It…Tiny Word for Big Things

Wouldn’t all of us like to say we have it all together? What does that even mean? Is it referring to our career lives? We have the job we can endure, or the career that we love? Does it mean that we are financially where we want to be? Our bills are paid, no credit card debt, and we have money in the bank? Maybe it suggests the house we have. A three-bedroom, two-bath wonder with all the perks.  What about the area of our relationships? Are we getting along with everyone, do we have friends to hang out with on a regular basis, do we have a great relationship with our spouse and our children?

Well, if that is having it together, I’ve failed miserably in all the areas I listed! I’m willing to bet that you probably have as well. Are those items the ticket to happiness? Can life only go on with all of the above in good order?

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook:

Some days seem like a swirling fog…rather suffocating in their ability to steal your thoughts…and your dreams.

Yes, it was a cloudy, down-pour kind of day. I appreciated it though. We needed the rain, and it was nice to have the sun hide for a day. The sun shines brilliantly here in Kansas, and sometimes it’s just nice when it doesn’t. So I really don’t think that was the reason for my rather ‘blah’ mood. Because that fog has been swirling for a while now. 

In my life, I want order, everything planned out, and nice and tidy. I don’t do well with interruptions, or major changes at the last minute. They once made me cranky, now I find myself wanting to hide. Usually, when I felt that I was in a fog, I just started running, parting the mists around me until the gray lifted and I could see clearly again. But right now, I seem to be stuck in the middle, spinning in circles with my eyes closed. It’s a feeling I don’t like!

There are so many decisions I need to make that are just out of my grasp. They float along, beckoning me with their positive traits, only to disappear when I’ve decided to try. The difficult things, I want to hide from. I just wish they would go away. 

If this is what getting older is all about…I really don’t like it! For so much of my life I had an agenda, and so much to accomplish in a day, that I barely stuck my head out for air before I trudged along. Now I have options, and I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know how to prioritize. Something or someone is always getting the short end of the stick. 

Through all of this, I’m beginning to realize what I think having it all together means. It is having peace and contentment within yourself. Forgetting about all of this world’s demands. Yes, you still have responsibility for paying your bills, probably having a job to do that, and taking care of your everyday needs. Beyond that, I think we heap a lot of garbage into our lives, and we cause a lot of our own distress. I know I am causing mine. 

As a Believer, the Holy Spirit resides within me, and that gives me the peace and contentment that I’m craving. But when I’m searching for the world’s answers, I’m going to the wrong place. Sometimes I think we get on a little gerbil wheel, and we just run and run, searching for…something. hamster-wheel-1014047_1920The answers are there for us, we just have to listen. Applying them to my life, results in peace and contentment, even if my job is less than wonderful, I have bills, my house isn’t the nicest on the block. The relationships with the people around me aren’t so very important and life changing when I see them as God sees them. 

I don’t have all the answers right now. I pray the fog lifts soon, maybe with the cooler weather of autumn. I pray for wisdom to know what is right, patience as I’m dealing with others, and love for all. I think that may be a good start. 

Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself!

For some reason, a commercial I remembered from my childhood started floating through my brain sometime during the night. I do know the reason why, but I want this to be a happy post! So I won’t go into the details of why that particular commercial sprang back to life.

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“I can bring home the bacon, and fry it up in the pan…” were some of the lyrics. It was advertising the perfume, Enjoli. I don’t even know if the perfume is still available. The commercial I was thinking of was from 1978, and they remade it 1980. So sales must have been really great and it worked. It worked for me enough to remember the jingle! The part I didn’t understand at fourteen was bringing home the bacon and making it! I thought that was pretty much crazy. Why would you want to do both? Of course the goal of the commercial was to show that you could do everything as a woman… look gorgeous, and smell fantastic while doing it all! And that was a big deal back in the 1970’s.

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I must confess, and I really don’t want to get on anyone’s bad side. But I don’t want to do it all in any area of my life! Each of us has talents, gifts, and things that we are good at, and other items that aren’t so wonderful. I love to learn new things, and I’m happy that I’m pretty self-sufficient in most areas, but I don’t want to do it all.

I believe that God designed us to work well together. Each individual has areas of strength and weakness. And when we are functioning together, those talents, gifts, and areas all fit, just like the cogs on a wheel. When we apply patience and love toward those around us and not focus on the bad…life can be wonderful.

Do I apply what I just said? No! But I have applied it enough times in my life that I know it does work. And there are days when I need a kick-in-the-pants as well!

I’m perfectly happy to let someone else earn the money for the bacon while I fry it up. And I don’t mind purchasing it while someone else cooks it and does the dishes. But I would really prefer not to do it all. The same goes while I’m at work, attending church, raising my children, etc. Each of us needs to be a part of a whole.

Are women able to manage, multi-task, work hard at work and at home? Are they able to raise children, run a business, bake Thanksgiving dinner, or run the country? Yes! But what’s wrong with concentrating on just a few things rather than being fantastic at everything, and feeling lousy when you fail in some area?

Just do what God has designed you to do as a person. And do it well. Only you know what that is. Don’t let others guilt you into doing it all! Let others do their part…share the load.

If you want to be a stay-at-home mother, and you are able to, do it! You are raising the next generation. Take your job seriously and don’t feel small. Pass on the extremely important information those children need in so many areas. Teach them how to survive in this life, equip them in all areas. If you are working, be a hard worker and do your job well. Be an asset to others around you. Encourage others to use their talents and be part of that wheel.

Jump off the treadmill we call life, and live your life. Share it with others, be a part of the whole. We only have one shot at this. You make it want you want it to be.