It is hard to be human. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Sometimes I think to myself, Self, how are you still alive and breathing?
Earlier this year, I struggled to do my life. While everyone else was celebrating Cinco de Mayo, I was celebrating Cinco de Doomsday with my friends the Task Master, Exhaustion and Pity Party. I stopped having fun.
Life became a long list of tasks and obligations I dreaded. Even the things I loved and enjoyed seemed to loom over my head, just waiting for me to love and enjoy them. I felt irritated, angry and overwhelmed. I may or may not have said some things I
meant regret on the freeway and in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. (Belated apologies to all four million of you in Los Angeles.)
So, I got honest.
I don’t like my life God. I think my heart for you and others is shrinking, not growing. This pace is not sustainable. If I could quit it all tomorrow, I would. I feel dangerously close to the edge.
There it was: The big fat gap between where I was in my heart and where I was in reality. The tension of feeling one way and living another ate away at my integrity.
So, I confessed.
To my husband, closest friends, and leaders, I cried. In all my
whining, crying, I knew that I was in the right marriage, the right job, the right relationships. I love my life. What was my problem? It was here I realized again, my oldest, most reoccurring problem. In my own strength, I was struggling to make the pieces work together.
“Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets God aside as dead weight. He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows. But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God.” Jeremiah 17:5-7 Message Version
I was my own problem. I had hidden fears and anxieties, worries and concerns. We are designed to carry out a mission on this Earth that is bigger than we are. We do this only through communion with God and community with others who cheer us on towards greatness. There is a grace on our lives found in humility – confessing our humanity helps us remember we are not alone and we can do whatever it is we have been called to do.
changed am changing.
Sometimes we like to live in chaos, complain until we’re bitter, and pretend we’re fine (“just fine, thank you very much for asking”) more than we like to do the hard work of changing. Change is hard, but so is living like a crazy person and we get to choose how we want to live.
I am hoping what I have learned this year will help you. I don’t want you to repeat my mistakes or live duplicitously.
Here’s some tips to help you put the fun back into your life:
Tell the Truth. Just be honest. Without accusing, shaming or blaming your boss, co-workers, spouse, mom, dad, cousin, Auntie, mentor, dog, etc., tell the truth. When we remove accusation, blame and shame, we are empowered to see our part, which is a great first step to change.
Change. That’s right, do something. For example, I didn’t have a plan for our home life. When things were hectic in other areas, the laundry piled up, the house was a mess, and I was lucky to make my husband one meal a week. I felt like a failure as a homemaker, but I was too tired to take on the overwhelming tasks. Cody and I sat together and made a plan. Mondays is my house day. Now every week, I have a set time to care for our home.
Invite help. The more honest we are (without blame and shame), the more help comes. I hosted a small group of gals in my home for eight weeks this summer. It changed my life. We shared our struggles, prayed for each other and invited the power of the Holy Spirit to help us do our life. There was incredible breakthrough. And don’t get me started on my amazing friends and their passion for life, laughing, chocolate, and wine. I would die without them.
Have fun. Fun doesn’t come naturally to me. Work, tasks, missions do. I have to inject it, or rely on others who are fun (special thanks to my husband for his interpretive dances in our home). Play musical chairs. If you’re married, have more sex. Stop in your work day to tell hilarious stories. Watch Duck Dynasty. Google “ugliest cats in the world” or watch Ellen Degeneres talk to Gladys. I promise when Gladys says, “I love Jesus, but I drink a little,” tears will well up in your eyes from laughter.
Make a commitment to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going. Put the fun back in your life. No one else will do it for you.