09 May 2014

Of My Less Than Perfect Life

Sometimes it seems we all enjoy perfect little lives. If we looked at Facebook or social media, we would think everyone else is spending their time playing with smiling children, eating fresh-picked raspberries, snuggling their beautiful babies and indulging in that delicious chocolate concoction starring in the latest instagram photo.

And our lives do include those moments. Precious moments, to be sure. Documenting them helps us to remember we have things for which to be grateful.

But what about the in-between moments? The ones we don't share on facebook? Because no one wants to see our ugly. Sure, there are the humorous reminders that sometimes the kids are crying or the laundry didn't get done and by now we all realize that ours aren't the only clothes never getting ironed. And in those posts we can remember life isn't always sunshine and roses and we aren't the only ones letting the ball drop just occasionally.

But do we acknowledge that when we're not laughing off our failures we may be laying in the fetal position crying over a life that sometimes overwhelms in the little things. That even when, from the outside life seems grand, on the inside turmoil is winning?

Because here's my moment of honesty - I have failed. More often than not, I fail to see the joy and the blessings. And what I see is a house - a beautiful, brand new-to-us home - that isn't put together. That feels like it will never be "done," because amid the painting and unpacking that continues to be pushed to "tomorrow," the daily tasks have returned. There are still dishes and laundry and dirty floors and hungry children. And the kitchen counters feel they'll never be fully cleared. The floors will always have something for me to trip on. The children will always find something to cry about.

And so will I.

And my to-do list will never be done and my children will never be fully satisfied in what I can do for them. And the days can't all be spent doing nothing but snuggling and picking raspberries (I don't even know where I would find one).

And when I find myself in these moments, when all the world seems to be caving in, caused by nothing but the little nothings that shouldn't even matter, where do I turn?

And this is where I have failed. Because I don't turn to the Peace that passes understanding or my Help in times of trouble or the Source of grace when I need it most. I turn to me, and I see where I have lacked, and I crumble. I turn to the world, the perfect posts of happy lives, and I fall apart.

And it's not the fault of the internet or anything found there. It's not the fault of the laundry or the dishes or the children. It's the fault, the lacking, of my firm foundation that should keep me from crumbling. Because in prioritizing my days based on what needs to be done, or who I need to be, rather than on the One for whom I live, I have allowed the cracks in that foundation, so that the little nothings have seeped in and threatened to bring it all crashing down. And I feel like that shouldn't be true, couldn't be true - because I haven't seen the worst of what could fall upon us. I haven't endured what others have. But a swarm of gnawing termites can bring a house down just as surely as the tornado that wreaks destruction.

So this is me, crying out, but praying. Praying that nothing would matter more to me than my foundation and that the maintenance of my relationship with my first love (Revelation 2:4) would become not only my top priority, but my only priority, and everything else, built upon that Rock, will be added unto me (Matthew 6:33). I'm turning to Him for my perspective and my security. He is the strength of my heart.

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