Me and Husband went out last night and celebrated our anniversary. It was delightful, he was so pleasant to be with, and I was able to talk and talk and talk to him. Often times I asked if I was speaking too much and he would just smile sweetly and say no. He likes hearing all of the ideas, hopes, and plans in my heart. He liked hearing about the people in my life who sadden my heart and how Christ is able to shine through when I am at a loss for kindness in and of myself. I stayed up later than him last night to spend some time with the Lord.
There are always going to be people who I can’t please. I have tried. I have decided to stop being afraid, because afraid is what I was, of other people’s reactions. Chris and I have had to let friends know that we need them to call before coming over, we have had to let parents know that they are not welcome over unless they are kind to all three of the boys, we have had to let parents know that we don’t live by and have the same set of beliefs as them, or the world for that matter. We have had to let people know that they can’t treat us or our children badly in our home, or they won’t be welcome back.
Everything we do is going to piss people off. I have decided that I am no longer people pleaser Jackie. Christ is releasing me from the anguish of trying to please neighbors, strangers, the school system, grandparents, and acquaintances. These days people are not afraid to tell others how they should live. In the church Paul has requested that those who become the elders, the ones who are the mature leaders, have their house in order. That is not the case in real life. Everyone and their mother has a say in my life- until now. Most of the uneasy feelings or anxiety I have comes from this. I am aware of the different ways to raise kids, the different diets, and the ways to meet and have community life in Christ… I am aware of many of these and I have chosen to do what I am doing now.
Chris and I are doing well. We are not on drugs, we don’t cheat on each other, we pay our bills without help, we are both motivated in continuing on in Christ as we have known Him over the last couple of years. We are of sound mind are have made decisions based on our desire to live fully in Christ. I could care less about the public school system or their ineffective way of shuttling masses of children through “grades” each year. I could care less about sports and the need to show or find purpose in strength competitions. I am so over the need for anyone and everyone to give their opinion about how we raise our children. It hurts my feelings when I have tried so hard to get people to like me and think I am a good mom and I just can’t.
The competition in my life is tough. I have sought acceptance from those who don’t accept me and I have not appreciated those who have. Isn’t that like us silly humans to focus on the few who don’t see the beauty of Christ in us and focus on the ones who only see the areas we need improvement in. I am aware that there is work that needs to be done in me. I am a finished creation in Christ, although I am flawed. But I have not given anyone permission to point those areas out to me, other than Chris. The real kicker is that those who think they have some say in how I run my life, have not done so well in their own.
When Jesus set up His earthly kingdom, it became an up-side-down pyramid. Those who were the most perfect and shared with everyone their good deeds, and those who claimed holiness were no longer the rulers. The humble, meek, and the ones who have aligned themself with the King are now given a seat with Him at the top. I find that the older we get, we don’t necessarily get wiser, just more stuck in our ways. As long as Christ is the life I live by, that will not happen to me.
Both Chris and I have noticed that if we live by Christ’s life and behave in a way which we feel convicted to live by, we are not only a little more lonely, but sometimes called names, sometimes insulted, and many times no one sees me or him as who we are- we are only people who need to be corrected or fixed in other’s eyes. It really hurts when I am seen as stupid because I never went to college or maybe even because I am a Christian. Sometimes I want to prove my worth by telling others my good deeds or by sharing earthly intelligence, but it’s so contrary to the Christ in me I can’t help but know that it’s foolish.
So last night I decided that I don’t care anymore. I love my family members and I love my friends to death, but they either accept me or they don’t. I don’t need to try out for the role- I got the part of mother and wife and I am a damn good one. Nothing I do will ever be good enough for some people, but the only ones who matter are my husband and kids. So unless I ask, I am no longer open to parenting suggestions. I am no longer open to insulting comments that are framed in a joking manner. I am no longer willing to accept low-blow criticisms about my health treatments by those who don’t have a handle on their own. I am okay with being criticized for not talking on the phone on a regular basis (I know this one is mentioned a lot but I am actually the butt of family jokes for this one, I’m told), but it is getting a little old.
I am no longer willing to accept these behaviors because they make me feel inadequate and I am not doing anything wrong. There are plenty of folks out there who could use some good old-fashioned advice, parenting classes, rehab, treatment for mental health issues, and a revelation of Christ. I simply want people in my life who will accept me for who I am. I am grateful for those who do.
I am not angry and I hope this post doesn’t portray that tone. I am confident and I am in full-blown mama bear mode… protective over my family, myself, and our lifestyle. I won’t stop being kind to those who mistreat me, no matter how crotchety and moody, only it won’t be in my home anymore.
Thank you for reading and may you find your strength in Christ today!