Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Where Shame Settles

I didn't grow up into the adult dreamed of by the little girl me. That adult, planned on in whispered sessions when spending the night with Kathy, would be a homemaker and mom of 2-3 kids. I saw an old farm house (naturally) surrounded by a few acres of gentle fields. Old comfortable furniture and soft couches; fireplace glowing when snow covered the meadows. I envisioned myself in jeans and aprons and the smell of strong coffee brewing with morning light in the background. This person was not poor or fat or insecure. This person was not in fear of her husband leaving her or overwhelmed by tiredness and trying to be a good mom.
All of which I grew up to be. Some parts of life that were difficult I know were my lot in God's plan and others were the consequence of my own behavior. Much of what I lived with was a matter of inch by inch compromise, a settling for a life less than what I wished it to be. My yard was ugly and unkempt because the Mr. hated yard work. That was the explanation. The truth was that it was ugly and unkempt because I settled for that. I didn't work in the yard nor did I find a way to talk to Dean to effectively take better care. I didn't teach my two little boys to work in the yard with me. I settled. I didn't cook or eat the way I wanted to. I was drawn into laziness and poor money management, for unhealthy and fattening. I turned my back on the plan for delicious and wholesome dinners with my family. I settled.
I could go on and on about housekeeping, laundry and impulsive spending. It was all a slippery slope of an undisciplined life. And a little leaven does leaven the whole loaf (1 Corinthians 5: 6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?). As I settled for one little easier moment after another those moments began to shape my very life and the happy and productive woman I planned to be was soon unhappy, unproductive, settled and ashamed. I heard once that in your twenties you haven't got a clue, in your thirties you've figured it out and decide to work on your life and in your forties you begin to appreciate what life can be. That would be me in a nutshell, emphasis on the nut.
I was not raised to be uneducated, untidy or compromising. But I settled for it because being all of those things is luxuriantly lovely for a minute. No harm. Why do people work so hard? No, I never really believed it. That was the rationalization that came after the compromise, not the reason for it. Here is the reason, my flesh is undisciplined and my heart is finicky . (Jeremiah 17:9 “ The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?)
My gramma removed most of the screens from the windows of this house. Last summer we never got around to putting them in so we could only open a few of the windows. With the slightest warmth we'd end up turning on the air conditioning, which I don't like. This year Dean & Mac went through the house and installed all of the screens. Seven more windows were thrown open. There was a time that those screens would've never gone in. It would always be too much work, we'd be too busy or too tired. We'd say we liked the ultra cold of the air conditioner anyway. We'd settle for stale winter air year 'round.
I no longer settle. The sweet summer breezes blowing throw these rooms is too wonderful to trade for a moment of settling.


Mrs. Mac said...

Good for you, sara, no longer settling :)

You've grown into a woman settled in her heart (content).. but not settling for less than what God desires of/for you.

(of course .. this is just my observation from the sideline ;)

Louise said...

Oh my goodness ... you've written part of my life's story too. I learned to settle, but in different areas; settling is settling however and change needs to come ... even at my age.
I loveth and appreciateth you my Thara.

Stacy said...

I like the bit about 20's, 30's and 40's...being fresh into my 30's I now look back at my 20 year old self and realize that I indeed had NO clue!