Sunday, February 01, 2015

If Mama ain't happy...

Subtitle: I'm a hypocrite.

I had a few days of growth last week. Repentance and growth.

The joy and shiny new car smell have worn off the move. Sean has gone back to work(which feels a heck of a lot like school) and I don't have a shiny, new car yet***. The boys and I have spent a lot of time at home. I go stir crazy when I feel trapped. All that to lay a foundation for the following story.

I've noticed myself being extra sarcastic lately. I'm always snarky. I always have been, just ask my parents. Most of the time I'm able to keep it on the side of harmless and funny, sometimes I go too far. The last week, I've been going too far. When I go too far, I get super disappointed in myself. Instead of stopping, apologizing, starting over, I get worse. I've caught myself a few times this week and had that stab of guilt, but didn't make any real changes. The breaking point came during a two hour car ride. On the way there, I hashed up things that don't even matter. I was rude. I was hurtful. I was sarcastic.

The underlying issue is that I was comparing our family to several other families. Considering the three year trench we just crawled out of, not fair at all. I blamed my unhappiness on the one who is in charge of my happiness: Sean(that's a joke. I know he's not in charge of my happiness. Or was that sarcasm again...?). He's been stressed to the max starting at this new base and trying to figure out what is going on and what he's able to do and waiting on credentials and licenses andandand. And I just heaped on more tasks, more stress, more complaints. I'm not so much the model wife these days. Which is hilarious given my recent post about loving one's husband. Hence the HYPOCRITE subtitle.

In addition to the conviction I was already feeling, I have a few friends who send me these super uplifting texts and emails. Another posted a verse on Facebook(John 3:30) that really rubbed salt in the wound. As Sean and I rode home in silence Thursday night(occasionally interrupted by short bursts of anger), it occurred to me that I have been so snarky and so caustic lately, that is has gone from being my mood to being my personality. I haven't been the wife I know I should be; I haven't been the mother I want to be.

Friday morning, I grabbed Felix's Bible and flipped to "kindness" in his index. The first three references weren't really what I was after, but Colossians 3 happened to be listed. I've read it a thousand times, I didn't think it would sting so much.

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 

I asked the boys, "What do you think that means? Set your heart and mind on things above?"
"Focus on God and don't worry about what's going on here."-Felix.


But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Anger? Check.

Rage? How would one define rage exactly?
Slander? Is it slander if you say horrible things straight to someone's face, or only if you say it to someone else behind their back? Yeah...check.
Filthy language? Ooooh, guilty. 

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

By the time I got to this part, I couldn't even look at my kids. I was bawling. I was so ashamed of myself. I was not at all kind, humble, gentle, or patient Thursday night. Really, I haven't been all that kind or patient since the move. It was a great morning of asking for their forgiveness. I asked for forgiveness for my tone, my attitude, and for generally being a horrible person to be around. I texted Sean at work and did the same. I told them all that I want them to call me out if I'm being sarcastic.

How amazing it is that every day is a chance at renewal. No matter how big we screw up, God is right there ready to forgive us. Repent, move on, try to live out verse 17.

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

***Edited to say I've been MUCH more patient, gentle, kind, and loving the last few days. Only by the grace of God and constant conviction when I want to "rawr rawr rawr"(Sam!!!!) I also have a new(to me) car that should make shuttling these boys about much easier. My broom gets a bit hard to steer with kids on the back of it. :) Hey, that's funny. I almost didn't post this. It makes me feel all vall-nerable(said in my best Eddy Murphy voice). After talking with my sister and hearing her say, "Hey, I'm right there with ya," my confidence that perhaps I'm somewhat normal has me pushing "publish." Y'all don't think less of me now. 


Jude said...

you are not alone, friend.
colossians 3 has always been a favorite, albeit painful at times, chapter.

Corey said...

The first step is always admitting you have a problem ;-) What I mean is, at least you know you're acting that way. A lot of people never realize it LOL! Moving is really, really stressful. You know this. But I think this time, because there's a bit of "finality" in it, (since you'll likely be there a while longer than you have in the past few years) you might be having a little bit of a freak out. I don't blame you! I think it's to be expected. But don't worry my friend, soon it will all settle in.
Thank you for the verses you referred to. In fact, I'm going to print them out and post it on my computer monitor. I need that reminder daily! :P

Stephanie G said...

Thank you for sharing Chrissy. You are not alone in this at all. I have actually been thinking the same thing about myself lately. I have caught myself being snarky and rude and critical and I have been feeling very convicted of it lately. Especially seeing the same behavior appearing in my sweet 14 year old. I haven't been brave enough to ask for help yet though. :( This may be just the push I needed to get over myself. Thank you friend.

Anonymous said...

Chrissy, you need some decompression time. We moved in the middle of stuff still happening, and nearly killed each other. Well, not really, but with our eyes, with our words, murdered each other. You know what I mean. I understand the rage, the frustration, the anger, the disappointment, the feeling that NOBODY IN THIS FAMILY APPRECIATES WHAT I'VE CARRIED FOR THIS 2 1/2 YEARS ALONE!!! Let yourself be renewed in spirit and in body. Give God a chance to convict, but then heal. You have carried a heavy burden. I know. Sean has carried his. Give him a chance to heal too. I only know that God has been there with us, saving us from our own destructive nature, preventing us from tearing down everything we've worked so hard to build. Rest now. You really have earned it. xoxo, Christine