Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 25 {31 Days of Grace}: Questionable Motives

Sometimes, while I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner, I have whole conversations - 

with myself.

In fact, writing this 31 days of grace series has reminded me that I tried to write my story with E before.
The file is still on my computer but most of the writing and revisions I had done were lost in the computer debacle the summer of 2011.
And, it was that "project" that made me think I am really bad at writing.

I second guess myself and correct myself a lot.  

Well, I guess that applies to most things I do.
But I would write a sentence and then immediately revise it. 
Then I'd revise the entire paragraph and then I'd remember some teeny tiny detail of the story I'd previously left out and there I was rewriting the whole thing before I'd gotten through one chapter.

My point in sharing this was that I often wondered how cool it would be to write a memoir type piece as flashbacks from the present.
And where am I most often in the present? My kitchen!

And it's in my tiny, galley-style kitchen, that I seem to think my best thoughts and have my best conversations with Me.
Often, it's insights about something that happened that was painful.  Lots of times, it's about mistakes I've made (kitchen related or not).
More times than not, it's about E or about US.

I'm not sure why that is, or if it's normal, or if it's weird or what.  I have just noticed that trend.
I can stand in my kitchen, stirring or mixing, measuring or pouring, chopping or slicing...and suddenly he is there.

E the way I remember him from our first year together...attractive because he took such good care of himself...the best smile EVER - of anyone in the entire world!...joking and laughing...making fun of me...strong arms, that I loved to have wrapped around me.

And I'm there too...and WE - the WE that we used to be - are there.  
The WE that we were before there were little people to take care of.
The WE that we were before there was a mortgage, and car payments, and an inside dog who has too much energy for an inside dog.
The WE that we were before I became "just a stay-at-home Mom," and subsequently lost my say in how the money gets spent.

Today, I stood in the kitchen basting and flipping a whole chicken I'd almost finished roasting.
Truthfully, I'd flipped it too many times already, but I just wanted one more chance to brown the skin.
This last time, I picked up one end and the entire thing fell apart.  The drumsticks fell off, the skin slid off by itself in several spots, the little tiny wings detached by themselves and even the breast meat started falling off the bones.

Now I'm not telling you this, to make you jealous of my fabulous dinner - although, it was yummy!
It cooked a lot faster than I was expecting it to and I probably could've taken it out one turn sooner.

As I was flipping this chicken, I knew it had been messed with too much already.
I knew - if I touched it, poked it, flipped it - it might fall apart; yet, I did it anyway.

I sort of chuckled as I realized this...but some days?
I'm that chicken!
I get to the "done" point really early and anyone who pokes me, touches me, or otherwise bothers me is going to have a mess on their hands.
It depends on the person and the day as to whether they get an angry mess, or a wet mess because I fall apart emotionally.

THOSE. POOR. PEOPLE. don't have any idea what just happened.
Too often, that poor person is my husband.

He walks through the door and asks some inane question about what I did today, not knowing it was a very challenging day.
I bite his head off.
He could come in and say, "I didn't have time for lunch today; I'm starved! What's for dinner and when will it be ready?"
And I reply in my snarkiest of tones, "You should have called to place your order ahead then! It's 20 minutes till dinner!"

He might simply give me a look that questions the PJ's I'm wearing.  A look where I can see he's wondering how long I've been wearing them? 
And my responsive look is anything but attractive.

A lot of my responses in these situations goes back to my self-worth (which I've talked about plenty of times before).
Today, I read and thought and talked about how no other person, possession, or position can ever FILL us the way God can. How He never intended for someone else or something else to fulfill us and give us a sense of well-being.

HE is the only One who can do that.

Additionally, learning to separate myself and my identity from my mistakes and my circumstances will be a huge step toward improving my self-esteem.

There's even a song that says:
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.
And if I had to pick just one small area of my life where my self-image needed to improve most quickly, it would be in the area concerning E.

I remember hearing that you can't really love another person until you've learned to love yourself.

If that's true, I've never truly LOVED anyone else.

E deserves my love and he deserves my best.
Not my striving to be super-wife or super-Mom because that always back-fires.
Anytime I have wrong motives, I know that I will be disappointed in the results.

I've been thinking about that all day.
What are my motives for the things I do? Things I try to do? Things I want to do?

I'm not always sure and sometimes I fool myself into thinking my motives are pure.
I'm on a mission to make sure my heart and my motives are pure.

Today I saw an elderly couple walking into a Warehouse Club together.
They each had a walker in their outside hand but were holding hands and helping each other in the middle.
It was so touching, the tears popped into my eyes almost immediately as I walked past.
I wish I'd taken a picture! It was just one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.

I want that for me and E; to still like each other and lean on each other until the very end.

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