So yesterday Tom left for a haircut in a nearby town and I, all excited to have some Suzy Homemaker Time, put in my Susan Boyle cd, got my ironing board out of the bedroom closet and pulled some wrinkled shirts from the cupboard where I keep them.
And then while I waited for the iron to warm up, Naomi prepared a salad in the kitchen and began sharing some of her conspiracy theories with me (again), Big Brother is Watching You stuff, and after awhile I told her, "Aww, Honey. Don't worry, just be happy."
To which she replied, "Huh! You worry all the time! You always seem stressed-out."
Oh wow. Direct hit. Bam!
Of course, I gave her The List, you know, my Extreme Life Changes around this place since August 31st when Tom was laid-off. I told her I'd experienced some extra-hard times, had had to learn to live a whole other way, but now I'd accepted much and was peaceful again. But she'd finished making her salad and was halfway up the stairs by the time I'd finished my justifications.
And then my Suzy Homemaker time became not a delight, but a struggle, and I walked around limping inside my spirit. I ironed and felt sad that my daughter sees me as a worrier. Gah. And with me believing so strongly that what we are at home is, well, what we truly are! I felt bad, too, for you. That maybe after all I'm not being truthful in this blog, meaning you might be reading half-truths here.
Eegads! Isn't it wild how we can believe ourselves to be one way yet give us a few words otherwise and we doubt ourselves like crazy? At those times I consider running, escaping into myself, actually, and hiding away from a world with the potential to hurt me.
Of course, I don't worry all the time--that was an exaggeration. I know that. When Tom arrived home I asked him if he sees me as a 24/7 worrier and he said no. But still, Naomi's words stung, even after I went to God and asked if He thought I worried too much. His opinion, after all, counts the most.
Yet will I, in justification or retaliation, give you a list of Naomi's faults? Will I criticize her, expose where she's not perfect so to bring myself back up to a certain angelic level?
Of course not. That is so not the answer.
No, the answer is to see all people in our lives as teachers, those who stretch us beyond our sorry selves. those who give us gifts of humility by reminding us that, no, we are not perfect. And to see them as iron, also--you know, iron sharpening iron (as the Bible says). For God does use other people to sharpen us, to show us where we've missed the mark, to bring us into humility and to keep us oh so close to God and relying up Him to change us rather than relying upon ourselves.
Teachers--they are everywhere! They especially enjoy living in our neighborhoods and even inside own homes, too. :)
Ha! I told God yesterday and even this morning that I refused to write about this! No. No way. Unh-unh. The sting of remembrance was yet tender, I said. His reply was something like, "That's fine, but if you want Me to write a post through you, well, you'll need to change your mind. This is exactly what I want to write through you today."
Don't you hate it when that happens? :)
Thanks for your book recommendations yesterday! I will definitely look all those up at our town library soon. Here's what I finally ordered:
Trish by Margaret Maze Craig (thanks again, Judy F.!)
The Cat, The Quilt and The Corpse
Coop: A Family, A Farm and the Pursuit of One Good Egg
Finding Martha's Place: My Journey Through Sin, Salvation, and Lots of Soul Food
Have you read any of these? I'd love to know.
Ah, memories! Tom brought up Benny Hester this morning (we had his albums in the 80's) and this song, below, fits my post perfectly: