Friday, April 30, 2010

The Good the Bad and the Ugly - 04/30/10

I cried myself to sleep last night.

I think like any working woman who is ministering in their church family, and trying to be a good wife, mother, daughter and friend, my time is full. I have a lot going on. Things sometimes slip through the cracks and are not done, but I have come to accept that. When making plans I realize that I could go all out and do the big extravaganza or I could realize my limitations, accept what I’m capable of doing, plan accordingly, and be happy with the end result even though it may have been done differently in the past.

Enter well meaning friends who think I have forgotten(instead of purposefully choosing to limit based on what I know I can manage) to pull out all the stops, because of course we need to do thus and so, we have to have this or that. Suddenly I feel like a failure. I feel like in the eyes of the world what I can do is not enough. My heart, my confidence, my pride is wounded.

I lay there quietly as the hot tears ran over the bridge of my nose and onto my pillow and realized that I have guilt because I cannot possible be all things to all people. I cannot be the always on wife who takes perfect care of her husband, and have all the right answers, and wisdom for my children, I cannot always meet all the needs of my parents, I cannot always work 50 hours a week at my job, I cannot always please all the people in the church with the things that I do there.

Some would, and have, said that my priorities are askew because I work outside my home. Some would say I should learn to say no(not to them of course) :) Some would say that I need to step back because I am overcommitted. Some would say that I cannot please everyone so I shouldn’t try.

Conclusions? It’s not as simple as I shouldn’t work, or I should learn to say no. I remember feeling exactly the same way as a stay at home, homeschooling mom. My life was filled with homeschool co-ops, Bible study’s, housework, science projects, book reading, Dr’s appointments, bath times, and church ministries. I was overwhelmed, and felt guilt. I believe every woman feels this at every phase in their lives for the same or different reasons. It’s part of living in a fallen world, as a sinner living with other sinners.

We make choices…sometimes the toilets aren’t as clean as they should be, and we don’t make it to the dentist every 6 months, and the people in our lives think that we are falling down on the job because we aren’t doing all that we have in the past, and we snap at the ones we love the most because we know they will love us in spite of our rudeness.

Sometimes we have to settle for straightened instead of spotless, and flossed instead of cleaned, and dr-ironed(the process of putting your clothes in the dryer with a wet cloth to straighten out the wrinkles – pronounced dry-earned) instead of starched and ironed. Sometimes we have to accept that people are impatient and say impatient, hurtful things…just like we do.

I needed this blow to my pride to help me to realize again that I am painfully flawed, imperfect, and can do nothing of value…without my Jesus to strengthen and help me. I need to go back to the drawing board…and pray for wisdom to know what to say yes to and when to say no. I’m thankful for my dear friends who loved me enough to pick up where they felt I had left off…they did it because they love me and they have my back and never intended to make me feel bad.

I need to do the best I can do and let God take care of the rest. I need to stop “shoulding” myself and choose in each moment what I believe is the best use of my time, and accept willingly the things that don’t get done in the optimal way.

It’s ok! I’m ok! It’s not failure. I’m just a hard working wife, mother, daughter, friend and child of the King, doing the best I can, with His help. I’m casting my cares on Him, because He cares for me. On to the day! J.


  1. Yet another comment from me, lol. I'm not being a creeper, I swear! ;) I just like your posts. I may be 20+ years your junior, young enough to be your daughter, but I feel like I am in a very similar place in my life right now. I work 40+ hours per week outside our home, the apartment is a mess most days, we do not yet have any children, and we probably won't have any children for at least two more years. There are so many expectations and doubts from so many people at times, and I think it does just come down to realizing that we can't always please everyone and be perfect, as you say.

    I just wanted to say that I struggle with this a lot on a daily basis too, in fact it's a rare moment that I don't feel guilt of some sort each day. I feel guilty that my apartment isn't beautiful and clean, there isn't a steaming, freshly home-cooked meal on the table every evening, there are baskets upon baskets of laundry that needs washing or folding in our room during the week, that we are one of the only married couples I now know who do not yet have any children, and that I work full-time. But I do know that I do it for a better future for Jeff and I, and that I do it to glorify God. :)Praying for you!

  2. Christina - I think it truly is a lifelong struggle to keep balance, to keep focus. I think women are just built to take care of the people around us, and when things get busy, and slightly out of balance the guilt creeps in. Thanks for praying! I will pray for you too! :)J.

  3. Ahh, I feel the same way as both of you! See we are not alone. ;) Christina-- I totally feel the same way as you as being one of the only married couples I know that doesn't have children, it really seems like that and people do have way too many expectations about how things should be.

    And Jeanne, I feel the same way as you posted. I feel guilty all the time, just ask Joel, I tell him almost every day of something I'm feeling guilty about. I feel like I'm a bad friend becuase I don't make time to hang out with every friend every week (like some would want), but I think you do have to know what you're capable of handling and leave the rest to God. I think this is a good post and I'm thankful that you shared it. Love you! <3

  4. Jeanne,

    I am so glad that you posted this. I am the other person on the other side who expects too much. It was good for me to read this because seeing your point of view it makes it easier for me to understand why changes need to be made in the way I live. Not trying to take this point and twist and make it about me at all I just want you to know that by reading what you wrote it touched something in me. I think it's great that you can pinpoint and be honest now with the way you feel but also acknowledge your greatness and how amazing you are even when you can't meet all the requirements of others. Us as humans expect to much of other people and it's about time someone stood up and said hey wait a minute its my life and this is how i want to deligate my time.

    I love you and again thank you for this post <3