Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fish Sticks and Fantasies

If my personality could be summed in the lyrics of a song it would have to be John (Cougar?) Mellancamp's "another boring romantic, that's me" That's from his hit song "Small Town" for those of you who have not devoted all of your brain space to songs from the 80's like I have. I am the most helplessly, hopelessly daydreaming, romanticizing fool around. I've never been one for all the drama people like to stir up. Not the gossipy, all up in people's business kind. I crave the good drama. The unique, the interesting, the exciting. It's why I like to blog and tell stories. Life is more fun when you can inject those certain adjectives and verbs that make everyday occurrences sound so much more interesting.

Sometimes I adore this part of my personality. Especially since we don't have cable. :) I'm glad I was blessed with an overactive imagination and outlandish dreams. But, often I long for a more practical, logical, businesslike self. I desperately want to be one of those "every woman" types who has an amazing career, sews her kid's clothes, volunteers on the PTA, plans meals by the month and basically just gets things done. You know what I mean? I'm just not that way. I start cleaning and find an old note and it takes me down memory lane and my mind drifts to old times. I try to plan meals at least by the week, but I am so flaky and often can't even stick with my plan. I basically have the attention span of a 2 year old.

The truth is that many of life's endeavors have escaped completion on my part because once I became involved in them I realized.......they are not glamorous. Do you know what I mean? I feel like this is a lesson God has been trying to teach me for a very long time. Starting in 4th grade I was on the Student Council and from that point on I participated in I cannot tell you how many clubs and organizations. All of which offered hopes and dreams of popularity and success and mostly just left me working in the pencil store or spending huge amounts of time working and planning events that I never got to actually enjoy. This came full circle for me planning my class reunion which turned into the most stressful weekend of my life to date. I'm just a slow learner y'all.

What I'm getting at is that life is just not as glamorous as I would like it to be. Is it just me? It's like getting married so you can spend more time together and then having those pesky things like work and household chores that take up so much of your time. Motherhood is my biggest case in point. Have you ever noticed that on TV and in the movies people have very little contact with their children? I mean, they read the kids a bedtime story or they go watch their kids in a school play, but there is always the magic person who comes and takes them away in time for the parents to enjoy a nice dinner or go to a party. Have you also observed this phenomenon? What a shock it was for me when I realized, my kids are with me ALL OF THE TIME! And unlike the nicely dressed soap opera children who play with one toy, my children have 8 million toys that they strew all over the house along with other random things they are not supposed to play with. And, there is no maid coming to pick up after them. Oh yea, that's me. :)

Life in general has a way of not being what we thought it would be. Don't get me wrong. I adore my children. I am married to the man of my dreams. I have been blessed in more ways than I could ever speak of. I also serve a God who has done amazing things in my life and who continues to show His love and grace everyday. Still, life is routine. It is dishes and laundry and fish sticks for lunch. That had really started bothering this overly romanticized drama queen. Especially because I have experienced such out of this world times of worship and service. But I have come to realize that while there are times when we are allowed glimpses at the incredible, unspeakable power of God, most times are the day in day out cycle of life.

We often revel in the stories of the early church in the book of Acts and the miraculous works of Jesus. It is easy to pretend that everyday was that way and it should be the same for us. The truth is that what we often don't see is the good, old fashioned work that went into building a church and its disciples. The SERVICE. I emphasize that word because y'all, I stink at it. I have been so grumpy for the last few weeks and I will tell you what God has revealed to me. I'm tired of serving. I'm tired of poopy diapers, dirty dishes and putting the same stinkin' shoes in the closet for the 95th time everyday. There, I said it. I'm admitting to you what I had to admit to God. I was hoping for something a little more glamorous. I'm not sure what. Maybe Josh and I could become those TV preachers with big hair and gold furniture. :)

The truth is that it is easy to want the awesome marriage, but not so easy to work at it. It is natural to desire well-behaved, intelligent and thoughtful children, but not so natural to raise them. If you are in ministry it is only human to long for a growing church where God's Spirit is evident. The whole ministering to people in their worst times is a whole other story. Just when I was getting too big for my britches, my friend Philip posted this. Just when I was letting myself think that surely there had to be other plans for me, he had to write that often the Will of God is not at all as glamorous as we anticipated. Imagine that. It's not about me...

"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

John 13:14-17


Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Is it possible we were separated at birth because I most certainly could have written this exact post... Excellent stuff!

III said...

Well, that was good stuff Em. As usual, your blog is your confessional. :) I don't know how you do that.

Turns out I've had a foul mood the last few days, too. I'm glad I wrote that. That was good to read again. And so was your entry. I'm glad you wrote your's, too.

There's a great sermon I heard once that encourages me about this. I remember the guy talking about Genesis 22, and that incredible mountain-top experience that Abraham & Isaac shared together. But have you ever wondered about what they did after that? Well, they had to climb down the mountain, right? Setup camp. Fix breakfast. Isaac keeping one eye on his pops just in case he got any ideas. ;) But they had to do the mundane!

We hate the mundane. But the mundane is important. If we didn't pay heed to the mundane, our lives would be really disgusting. Unimaginably ugly & disgusting.

The more I mature, the more impressed I am with the day-to-day life of Jesus (e.g. living in the flesh, dealing with all we have to deal with, PUTTING UP WITH PETER!) than I am with the event of the cross. The cross was impressive, no doubt. But his life took much more endurance, and perhaps more strength. And it was His life that prepared him for the cross.

BTW, did you know that Abraham's & Isaac's Genesis 22 moment and the cross happened in the same geographic location??? Pretty cool.

Anyway, I just try to tell myself that "the glory is in the struggle." Of course, it's not like perspective makes it any easier to bear. It's pure determination, and a will to be in His will, that pushes you through those moments that you're not feeling it.

(You got me preaching... I'm gonna have to wrap it up...)

Oh to be feeling it all the time. Oh to be closer to Him, and set free from these Earth-suits & all the difficulty that comes with them.

Maranatha. Lord come quickly.

Lori said...

Well, I loved the post and I loved the comment right above mine!!

I swear I feel like I've known you forever. I can seriously be riding down the road in the mornings and by the time I get to the daycare, in my imagination, I have done something amazing for the Lord that has set the world on fire. While I did it, I looked so beautiful people were talking about it and my husband and child were raving about my abilities to be the perfect wife and mother in the midst of all of that brilliant kingdom work!!

Then, it's back to reality and I have to get my screaming child out of the back seat and DRAG him down the hall to his class. Then, I realize I've given him no breakfast and he has no pullups left for daycare. I haven't paid them all week and I'm 30 minutes late for work. When I look in the mirror, I realize I not only forgot to brush his hair, but mine as well and I've got two different socks on. You can imagine how much I'm honoring the Lord at this point. Where did all that glamour go???

All this to say, I needed this post!! Thanks!

Karen said...

I thought it was just me...wow. Thanks for this post. I needed it.