Monday, July 20, 2015

Heartily Pursue Life

It was a last-minute decision, but the timing was right, and I got to see my sister over the weekend. (Pic to come.)

Best. Weekend. Ever

Except for the fact that Friday was my anniversary, and I didn't actually get to see my husband on that day. But we texted "Happy Anniversary!" to each other and avoided that flowery yet awkwardly sentimental, gushy (with way TMI) anniversary FaceBook post about being married to the most wonderful person on the planet, followed by the ever-popular I love you so much (fill in the blank with individual's entire given name and many, many exclamation points). I don't look at FaceBook very much any more because those posts are too lovey-dovey for me, and also because of the people that feel the need to expose the bloody, really gross injury they recently sustained or the bug bite they recently got along with the caption Anybody recognize what could have given me this bite??????? They really, really annoy me. And P.S., that is really gross. FB posts should not make a person's stomach turn. 

A well-organized utensil drawer just makes life better.
I'll admit I'm not a nurturing nor very sentimental person. My sister says I used to be (a non-sentimental person certainly does not keep boyfriend boxes, she says--which I don't have anymore, by the way) and therefore that sentimental, compassionate side must be hiding somewhere inside of me, but has been covered with a black heart. 

I am trying to be more of a glass-half-full person, and in the company of other people, I usually am. But what I verbalize to others and what I think inside my own head are two entirely different things when it comes to the whole "I'm a glass-half-full kinda gal". I'm also working on being thankful for things like life, but sometimes I don't like how I choose to live life (being the Type A person that I am, I tend to get stressed about things like utensil organization) and I am not thankful for anything. I spent the entire trip to her house pondering this part of me. I can do better, I decided. (Obviously, doing better will not be a feat I can accomplish on my own. But I have a willing heart, and that's a good start.) 

I might have to go back and get this sign--I need to see that everyday!
I found this little sign at the store the other day, and it made me think that maybe I don't pursue life heartily enough, but instead just get bogged down and aggravated by it all. And when I'm aggravated, I have a difficult time keeping it to myself. I'd like everyone to know that having a well-organized kitchen is stressful and why can't you understand that THINGS ON THE ISLAND THAT ARE NOT KITCHEN-SPECIFIC ITEMS BOTHER ME?????? 

I freely admit it. I have some work to do.

We went to IKEA on Saturday afternoon. So did a million other cheap-furniture-loving people. Have I told you? I. LOVE. IKEA. We walked the entire store. Upstairs and down. This store had shortcuts, but we didn't take any, no ma'am. All or none, that's us. By the time we had followed all those white arrows down the concrete-brick road, I had been reduced to talking into a watering can so it amplified my voice and wandering aimlessly around the garden section, trying to find my way out. However, I came out of that place with some finds, which makes for a very happy me. (When I didn't find something I liked, it made me wonder why and if the decorating part of my brain had dried up.) 

Jonathan was not fond of the mirror I found for our bedroom, and the look on his face said I don't know what kinky* things you got into at IKEA, but this whole mirror beside the bed thing doesn't work for me. I'm asking him to give it a try. 

Now this is going to have to change...

*There was nothing happening at IKEA beside the Woman In The Short Skirt, who was no spring chicken, and it was literally the shortest skirt I've ever seen on anybody in real life. PLUS, it had an on-purpose hole in it right at the crease between her thigh and her behind, so you could see the bottom of her cheek. Honestly, you couldn't help but stare. Which I'm sure many people did. (I think that's what she was going for.) And I think my mouth may have been open. (For two thirty-somethings traveling in a sensible SUV who wear short khakis and maxi dresses to IKEA, this was certainly something.)

He also had questions like what is wrong with our current utensil drawer and what is wrong with the watering can we already have and I know he had lots of thoughts that weren't being expressed at the time, as I was busily organizing at 9:30PM. I think he is scared of walking into the kitchen and not knowing where anything is located. This happens periodically, and when it does, I use post-it notes and arrows. 

PLATES <------ nbsp="" p="">
(What is up? What does this mean? Why can't I get it to go away? ALL I WANT ARE ARROWS.)

You get the picture. Any anyways, only several drawers are getting reorganized, as it has taken me several years to get the cabinets organized and labeled. (You already knew this about me. Obviously they are labeled. How would anybody know how to put things back????)


After IKEA, we went to Target. A dream day of dream shopping. Men all over are sighing in relief that this was not them. 

In order to enjoy my trip, though, I had to get my heart right with God. Because as exciting (for me, anyway) as a new mirror is, nothing works when I'm far away from His presence. The trip to was good for me. I turned the radio off and just pondered. A word from Priscilla Shirer helped. 

Because life is more than thoughtlessly navigating the white arrows of IKEA, wondering at every turn if you're doing it right. Or if you're even in the right spot. 

The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
{john 10:10}

Jesus promises an abundant life, and let me tell you, Target and IKEA offer abundance. But that sort of abundance tends to be overwhelming, and the excitement always wears off. Always. Sometimes I wish it wasn't like that, but if having something that was always exciting filled your life, you probably wouldn't sense the desperate need for Jesus. 

When I started thinking about what it was in life that I really wanted, it didn't have anything to do with mirrors or utensils or {gasp} perfect organization. It had to do with joy and laughter and love and life. And heartily pursuing it, and loving it, and letting go of the things that hinder me--things like perfection, and anger, and anxiety. They cramp my style AND my creativity, and create a viciously cruel cycle that is hard to stop.

with God all things are possible.

I've always remembered this verse as one that didn't make sense to me. I mean, one of my secret dreams has always been to fly. You know, like a bird. And I think that man has discovered that even in 2015, this is an impossible dream. (And besides, I'm scared of heights, so flying probably wouldn't even be that fun for me.) How can things that are impossible for me be possible?

You know I love to decorate. So. Much. Fun. Well, yeah, I guess it's obvious, I also like to write. (The humpty dance is your chance to do the hump...) And I love to be creative in both. But when my mind is so full of angst and anger and negative thoughts, being creative is impossible for me. I'll sit and stare and waste time and get pissed and stare some more, then throw my hands up in the air and go--well, I say things I won't repeat.

I am an angry person. I hold grudges for longer than normal people do and then I grow bitter and stubborn, and I think "I will not allow so-and-so to ever get to me again ever for the rest of the future of earth and then I'll stay away from them in heaven too which won't be a problem because they obviously won't be there". (Angry people tend to blow things out of proportion, especially on the whole "I'm deciding who goes to heaven" thing.) I'm sure dealing with me sometimes is peachy and fun. And I find it near impossible to find my voice and say what is bothering me, leading to all sorts of issues. I'm talking like bitterness and depression, my friends. Is-sues

And I think that's where God is headed in my life when he talks about things that are impossible for man being possible with God. I can be a person who uses her voice, who is assertive, and who doesn't hold grudges or anger or bitterness or defeat (which doesn't look good on anybody, according to the Dowager Countess). And it's not my own doing, because 38 years of experience tells me what my tenancies are. 

It's God. 

So on the drive back from my sister's house, I started by asking for a better way to deal with anger. A way to let go of what's bothering me now. A way to start fresh, today, no regrets. I asked for a voice so I could express myself in a mature way without that passive-aggressive nature I expect from myself. I asked for Him to unlock my compassion (good luck) and my creativity, and my joy and my love. 

I asked Him to help me heartily pursue life.

I've allowed my joy to be stolen, my peace to be killed, and the intent is for my heart to be destroyed. But He can change all of that. I want my peace back. I want my joy back.

Abundant life can be mine.

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