Thursday, April 17, 2014

unspectacularly average

Always do your best. You don't have to be the best as long as you are your best.

That's how I was raised, based partially on Paul's letter to the church at Colosse:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:23 & 24

Growing up, the most trouble that caused me was an occasional annoyance, a nudge when I just wasn't working as hard as I could at something. I would roll my eyes when my parents asked me if I had done my best, but then it would cause a slight twinge of conscience and I would buckle down and focus and pretty soon my grades would be back to the A's I was used to having.

Lately, though, it's been a hard verse for me.

There's a saying, "too many irons in the fire." That's where I am now, partly by choice and partly by necessity. As a result, it seems everything I'm doing is working out to be unspectacularly average. My house is a mess and I get caught up on chores only once in a great while. There are flowerbeds all around our house that I'm supposed to be taking care of, but they're pretty much ignored. Closets need to be decluttered. I regularly score about 70% on my homework. I have a story written that's just waiting to be typed but there aren't enough hours in the day. A baby present for my niece who will be making her gib debut anytime now is still waiting to be finished. This blog goes abandoned for long periods of time.

And yet I somehow manage to fall into bed exhausted at night after the kids have been tucked into bed and Nathan's left for work--after a day of feeling like I haven't accomplished anything.

With so much going on there's nothing I'm doing right now that feels like my best, and that's incredibly hard for me to handle.

So now we come to the part of the post where I'm supposed to reveal what truth I've found in the middle of the chaos. This time, though
I got nuthin'.
I'm stuck with the mess and I'm not seeing what the lesson is that I'm supposed to learn from all of it. To be honest, that's why the idea of posting this one actually hurts me a bit--it is quite literally giving me a headache.

I'm asked how I do it all and I just want to scream that I don't--
that more times than not I feel like I'm failing at all of it because I'm incapable of doing it all to my own satisfaction--of doing my best at everything.

It seems there's a misconception that I've got everything together, and I guess that's what keeps me from pouring out all the mess when somebody asks how I do it all. I don't mind the misconception because I would rather people have that picture of me than let them--
let you--
see my mess.

I've struggled with the idea of writing this, wondering why in the world I would put this out there to be read by people I don't know. And even though the words have flowed out quickly I still hesitate, because what scares me more than the people I don't know is the realization that people I do know will be let in on the mess.

But that was my promise when I started writing here, to be authentic, transparent, and faithful. So here I am, Messy Mandy, hoping that maybe my words will help somebody else realize they aren't alone in the chaos.

1 comment:

  1. I could have written this (albeit not as eloquently).


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