Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Who Am I?

It somehow seems to matter in a different way than ever before now that I have children, am not defined by a career, and live in the place where we hope to be for the rest of our days. I am learning that you cannot really say who you are, until you define who you are NOT.
For example:
+ I try to dress cute, but will never come close to being Best Dressed or Most Stylish in a gathering.
+ I keep a clean, organized, comfortable & attractive home, but will never be featured in Better Homes & Gardens.
+ I can follow just about any recipe, but do not really enjoy cooking and would rather eat out & use the time for something else.
+ I am creative, but not particularly crafty--definitely not Martha Stewart.
+ I am rarely the Most Beautiful woman in the room and never the Most Musically Talented, the Most Athletic or the Most Successful.

Before you miss my point: This is not a pity party or an exercise in self-criticism. There are plenty of things that I am & that I do well. I am just finally understanding that I cannot be the Total Package...because there is no Total Package. That you can BE it all or HAVE it all, is a lie.

While this realization is a relief in many ways, it is also DIFFICULT for me to admit & embrace, because on the list of Things I Am you will find capable, self-reliant & independent. To hear women say, "Oh, I let that go a long time ago" frankly used to impress me as laziness or failure. Now, I am finally starting to get it.

As I have been processing this, I was reminded of a sermon Andy Stanley preached 5 years ago called "Who are you Cheating?" His point was not DO you cheat, but instead WHO do you cheat. He emphasized that we all make decisions about our priorities & by choosing 1, you cheat another.

So, I am in a place of being VERY intentional about where I am spending my time. I have resigned from 2 things in the last 2 weeks, not because they were bad things, but because I CANNOT do it all--and those particular things don't fit with who I am committeed to being.

I am committed to being a person who lives a life that matters--not in a worldy, fame kind of definition of matters...but in a down in the trenches, rolling up my sleeves, living out my faith kind of way.

While I'd certainly love to live a life that matters and look great doing it, and the end of the day I choose to cheat image. This doesn't mean I am throwing in the towel and pledging myself to a life of grunge...I just would rather people's first 3 adjectives to describe me bring glory to God, not me.

6 comments:

Renee said...

I found you from my friend Kate and am glad I read this post. That's something I've dealt with over the last several years now that I have 4 little ones. It's amazing how God uses our children to change the way we view other areas of our life and make us slow down a bit. As Christian moms, we do live a life that matters as long as we are doing what God has called us to do. Others might not see it that way and many may think we are crazy, but the reward from Him is great. Your children will be so blessed because of the choices you are making now at their young age.

BooMama said...

We're thinking along the same lines these days. :-) And this is a beautiful, thought-provoking post. Really.

keri said...

jen...you should read one of katie (prentiss) 's entries on her blog..."need a good book". there's a quote from a book called "from fear to freedom" and she's talking about what you are saying here. you are who you are b/c he made you that way....i'm glad you are coming to that acceptance!

MegLogan said...

Yes, I can agree completely. It was around two years ago a year after I married and a couple months after my son's birth that I realized, I was NEVER going to be able to complete all the things on my "do before i die" list. In fact MOST of it would be left undone, in favor of raising a family, and being a godly wife to my husband. Sometimes I am still dissappointed that I cant do everything, but more often I am surprised that I ever thought I could! What a silly notion to imagine you can have it all!

Peace,
Meg

Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing. I definitely agree and have been thinking about similar things lately.

JenMom said...

You know, it is funny because I almost chose not to publish this post...but I was really convicted about how as women we do this to each other. We try so hard to appear we have it together that we make each other feel like "something must just be wrong with me that I don't have it together."
Why can't we feel free to be who we were created to be? I am reading two great books that I would recommend if this topic interests you. One is Max Lucado's "Cure for the Common Life" and the other is a book to be done with an accountability partner called "Conversations On Purpose for Women."
They each focus on finding what God's unique purpose for your life is--and how to embrace that and live it out.