Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preparing my Garden for Seeds of Good Fruit

I said in a post on my other blog...I'm not one of those people who can connect the dots between what I do and what happens next.  I'm sitting here trying to decide what it is that I "need" to do, coupled with trying to decide what I "want" to do.

I would love to be able to know with certainty what the eventual outcome would be for each choice. Wouldn't we all?

I could take a "nap" (at 8:15am?  after I just got up from about seven hours of, albeit restless, sleep? when there are so many other choices of how to spend my time?).  Would I feel better?  Do I want to sleep because of the funk I'm in?  In which case, wouldn't sleep only perpetuate the problem, sinking me deeper into the pit I'm currently in?  Or is rest what I need?  Maybe I'll see more clearly after closing my eyes for a time??

I could write.  Writing "always" helps me think more clearly....although sometimes I write in circles for "hours" before finding my way off the (not so) merry-go-round.  In times like that, I realize I just needed to occupy my mind a bit to allow some things to work themselves out before trying to make sense of them.  I'm a verbal processor, so talking (or writing) generally helps me figure things out, but at the same time, there are some ideas that just need to gestate before being allowed out in the open!!  Spending hours writing in circles, only to find myself further wound up in knots doesn't even remotely sound appealing.

I could do a hobby.  I do have hobbies (other than reading and writing...), but I "never" spend any time on them. 

I LOVE to sew.  Love it.  But, getting out the sewing machine and material, and thread...not to mention the very act of DECIDING WHAT TO SEW, seems like more of a chore than a fun hobby.

I could bead.  Yet another thing I love.  I'm not "good" at it, because I just never do it.  I analyze and criticize everything I do until all the fun is sucked right out of it. 

I could pull out the pastels I've had for about 15 years and pour my soul out on the paper I purchased at the same time.  And, yet....when I've done that in the past, I've spent more time staring at blank paper than I have laying down color.

I could pull my keyboard out from my daughter's room and remind myself that I love to play piano.  I taught myself how to play with my right hand...and took a couple of semesters in college to learn to play with both hands.  It's been so long since my fingers have tickled ivory, I'm not sure I would even remember how at this point.

I could read.  That option opens up several sub-categories of choices.  Not only do I have many options readily available without ever leaving my house, the public library is within minutes....and just down the street from Starbucks (yet another item on the list of possibilities).  I would love to spend time in the Bible; I have several books I've started and not finished (mostly non-fiction); there are several fiction books on my shelves whose coats of dust remind me of my neglect. 

That thought brings me to yet another "choice" that should really rank up there with the "requirements" such as personal hygiene and my house.  It's within 15 minutes of being "company ready"...but it's not where I'd like it to be at this moment.  And....although I'm aware I could take 15 minutes to make it "company ready", it STILL wouldn't be where I'd like it to be.  There are always more chores to do around the house.  ALWAYS.  I have found myself spending all day cleaning only to see more things wrong than right at the end of the day.  

FUNNY STORY BREAK:  When I was newly married (the first time), we had a small house with hard wood floors that my husband had cleaned one day while I was at work....  I came home to find a little pile of dirt on the front porch and him in the living room playing with a remote control car.  Did I come in, arms open wide, and tell him THANK YOU SO MUCH for cleaning the house today!!??  Oh, no, I looked at him and said, "Why couldn't you have just swept the dirt off the porch, and put up that car??  It would have been perfect if you had just done those two things."  Yes, 20 years later, it's still hard for me to admit....and we still talk about that day and the damage I did to our marriage.  (Not with the comment, with the attitude....)

I could go out and RUN.  That brings a whole other set of issues with it....that I won't even begin to go into here.  Suffice it to say this is an area of my life that is a breading ground for negative self-talk right now.

My husband would say none of these options are "wrong"....all of them are viable, even healthy, choices for how to spend the rest of my day.

Part of the problem is that I'm an optimizer.  I want to make the BEST use of my time.  I want to be a good steward of the time God has given me.  I don't want to squander it away doing something that will NOT bring Him glory.  Yes, all of the things I mentioned have the potential to bring Him glory...but only if my heart is in the right place.

Right now, my heart is NOT in the right place.  For a myriad of "reasons" I'm hurting.  I'm sure that's an obvious fact to anyone who has made it this far into the post.  Why? 

There are always scapegoats on which I can blame my state of being (be it contentment or abject despair).   I could blame my current state on a host of circumstances outside of myself.  I have a past that could make a grown man curl into the fetal position, suck his thumb and cry "Mommy".  I've committed sins so brazen, some of Satan's demons would blush (all of which were forgiven on the cross and have been washed white as snow by Jesus' blood).  These sins have caused (metaphorical) scars on my life that will always be plainly visible to anyone who gives even a passing glance. 

Don't get me wrong, my life right now is the picture of happiness.  I live in a beautiful house...with beautiful things...I have the husband of my prayers who works hard so I can stay home, and who loves me like no other person on earth...I'm family is healthy....I have OPTIONS unlike so many people whose time is planned out for them. 

