Friday, May 27, 2011

 On changing my default

It's early and the bright is struggling to infiltrate the murky overcast dark of last night.

Today is a day of staying home.

There wasn't the necessity for clothes to be picked out and distributed by different beds, lunches to be made, or backpacks to be set by the door. We have a "long weekend" consisting of four days with no school.

For those of you who are already out of school for the year, Shhhhhh. We just aren't there yet. But where we are is still good. Four day weekends make us smile alot around here.

I've been up for an hour and a half. Instead of taking advantage of the no school ticket and sleeping in - I instead embraced the quiet hours, knowing that throughout this day those moments would be treasured.

Beside me is my notebook, my red non-spillable coffee mug (thanks again sweetie, our couch and carpet thank you too), Bible, and pen. All evidence that it has, indeed, been a very good morning so far.

I've had time to think clearly, aside from chaos, needs, and noise. And there is still a smile on my lips from what I have been considering.

I'm thinking about my default, and how it is changing.

I've shared before about my passive aggressive tendencies (I talked about it here in a post entitles "Burnt Toast"). Calling it a "tendency" is really being far too kind to myself. It's more like a beast. Calling my passive aggressive nature a "tendency" is  like calling a garbage truck a tea cup. Passive aggressive people manipulate. Their poor unsuspecting prey often does not even know that they are being woven into this controlling maneuver. And yet, it can be easy for me (see, I'm owning it) to lie to myself.

La-la-la. It's a tea cup. A pretty little china tea cup. With flowers on it. And they're pink. Lalala-la la.

Okay, so this beast -

this sighing (loudly) when I'm upset over something instead of calmly going to the offender and gently communicating to them, with words, how we can work through the situation -

these glowering looks (my dad called it "shooting daggers with your eyes", and I've done it since I was pretty young) -

the insulted sulking that would hinder hours, sometimes even days, of family life thriving -

pouting where there should have been joy -

-this is very much my default.

And it is a beast that I hate. I am learning to hate it even more as I strive to see myself as God sees me. When I truly see myself as He does, this garbage truck is like a huge black mark marring what he has already cleaned. It makes him sad.

But there is this twinkle of hope that is breaking through and it looks a whole lot like a pretty little china cup. ;)

Those default things in our lives, those things that we hate, but can't seem to be free from, they don't have to own us. No, let me put it this way, They do not own us.

Dave and I have been working hard on our communication. At first it seemed unnatural, but we stuck with it.

It looked like immediately speaking up when our feelings were hurt instead of letting it fester.

It looked like a hard conversation late at night, just to make sure that we were open with one another and that we were dealing with problems as they arose.

It has looked like phone calls, apologies, and admitting being wrong.

And guess what has begun to take place? A reprogramming of sorts.

My default is changing.

I almost can't even believe it, but I do believe it because my God is big and he can do this. It also takes alot of hard work and discipline. But he gives that.

I know there is still alot of hard to work to put into this. It is, and will continue to be, a process, but the pay off is incredible!

The other night I was tired. Not like, "it's been a long day and bed sounds good" tired, more like "I can barely move and I still have 15 tasks to complete, four very rowdy boys to care for, and a tired husband to deal with." A husband who was outside. Doing something, that I was just convinced was pointless and couldn't be nearly as important as all of my tasks that I really needed his help with (Because, you know, I can't really change diapers with out someone handing me the wipes).

My default, beast, trash truck, passive aggressive, fleshly, sinful plan began to halfheartedly rise up in my heart. But something wasn't right...

It didn't come to the surface.

It felt sticky and wrong.

What once came naturally, and as if it were just a part of me, felt foreign.

Heavy even.

Make him feel bad for his hard work?

Make them feel guilty for their dependence?

Make myself feel yucky inside by pouting?

And my whole being screamed, no!

Look at their sweet faces! Remember. Remember moments of beauty and how longed for, prayed for, and cherished they each are!

Look at the tired lines around his eyes. And look at how much he loves you. That man treats you like you are a princess. Give him a break and get over yourself! See the love, feel the love, do not ever forget how you are loved!

Look at yourself. Consider who made you. How you were lovingly formed and life was breathed into you with purpose and value. Retain your dignity lady.

And that which always came so natural before was being rejected.

Was I still tired? Yes sir!

Did I find great joy in all that still needed to be done before I could relax? Not great joy, I wasn't doing a happy dance ya'll, I hadn't enough energy for that. But joy was present.

Like a sweet little tea cup. Small and kind of timid, trying to emerge untainted from the trash, it was there.


Stephanie said...

Wendi, I am the queen of loud sighs. I've just spent most of my morning in defaultville. Thanks for sharing. I'm reminded that I, too, can change what seems like a lifetime of bad habits. Gonna pray on it, gonna work at it.

Jasmine said...

Wendi, this was the most convicting thing! First of all, I nearly spit out my coffee laughing at the "lalala, it's a tea cup..."! You are too funny! But for real, this was just what I needed to hear. Especially with the boys, as you said - their dependence on me. Wow. And, just so you know - I can't change diapers without someone handing me the wipes either! ;)

Kristen said...

The way a good solid Christian self-help book delivers inspiration and sparks growth, so does your writing. I appreciate the way you share your heart. It gets me thinking, connecting, and growing. And this is another one of your posts that has done that.

Now I'm off to go reign a few sighs of my own.

Rebecca said...

this is beautiful. and convicting. thank you for sharing.

All Things Brittany said...

Thanks for sharing... when my own hectic schedule provides for a few moments of reflection, I enjoy your blog very much. It is refreshing to find someone whose writing is so real and transparent. God works through you!

Nikki said...

You totally nailed it. I *am* passive aggressive. I just spent the better part of a long weekend being miserable because I choose the garbage truck. I'm convicted and encouraged by your words, the work the Lord is doing in your heart--change is possible. Even for me.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Are you sure we're not distantly related or something? Your default sounds suspiciously like mine...