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I’ve been going through what some might call an identity crisis over the past several years.  I wanted to share this bit of insight about me because I really feel like God has done such a work in my heart and with my perspective this past week.

I guess it all started back when I had my first child, Kalliope.  Keep in my that I hadn’t found God yet, so bear with me as I fill you in with little back story.  Anyway…as most moms know, everything changes with your first baby.  I felt like I had to completely change who I was, how I dressed, everything!  I went through a phase where I wanted to simplify everything in my life down to the way I dressed and how I wore my hair.  I stopped wearing make-up and really caring about how I looked.  I was always in jeans and a tee-shirt with my hair up in a pony tail.  There isn’t anything wrong with that look, but it wasn’t me.  I used to have fun with my hair and style.  I was feeling like the real me was being lost, which is funny since who I am is not defined by how I dress or how I wear my hair.

Let’s see, about 5 years later I met a group of moms all with autistic kids and we get together for breakfast every Friday.  There I met Jennifer and she helped me see that I have to take time for myself and take care of myself.  I started care about how I looked and started feeling better about myself.

About a year later, I found God.  It was an amazing point in my life where I’ve never felt so loved and fearless and yet confused and unsatisfied with who I was.  I started studying the Bible and hanging around more Christians.  The more I did, the more I felt like I was not what God intended a Christian to be like.  I don’t run around hugging everyone, I’m more of a realist than an optimist, and I’m definitely not meek and submissive.  I felt like something was wrong with me.  I guess I expected some sort of overnight change in who I was and to be fill with joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control all the time.

So just a few months after being baptized, I felt a calling to homeschool Kalliope.  We started and I tried to get involved is some groups.  Again, I didn’t feel comfortable there.  I tried to dress the part and even act the part, but wasn’t feeling the part of nice, submissive Christian. 

The church that we were saved and baptized at was wonderful, but I never felt like I completely fit in.  I know it was just my perspective.  I mean outwardly I tried to dress the part of the nice Christian and when I was there on Sundays, I was pleasant and friendly to everyone.  So there we were for 2 years.  Towards the end, the main reason we left was to find some place a little more suitable for Zane since they were planning on restructuring the special needs ministry there.  We also wanted to find a church a little closer to home so we could get plugged in with volunteering.  We visited a couple of different churches and even looked online.  We stumbled across Elevation Church when I googled churches near Indian Trail.  I went to the website and watched a few sermons.  We loved Pastor Furtick right from the start.  So I went one weekend while Jason and Kalliope were out of town and I loved it!  I decided to audition when they were holding worship team auditions and made it. Being around Christians who dressed how they wanted really struck a chord with me, but that is such a small part.

At church this past Sunday, I was singing with 2 other women who are a couple of the nicest people I know and I just felt like there was something wrong with me again.  I jokingly told them that I hope some of their niceness rubs off on me!

Tuesday I had bible study with 2 very close friends.  Somehow the subject of God loving us the way we are came around.  I confessed to them how I felt about myself and was surprised that one of my friends had felt the same way in the beginning of her walk with God.  They assured me that my personality is fine the way it is and I don’t have to be oozing niceness to still be a good Christian woman, and that my gifts were in other areas.  That was such a relief to hear that!

Wednesday I met up with several other homeschooling moms from Elevation.  Again God showed me that you can be fun, loud, a little sarcastic, and still be a good, loving, compassionate Christian woman.

To sum it up, I’m really learning to accept and love myself exactly the way I am.  Does that mean I’m perfect?  Of course!  Absolutely not, but I’m not going to try to be someone I’m not. 

foot-massage

So this evening my feet are really sore from doing yoga this morning.  Go ahead and laugh, but I have extremely flat feet and weak ankles and doing stuff like that bothers my feet.  Anyway, I asked my 8 year old daughter to rub my feet a little and I had to bribe her with a treat after dinner.  Some of you stricter folk are probably thinking that I shouldn’t have to give my child anything.  She should rub my feet since I brought her into this world, give her food, shelter, etc.  Other, more liberal, parents are probably appalled that I would have my child do such a horrible and demeaning task for me.  I think it’s just smart.  She’s doing a little manual labor and earns a small fee, so she’s learning a great lesson.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  (Besides, she’ll be 9 in just a week and a half!)

As I laid in bed this morning at around 3 a.m. trying to fall asleep, and believe me I was tired, I just couldn’t.  God placed so much on my heart at such an incovenient time, but what can you do?  Blog about it, of course!

Last year was a tough one for me.  I don’t tend to talk about my internal struggles, even with my closest friends.  I talk about issues with the kids, husband, finances, etc., but not the deep, down, dirty stuff.  Especially towards the end of the year, I was feeling like a big, fat failure.  Failure as a mom, wife, and Christian.  I felt like I was constantly yelling at my kids, annoyed with my husband, and doing nothing for the glory of God.  Last night, God just wouldn’t let me sleep and kept pressing this on my heart.

We serve a God of second chances…and third…and fourth…  Remember that every failure, heartbreak, tragedy, and triumph has been laid out for a reason.  It gives us opportunity.  Opportunity for growth in wisdom, patience, joy, discipline, generosity, forgiveness, and love.  We are all loved.  Remember that even though you ate Christmas dinner alone, didn’t get a single phone call on your birthday, or a card for Father’s Day, we are loved.

So I’m looking forward to 2009.  Looking forward to changing myself for the better and helping to bring out the best in those around me.  Let’s make 2009 awesome!  God bless you all!

My husband has gotten me addicted to Warhawk.  It’s an online game on the PS3 that you play against other people.  The premise of the game is simple, it’s capture the flag military style.  Here’s a taste (you only need to watch 10 seconds of this video to get the idea.)

I’ve actually gotten fairly decent at the game.  Some rounds I’m the top scoring player.  That is where the addiction lies.  My screen name is “GAMERMOMMY” and I love the idea that I’m beating a bunch of guys in a military video game.  It’s the simple victories that keep us going.

 

*Added 12/21/08

Now that we actually own the game, I’ve never been the top player.  It’s a lot harder than the demo!!!  It’s still fun though.

I’m going to reveal something not too many people know about me, or would have guessed.  I love video games.  I know that this isn’t some unusual passion, but you don’t see too many 30 year old, mothers of 3 slaying Mortal Kombat (or at least don’t hear many admit it).  Many of us claim we only play to spend time with our husbands or kids, but that just isn’t true.  In my younger years, I remember seeing the sun come up after an all-nighter of Final Fantasy Tactics.  The past few mornings, I played Shrek 2 with my daughter only to “help” her beat the game.  Taking after both parents, my 8 year old daughter loves video games as well.  Now after doing some research, my husband and I are drooling over the PS3 even though we can’t afford it.  I really want one because of this game:

Yes, you saw who you think you saw there at the end.  I know all you closet gamers are psyched about it too!