Monday, June 22, 2009

A Hodge-Podge of Thoughts....

Hmmm. so it's been a while. Quite a while. I just haven't stopped to write my thoughts down lately. Life has been busy, but, not in a chaotic or crazy kind of way. It's been wonderful. (Does anyone else ever feel that way?) I mean sure there have been moments of stress or frustration here and there. But, minor in the scheme of it all. I really love my life. I really enjoy it. And sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one....

It's so easy to complain, and to get caught up in that vicious cycle. Let's point out everything that is wrong, or that could be done better, or that needs to be improved. BLAHhhhh already.... It makes me tired. Lately, I have stopped putting myself around people and situations that are so draining. And it's nice. Peaceful. I've found that a lot of my stress is based on other people's reactions to things or situations. (at least at this period in my life..) I can be coasting along, enjoying the day, my children, or my husband, and in steps a person who is filled with anxiety, bitterness, or chaos and drama, and I immediately react. Mainly because I am a very social people person and a people pleaser, and I want to make everyone comfortable and happy. I can't stand tension and negativity and so I try to defuse it right away. But lately, I've grown tired of that. Mainly because I've let it rob me of too much joy. I've learned that no matter how hard you try to help someone, they just won't meet you halfway. They don't want to be happy or at peace. Or I should say they aren't ready to be happy or peaceful. Because they aren't ready to give up the anger and bitterness, and drama (mostly self created,) that surrounds them. So, lately I just ignore it. Or rather, I don't react to it.

Now it isn't that I just don't care anymore or that I've become unfeeling in some way. It's more that I"m just not going to take it personally, anymore. And letting go of that, even in a small way, that need to control the situation, even if it is in a nurturing and comforting kind of way, is so freeing. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted.

OK, so if you're totally confused right now, let me paint you a little picture. I have a friend, whom I love dearly. She is a beautiful and intelligent woman. She can be so much fun to be around, but, she can also be so draining. I feel like she finds things to complain about. -Finds them, because she looks for them -Her job, family, children, husband, and yes, friends. I know she cares about me, and considers me a friend, but I obviously don't live up to her standards and expectations. And she is not always, as subtle, as she thinks she is, about expressing it. I was offering a weekly Bible study in my home. I love to entertain and I wanted to offer my little ladies group a time away from their homes, where we could gather for food, fellowship, prayer and deep conversations and time in the word. Well, that has some how turned into an expectation of something else. There has been expressed irritation that it's hard to concentrate because my children are always there, and they from time to time interrupt us because they need tending to. I was offering a full meal every time we met in the beginning. But, as our group grew and budgets got a little tighter, I scaled back to drinks and snacks; like fruit and chips and dip. The change in plans was not graciously received. I decided to try meeting out of my home at different fun places in the community. We met at little cafes, book stores and coffee shops. Since I had my husband start watching the kids this meant that we couldn't always meet on the same day, due to his schedule. Well, of course that seemed too unorganized. Well, I give up. I can't make everyone happy, even when I try to change things around. Mind you that the food and atmosphere is not what is important here. The Bible study is, right?! And I'm not going to lie I felt hurt. I open my home and for someone to come in and complain about the food or my children, -like "this is it?" -But then I noticed that when we were out, there were times she was visibly unnerved or upset also. So, that is when I decided to ignore it. I was not going to let this set the tone or mood for our worship time, so I acted like I didn't even notice. Moving on people, moving on! We are here for a time of restoration and rejuvenation. It's a time of praise and worship and connection and fellowship with other Christian sisters, so you can join in and let the Lord move you, or you can sit in your pity party, but, I will not sit with you any longer and I will not let it rob me of the opportunity to worship and be joyful.

I've actually had other ladies in the group question why she still bothers to come. They thought I should confront her. But, my thought is this....I'm not going to give her a reason not to come. She needs to be there as much as I do or any of the rest of us. God can take care of her heart and attitude. That's not my job. I've prayed hard and long about it and the Lord's firm answer is "Do Nothing." It is obviously not the right time, and there may never be. He may just take care of it quietly. I accept that He may not need to use me to resolve this. And realizing that has made me learn and grow. So, with that little situation checked off my list, there is a big sigh of relief......

