as they leave Come as often as you like and stay as long as you're able ..., then I don't invite them in the first place.

When it comes to company, whatever makes you happy tickles me plumb to death is now my mantra. Because the Bible teaches us to be hospitable, which is a completely different approach than entertaining. I do not strive to entertain; I strive to make others comfortable.

Many years ago a dear friend of mine -- a woman with lots of money who shopped every day and whose home and person were beyond impeccable -- told me that although she kept her home in PERFECT condition -- and she DID, with the help of a cleaning lady -- every time she came to my home, she was struck by its warmth and home-iness in contrast with her own home's coldness.

And she was right; her house was a joy to see but it was not warm and not particularly comfortable.

I think it's because such things come from the heart. A settled, happy heart makes for a settled, happy, and warm home.

My friend's insecurities drove her to place her possessions on perpetual display, and her guests knew their role was to oooh and ahhh and admire and stroke her. Her absolutely stellar abilities as a homemaker and cook (she was undeniably excellent at both) were hidden beneath the lack of self esteem which permeated literally every area of her life.

Now, I do "fix up" if I'm going out in public, and I stand by that. As an ambassador for Christ I feel it's my duty -- but it's also my joy -- to look feminine, stylish, sharp, and appropriate. I know ladies like to wear jeans and slacks to church but I could never do that. I don't own a pair of jeans. I prefer to wear a skirt or dress because I want to look like a lady and a woman from every angle at all times. I enjoy dressing that way but more than that, I do it to honor the Lord. I know it's not a popular practice or viewpoint but I don't care.

Even so, I have so much to learn. Your blog has been a great blessing to me. Thank you for stopping by mine, and for your kind comment. Have a great day!