Tough Talk

Dear Self,

Knock it off.

You’ve been mopey for days and it’s time to end it.  Yes, sure, pregnancy hormones can certainly affect these things, but lets take some responsibility here.  There are a few things we need to get straight, and I’m not sure you’re going to like it but since you’re me, and I care about your well being, it’s imperative.

First of all, this whole life being hard thing is not unique to you.  The whole paycheck to blessed paycheck- you’re not the only one doing it.  You’re not the only one who has suffered loss, not the only one who has to work for hope, not the only one who’s lived through some things. So stop acting like the world begins and ends with you and how you feel.

It doesn’t.  How you feel is actually irrelevant when faced with truths.  Like God has promised to clothe us and feed us and provide shelter.  To love us as children.  Has He ever not come through on those things? No? So why have you spent the last half hour crying over a bill you can’t pay, a house that’s too big to pack, a pair of jeans that (might) never fit again? Because you think He’s shown up so many times, surely He won’t rescue you again? Is that how it works with your children? Is there a time when you will look at Ellie and say, “Sorry kiddo, your rescue quota has been reached.  Bail yourself out this time.” No? Isn’t God your Father? Don’t you tell other people that all the time? Do you really believe it? No one would believe it if you did the way you’ve been this week.

Stop waiting.  Stop waiting for things to change, for life to change, for things to magically happen on their own.  Sometimes God steps in in weird and miraculous ways and it is magical and mystical and we hold onto those moments forever.  Most of the time, He gave us free will for a reason and a mandate to have a community of people around us for sounding boards.  Just do it already, damn it.  Stop wondering if it’s a good idea or something God wants you to do or if you’ll regret it.  And let me assure you, in almost all circumstances, the first roadblock is not a “sign” that you shouldn’t do it.  In my experience, if I wasn’t meant to do something, God shut the whole thing down.  The roadblocks are something we have to push through, knowing the whole while that it’s not our own strength.

Shut up.  Stop talking.  Stop filling the air with all of your banter, quiet or otherwise.  Actually listen and observe for a while.  Did you notice Ellie’s used the words, “perfection” and “Afraid” a lot this week?  Did you?  Did you seek it out as an opportunity to teach her how we all try and fail and that it’s good and normal and even can be wonderful to make mistakes? Does your own fear and your own noise and your own insecurity outtalk your own child? Are you missing what your husband or your daughter or your friends need because your own needs are so loud and in the way?

Rest.  Yes.  Take a Sabbath.  Take a bath, take a nap, read a book, write.  Do what gives your soul life.  But do not misunderstand- rest is not synonymous with laziness.  Walk away from the Netflix and the take-out menu.  Enough is enough.  Let’s call it what it is.  You can do better than that.

I give you permission- to be a writer today, if that’s what you are.  A teacher.  A singer.  A Mama.  A theologian.  An actress.  A chef.  No one has to give you permission, but I will because you’re me and you seem to need that.  Be those things, but be them fully- that means actually sitting down and writing.  Actually getting in the kitchen for something other than a glass of water.  Reading.  Practicing.  DOING.  You don’t need someone to tell you what you are.  You know who God has crafted you to be- but no one else will unless you do something about it.

Let all the small things go.  All of these details that seem to run your life, they only do because you let them.  Need time with your husband? Make it.  Hire a sitter, make a reservation.  Done.  Do the best you can and then let it go.  Don’t answer the phone or the text or the email until you’ve taken care of your family, and yourself.

Guess what? You have it pretty good, you know.  Your life.  It’s a pretty marvelous, beautiful thing.  Stop whining about it.

Good talk.


3 thoughts on “Tough Talk

  1. For a moment there I thought you were speaking directly to me! This is real talk, and we all need to be reminded from time to time just how wonderful our lives are and just how much our Father provides for us. Thank you, Jenny! Thank you for sharing these honest and emotionally raw thoughts that we all have felt at some time in our lives. You are a blessing!

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