Friday, February 28, 2014

I am affected

(Photo by Tara Gourley)
I am overwhelmed as I write this. That's probably because, right now, it's still Wednesday. Oh, sweet Wednesday. This blog has never seen so many beautiful readers. Plus, I got a chance to bless and be blessed by the woman who has been my hero since I first picked up her book. Needless to say, it was a big day for me. Anyway, despite my brain being in a blissfully frazzled state, I have a blog post to write. Right? Right.
I have been tuning in to what affects me lately. My habits, my hobbies, my relationships, the things I do when I think I've earned a break, what plays when I plug in my headphones, etc. I've been thinking a lot about my future, and I have all these crazy big dreams, that quite honestly, I don't deserve. And so, this is how I'm looking at things now: If I expect a fabulous husband who is devoted to God, disciplined, respectful, a good listener, etc., then I should be willing to fight to become a woman who deserves such a man. If I hope for darling children who call me "Mama," and run to me with their every problem, and love me to bits, then I must begin now by being "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry." (James 1:19) If I think I may end up serving in some foreign country as an ambassador for Christ, then not only must I start by being an ambassador for Him right here and now, but I must truly consider what I will and won't need on such a journey. What things do I cling to that are thoroughly unnecessary? It's a humbling thought.
So I examine, with such things in my mind, all these aspects of my life.
I look at my vanity. Am I truly looking for a man who fell for my well put-together outfits and my makeup covered face? He would eventually end up having to see me in my pajamas and a messy bun, face red from exertion ... I want someone who loves me even then. Thus, moving that train of thought further down the track, I must become less appearance-focused. It has always taken more effort {I'm ashamed to admit} for me to love people who don't meet my standard of beauty or style. I'm asking the Lord to purge this from me, because it's ugly, to be blatant. Moving on ... I don't want my babies to remember their Mama as someone who got up two hours early so she would look perfect before church {guilty}. I want them to remember me getting up two hours early so I could be with Jesus, and maybe sometimes getting so distracted by Him, that I rush into church five minutes late, looking like a mess. I want them to have a Mama who cares about what truly matters. So I'm trying to be that person now. Maybe it'll be a habit by the time I hold a wee one of my own. Then there's missions. Seriously, Lydia. How many makeup brushes and perfect outfits would you be able to take? And who would care? Chances are, all that room would be usurped by shampoo and conditioner bottles, sunscreen, body wash, lotion, etc. ... I cannot deny that I will probably always want to smell nice. But I doubt I always will smell nice, because there are things that I want more.
I look at my iPod. Will my husband appreciate my love for mindless apps? I certainly hope not. I want to use technology to make me more efficient and aware, not more distracted and lazy. Will my kids laugh as I dance over finally beating that Candy Crush level, or will they see me crying over the worship song I'm listening to as I clean the bathroom? Something tells me that were I among the starving children in Africa, I wouldn't care about a single one of my apps. Should that really change, just because I can't see them from here? I know they're there. That should affect me.
I look at what I do with my free time. Will my man admire the way I multitask - checking Pinterest while I wait for the commercials to end so I can get back to watching Castle? Or will he see me reciting memory verses as I clean? I do not want my children to think that free time is earned, and thus it is acceptable to waste it. I want them to see me making use of every moment. And something tells me that missionaries don't try to just cure boredom in their spare moments.
I look at how I respond to minor disasters. I turn into this freaked out ball of stress and I scream at every surprise that follows. It ain't pretty. I don't want a fella who finds that attractive. He'll be searching for someone who keeps a level head in tough situations. I want to be that girl. I want to be the mama that spills something and then laughs at herself so hard that she cries. Not the one that growls at them in frustration when they make a mess ... like I growl at my brother now. (Is it obvious to anyone else yet that I need some fixing?) I do not represent Christ well if I do not trust Him in even the small problems of my life. People don't look a person who is constantly worried and think, "I want what they have." No ma'am.
I look at how I structure my day. Punctuality is not a bad thing ... but is it the most important thing? Will being two minutes early to everything really make me a better wife? I want a guy who falls for me when he sees me doing something incredibly ridiculous; not caring how much time is passing. I want to be the Mama that spontaneously sets up a blanket fort, makes s'mores, and watches Disney while snuggling her babies. I want to be the girl who starts tickle fights with African little ones.
This is the kind of life I'm looking for. This is the kind of woman I want to become. But I can't just wish my way into my ideal of a great person. It takes prayer. It takes a fight. And so, all that to say, I'm praying and fighting.