So, I'm enjoying my summer, how bout you?! We are taking frequent trips to the park, and to see free out door concerts offered on the square every Friday. We've taken walks in the rain and jumped in lots of puddles in the last couple weeks. We are busy with VBS this week. I'm teaching the pre-school class, and I love it. I am asking for your prayers though. I have been struggling with a virus of some sort, and it has really wiped me out lately. But the Lord is faithful. He has given me the stamina and energy to keep up with my class so far. I have eight students between the ages of two and six.

We are enjoying the return of a mother bird, who has laid a nest of eggs for the second year now, in a basket that hangs on my front door. The kids are so excited. We got to watch them hatch and fly away last year.

I am having the hardest time with big, black ants this year. They are every where. I love to keep my windows open, but, I don't like chasing them out. Are there any traps for big, black ants?

I miss my hubby. He is working so hard this month, and he is not enjoying it. He has an hour drive to and from work, and the hospital he is at is the last place he wants to be. He actually said that if he had had to do his residency there, he might have changed his specialty. Yikes! -You gotta know it's a bad month for him, if he's gonna say that.

My house is a mess right now. I want to clean it up, but, somehow I can not seem to will my self to do it. I want it to be nice for my hubby, when he comes home. Because, I want our home to be a sanctuary and a place of rest and relaxation for him. But the reality is I clean it up at least three times a day with two, count them two -1, 2 toddlers, on the loose, and then I just give out. We are constantly dragging toys, books and games from room to room, and I am at home in it. I call it my beautiful chaos. hee-hee. No, really, I know I need to clean it up. Maybe typing about it will motivate me to actually do it. Which reminds me....I should go to bed so I can be on top of things for tomorrow. ~Blessings from above!


Denise said...

I enjoyed this post sweetie. I totally understand what you are talking about. If I am around negative people, it tends to really stress me out. I cannot stand that. I am glad you are freeing yourself from all that junk, be blessed not stressed. I pray you continue to enjoy your summer with your dear family, love you.

Susan said...

Oh you know I loved this one!!! You have gained insight that some people never acquire in a life time. I truly wish some day we could meet, Tiffany, because you amaze me and are such a wise young woman.

Continue to share and pour out what God shows you because it is so important and will help others, even those who read and never comment, of whom you will never know!!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Darlin'!

You are so delightful! I have really enjoyed reading and visiting. My hubby & I just got done watching our 2 & 3yr old granddaughters for 2 wks 24/7 while our son & wife were on vacation. Their babysitter cancelled at the last minute. Oh were we worn out!! So your mess... is so normal. There's no way to control it. And they are only little for a short while. Then the challenges become different. So just have fun with them.

As for your friend... I had a friend of 30 yrs like that. I tried to overlook all her negativity. She had alienated her family and other friends over the yrs. I prayed for her constantly. She was so angry and bitter. I tried to make her part of my family... my boys even called her "Aunt". She often lashed out at me unexpectedly. It became too painful for me and I had to end the relationship. She never ever tried to contact me after that. I had to "call her out" on her behavior and she never apologized or attempted to try to save the friendship. Very sad. I expected more out of her. So I cried alot and went on. I still pray for her. But God has to deal with her now. She drained me. But my life is much more peaceful without the constant turmoil she created for me AND my family. So I understand and if you ever need a sounding board email me. I'd be glad to lend my ear & shoulder.

Wish I could be there for your Bible study group. I would be the old lady but I still have fun! It sounds so great.

Loved looking at the photos of you and your family - ya'll looked like you were having fun. (I learned how to say ya'll when I was in Alabama & Mississippi)

Big hugs to you Tiffany! Sherry

Christy said...

I COMPLETELY understand about others being negative and how you want to fix it...I am the same way and it is SO hard not to get dragged down by trying to please others. I admire you for recognizing that!

I am sorry that you were hurt!

SharonB said...

You are God's beloved daughter and how precious you are to Him. I imagine He is smiling down on you and is well pleased...

I loved reading this, hearing about you and what God is teaching are SO precious.