Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Relentless Pursuit of Who God Created Me to Be.

[Editor's Note: This blog could be filed into the "finding myself" category and I feel like I do this kind of thing a lot. Please forgive me if I do and feel free to point out the all too similar blogs. :)]

I'm sitting in Panera Bread attempting to practice the discipline of writing. I know I'm supposed to write and I don't do it enough. So, here I am.

Here I am.

Only problem is, I can't decide what to write about.


Hmm. Well, I write to find out what I'm thinking about . . ."

Sounds like a fun science experiment.

I was sick yesterday. My stomach hurt all kinds of bad. I didn't get out of bed all day except to eat a burrito that Jermaine bought for me and to go to the bathroom. Not in that order.

Even now though, I'm not sure if I actually was sick. Yes, I'm willing to accept that my stomach hurt. And I'm willing to accept that it hurt more when I got out of bed. But am I willing to accept that I legitimately couldn't get out of bed all day??

I know, I know. I sound like a suspicious mother questioning whether her child is trying to play hooky. Except that not only am I the suspicious mom but also the naughty kid.

And that's just it. I don't trust myself. I used to lie a lot. And, I'm learning, it has had some very peculiar consequences. Namely, this one.

Why, one might ask, would I fake being sick [and how would I not even know I was doing it]?

Well, I think I'm a little depressed. Missing Sadie. Worrying about her. Just about everything I do is riddled with thoughts of how the situation could be improved with my little mini me. A minute ago, I ordered lunch, sat down with my baguette and thought, "Aw, if Sadie were here we could share this. My, how she loves eating my bread."

Tuesday night I sat down with my trusty netbook and made a detailed to-do list for Wednesday. Of course, you know the rest of the story. NONE of it got accomplished. And I can't help but wonder if my "popular" side was rebelling against my "perfect" side [click here for brief explanation].

Personalities. Oh, goodness. Let's dive in here. God is teaching me that I was created to be a lot more laid back than I am. A lot less tense than I am. A lot less serious than I am.

So what gives? Why am I this way? Hmmm, well, I think I can safely blame it on my parents.

[Mom and Dad - please keep reading! I LOVE you and think you are amazing parents! That last sentence was partially a joke - if you keep reading you'll understand]

My mom and dad are fantastic. Anyone who knows them will agree. They are caring, thoughtful, detail oriented people who, once they decide to do something, will not rest until the job is completely perfect. Did I mention they waited seven years to adopt me? Seven years!

Last week my dad had to be rushed to the emergency room due to severe dehydration and heat exhaustion. Why? Because he had spent 8 hours in the Carolina heat sanding his garage floor.

When I was a kid, I remember getting in trouble because I didn't clean the laundry room properly.

My brother is 14 years older than I am and I have always thought he was exceptionally cool. But I can still remember the day I knew he'd gone over to the dark side. We were visiting him and his wife, Kim, at their beyond awesome home in Georgia and my mom kept insisting that we vacuum the room we were staying in 2 to 3 times a day. I thought this was ridiculous, of course. I mean, our feet can't be that dirty. I found my brother and complained to him, seeking, someone who would understand how silly the notion was. His response - he sided with her! He said, "Well, you know, Bran, when this many people are staying here, sometimes you have to vacuum a lot."

And, indeed, sometime you do have to vacuum a lot. But, as vacuuming goes, I generally don't. In fact, I generally don't do many of the things that my parents value. I sleep late. My house is messy. I eat dinner at 9 or sometimes later. I keep Sadie up way past what most would deem a socially acceptable bedtime.

And what I'm learning is . . . that's cool. That's who I am. And there's no one quite like me.

But when I was growing up, that was not cool. What I took away from all of the experiences described above [and many more I didn't mention] is that there must be something fundamentally wrong with me. Because I'm not like them. I'm not detail oriented. I'm messed up. In more ways than just my house.

It's not that they're wrong, either. Of course not! They were created to be the way they are. And they do it beautifully.

Right after Kim had my niece, Katie, my parents and I drove down to visit them. I don't remember the conversation leading up to it, but I distinctly remember Kim telling me that I seemed much more laid back than the rest of my family.

And that gave me great joy. Because I knew deep down that it was right for me to be that way. But now, 12 years later, I find myself arguing with my husband on a regular basis because I've got this ideal in my head of how I'm supposed to be [and, ugh, how he's supposed to be] and we frequently [ie: always] fail to measure up to these ridiculously high standards.

There are times when I realize I got it at 16 much better than I did at 20. At 24. At 27?

I just finished reading Velvet Elvis for the 2nd time. In it, Rob Bell describes a breakdown he had and how in counseling he was led to the realization that his one and only job was the relentless pursuit of who God created him to be. And [here's the zinger] - everything else is sin.

The relentless pursuit of who God created me to be.

I'm excited about that.

Because these passions, these desires within me, God gave them to me! God created me to be an abolitionist. An environmentalist. A good friend. A writer. A performer. A pastor. A poet. A late sleeper. A Big Idea person. A loving mom and wife. A messy housekeeper.

I love what I love for a reason. And I can use it to bring heaven to my little plot of earth.

Can I get a "Yay God!"?

Thank you for reading my blog. You make me so happy.

Ooh, I feel compelled to add this, at the risk of being obvious or cliche - the takeaway here is - Who did God create you to be? Are you excited about relentlessly pursuing that person?

PS. The picture spot goes to 2 of my favorite girls ever! Meghan and Abi continue to dazzle me daily with how well they know themselves. I love them both so much!


AbominableAmie said...

I think God created me to be a lover. And an artist. And a mentor. And a reader! And a friend of teenagers. And a teacher. and so many more things.

I love resting in the fact that God made me who I am.

AbominableAmie said...

OH! And Abi and Meghan are my two favourites too!!!