If you weren't born last night, you have probably heard the title statement before. I'm my own worst enemy. It's true. I know from personal experience. I think it's funny how you think you know someone and from appearances, they seem 'okay'. I may look that way to you. I may be okay some days, but other days, not so much. I'm not trying to sound dark and mysterious, I'm just being truthful. Let me fill in the blanks before you all get freaked out and quit reading my blog.
I am a Christian woman, happily married to a wonderful husband and we have three beautiful children. I am usually an optimistic and happy go lucky person. I am also a bit of a perfectionist. Not in a my-house-has-to-be-spotless-and-things-have-to-be-organized-perfectionist. I am an expectations perfectionist. Sounds goofy, right? No, I think in some regard, we are all expectations perfectionists. I think Rick Warren, pastor of Saddle Back Church said it best when he said, "I don't live up to my own expectations, much less God's." We need Jesus to help us live our lives according to His will and His word!
I have extremely high expectations for myself and my children. I am very high strung and very high maintenance. I guess you could say I'm 'high' all the time. So I should be relaxed, right? WRONG! I also get angry and lose my temper with my kids a lot. Not something I'm proud of, but I'm working on it.
I am the type of person that feels guilty about EVERYTHING. If I didn't get the laundry folded and put away and we end up living out of a laundry basket, I feel guilty. If I didn't have a good plan for dinner and we have to eat out and spend extra money, I feel guilty. When the kids don't always get to go where they want or get to do what they want, I feel guilty. You get the picture. I let all of that guilt and expectation of what I thought I should have done pile up on me until I'm mad at myself ALL THE TIME. And my husband wonders why I'm not any fun anymore.
Seeing this in writing is actually kind of frightening and sad all at the same time. I react to everything based on how I'm feeling about myself. If I'm hating myself, then I'm rude to the kids and others. I say the kids first because I love them so much and I don't want to have them grow up and think they had a bad childhood because of me.
I'm a Christian, like I mentioned earlier and so you would think that someone with faith in God and a personal relationship with Christ would have already overcome thoughts and feelings like this. (See, there's those pesky expectations again). Not true, I guess. There is good news in all of this, I promise. The other day, while talking to my wonderful husband, he said something that unlocked the ball of guilt in my stomach and made me feel free for the first time in a LONG time. He told me I was having a pity party. It's TRUE! I was hanging on to guilt of past sins that I had already been forgiven for. I realized for the first time in a long time that I don't have to be perfect. God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. He needs me right where I am and he is going to lead me and direct me. I haven't been living my life the way it should have been lived. I have been laughing a lot more and smiling a lot more and really enjoying my kids and my husband, too.
Thank you, Jesus, that you are there for me and that you freed my guilt and forgave my sin by dying on the cross. And don't forget, readers, that everyday is New Year's Day!