Do you ever have moments where you don’t like your life?
Or moments you don’t like who you’ve become?
I just want out.
I don’t want a husband.
I don’t want kids.
I want to work in a pub outside of London and smoke cigarettes.
I want to wear a faded vintage t-shirt, sequin skirt, and boots.
I am sick of the routine.
Sick of the caregiving.
Sick of the burbs and all that comes with it.
Sick of responsibility.
Sick of the hitting, the diapers, the spills.
Sick of the same conversations, the same questions, the same dates.
I want to run away.
I want a re-do.
Maybe it’s just me.
It’s hard writing those thoughts. It’s like flashing you with my naked emotions.
Do you have thoughts that you would rather the world not see?
I am ashamed and embarrassed of mine. My mental tape plays back like this: “You have so much to be grateful for, Stefanie. You are such a bad wife and mother thinking those thoughts. Justin and the kids deserve someone so much better.” Shame tells me, “keep those thoughts secret. Hide them. Deny them. Only share things that make you look strong, happy, or Christianly.”
But, try as I may to hide, these thoughts are in me. They make me understand why people leave their relationships, their families, their jobs, their lives. Why people quit trying. Why people run.
The longer it sit here, processing these thoughts, the more I realize that it’s ok to acknowledge these moments for what they are. Just moments. They are not how I think all the time. Not even most of the time. And, I think my mental tapes lie. I don’t think thinking these thoughts make me a bad wife or mother. They don’t define me. I think what I do with these thoughts determine that.
Once I acknowledge these moments, God gets to work. As I bring these secrets to light, He starts transforming my mind. I love that.
Have you heard that phrase, the grass is greener on the other side? I think we all entertain our “other side” once in awhile.
That new place.
That new relationship.
That new city.
That new job.
The other side is a really dangerous place stand alone. Secrets grow when they remain hidden. But if we have lived life long enough, and wandered over to another yard, even just to look….we learn that the grass is not greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.
Here’s the painful truth.
Those moments? Those thoughts I have about running?
They are all about me.
Me, myself, and I.
They are selfish and prideful thoughts.
And, they really are a lie. Evil desires, even.
They are not what I really want, they are what I want in the moment. They don’t put God first or people first, they put me first. I mean, its harder to stay and work on your own yard sometimes, isn’t it?
God gently reminds me, as well, to be grateful. One of the blessings of Sanfilippo taking up residency on Boyce Lane is that we constantly get to think about the people we love being gone. We have a father time ticking away reminding us that one day, it won’t be this way. That these moments, this grass, will soon be gone.
Justin has a green thumb. One thing you will see him doing every day there isn’t snow on the ground is weeding. And no matter how many weeds he picks a day, he always finds more the next day. It is a daily process of finding them, exposing them at the root, and removing them.
And from observing him, it looks like weeding sucks. It takes time. It hurts, bent over on your hands and knees. And those roots are hard to get out. If left unmanaged, they spread. They kill your grass.
And so I have come to the conclusion, I need to weed. I have to take captive my selfish thoughts, expose them to Christ, and remove them. I have to get on my hands and knees and get to work. Daily.
And I need to water. I water my life by being grateful for everything God gave me. I am grateful for the people I get to love. Grateful for the moments, even the painful, not so green ones.
Caring for my lawn is to take an honest look at my grass. Part of acknowledging these thoughts is also to say honestly that I need alone time. I need to break the routine once in awhile. And, when I am having these thoughts frequently, it’s time to take a breather. And maybe buy a vintage t-shirt or t-shirt, but I don’t have to run away.
And that is ok.
The grass really isn’t greener on the other side.
The grass is greener where you water (and weed) it.