I have everything to be thankful for, and yet I'm still hurting inside.

Looking back at my journals, one thing is plain.  When I'm hurting I scramble for something to do.  I  make plans (vacation, menus, home remodeling, decorations, projects), I get busy with some task, I  sleep or watch movies....I refocus my thoughts to something other than whatever was the source of my pain.

I'm fully aware there are many of you who are saying that's a good thing.  We shouldn't wallow in pain.  We shouldn't persist in sadness. 

But, FOR ME (I'm not pointing my fingers to anyone else--WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT--I'm strictly self-analyzing here), doing things usually amounts to escapism (when I'm in this current state).  Much like drugs (something I never tried, other than alcohol), busy-ness just provids a distraction, not a catharsis.
1 : purgation
2 a : purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art b : a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension
3 : elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression

...Elimination of a complex by bring it to consciousness and affording it expression...

I want to apologize for the length of this ramble, but I'll resist that urge.  As I continue to write---to purge---I'm reminding myself of what my husband told me this morning---I'm writing for myself....although I make my selfish writings public, what I'm writing now is very much for my own personal benefit.

What exactly is "my complex"???  I think that's why I write.  I'm trying to find what it is that needs to be purged, the root that is so deeply burried within my soul.

But you know what???  A thought just occurred to me.  Bear with me here....I think in analogies....

What if I have a plot of land on which I want to plant a garden.  It's littered with abandoned junk left by myself as well as other people, covered in thorn bushes and poison ivy, and life-stealing kudzoo (although I find kudzoo-covered areas BEAUTIFULL, and I think the metaphors I could make, comparing it to life, are limitless....I digress...).   ....I work and toil, hours, days, even YEARS on my land, weeding, hauling away truck loads of rubbish.  I labor away each day, clearing off space for my garden.  The task never seems to be quite finished because every day I go out to my land, there seems to be new weeds.  I can't plant my garden if there are weeds on my land.  I hire a professional who  treats the land and who leaves with me a special fertilizer.  He tells me there are no weeds that will have the power to kill any good plant I will cultivate on my land.  He warns me there is a thief who will attempt to kill, steal and destroy my good fruit, and who will work to bring the weeds back.  He goes on to tell me if I use His powerful fertilizer, the plans of the enemy will not prosper and my good fruit will grow.

The next day, instead of planting, I look for weeds.  I'm so used to toiling away, I don't quite know how to plant good fruit.  I don't know what it looks like.  I don't know how much to water, how much sun...even what season to put the seeds out.  I really can't even tell the difference between the good plants and the weeds.

FUNNY STORY BREAK:  I once spent all day digging up the biggest weed bush I'd ever seen.  I had to use a shovel and AN AX to get up the root ball that was at least twice the size of my head...I was also attacked by fire ants, and later found myself covered in poison ivy (to which I'm SEVERLY ALLERGIC).  ....Only to find out what I had dug up was a very well established hydranga bush!!

Do you find it ironic that I've been writing for an hour and a half now and, until five minutes ago, the sun was completely covered by clouds.  It was so dreary outside I didn't even want to open the blinds....and now, the sun is shining so brightly all I want to do is go outside and bask in it!!

The only reason I'm going to go ahead and publish this long, babbling, rambling mess of a post is because there MIGHT one day be someone who's had the same experience, or is having the same experience, who might benefit from knowing they are not alone.

I think maybe it's time to go out and toss some seeds??????

If you're still reading, I'm really flattered.  THANK YOU!!!


  1. Sounds like we have similar pasts. My heart hurts for you right now. I would love to reach through my computer screen and hug you right now. I am slowly coming out of a time of's not over yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There have been days in my recent past where all I longed for was the end of the day and HATED with every fiber of my soul, the morning. I am praying for you Dana. I want to share with you another poem...not my own, but one in that book I thought you'd like Streams in the Desert.
    O troubled soul, beneath the rod,
    Your father speaks, be still, be still;
    Learn to be silent unto God,
    And let him mold you to His will.

    O praying soul, be still, be still,
    He cannot break His promised Word;
    Sink down into His blessed will,
    And wait in patience on the Lord.

    O waiting soul, be still, be strong,
    And though he tarry, trust and wait;
    Doubt not, He will not wait to long,
    Fear not, he will not come too late!

    My God bless your heart today and lift you up.

  2. I know just that place you write of. I go there often. I've come to believe it's just me, part of my personality. I'm an emotional person, I'm always up or down or going up or coming down. No amount of anything will change that. I'm in a very good place too, wonderful family, nice home, all the things that should make me happy...but I've just been through a week of darkness, too.

    But the sun always comes out...just as it did for you.

    Beautiful post (and I read the WHOLE thing!!) :)

  3. Good writing is not hard to read. Loved the analogy and can relate to it, too.

    I know you will get through this time in your life and come through having grown incredibly.