Did ya ever awaken to the overwhelming feeling like something needs to change?
I need change. I’ve been feeling it for weeks.
This morning, I was sitting in my chair plotting how to rearrange our family room, ways to reorganize the office, wall art I could create for the living room, the sledgehammer in the shed I could grab to knock out a random wall…
I just need something different. Maybe something to look different?
I really can’t put my finger on it, but I can feel it in my body. Like, my skin is crawling! I literally stood in my kitchen and had to shake my hands vigorously to get the nerves out so I could make breakfast for my kids.
It’s not that I’m not feeling fulfilled. That’s not it at all. I am loving the creative opportunities that are coming my way! And, as much as I never really caught my groove this past school year, I feel like I’m really growing as a wife, mom, woman and I’m really loving this phase. I don’t feel like those parts of my life needs to change at all. I’m stumped.
I have felt this way before.
Sometimes, it’s been an adjustment I needed to make. Other times, it’s the Holy Spirit preparing me for some part of my life outside of myself that’s about to change.
I’ve been feeling like this all summer. I’ve done a few things. I tackled one or two jobs around the house that have been waiting to be completed. I also did some in-depth cleaning and reorganizing. I felt great at the end of those days. But the next day, I’d still awaken with this great urgency for change.
I’ve been praying and trolling Pinterest like a mad woman.
My problem is multi-faceted.
1) I want to spend as little money as possible; none if I can manage it. Most of the ideas I want to tackle will cost a small fortune. And don’t get me started on my “champagne taste”.
2) Most of the changes I want to make are big. Big. And would require my husband’s approval and participation. Getting that man on board is complex… 😉
3) There are just too many possibilities and I’m scattered. So many folks wonder why I’m a plan person; it’s because my brain sees so many options, possibilities, rabbit trails leading to nothing accomplished, ways things can go wrong, etc., I get overwhelmed to the point of inaction.
4) I’m tired. TIRED. And a bit lazy. I admit it.
I spoke to a few close friends about it.
One said she thinks I’m mentally and emotionally ready to live in a grown up house. I totally get that. Another said I’m a “project junkie”. I get that too. Then yesterday as I was cleaning our bathtub and praying, I felt strongly that this is about putting myself in my house and my life. Looking around my house, I see a nice house; a lived-in house, but I don’t see me. I don’t see my personality in the design choices I’ve made. I see safe choices. And I don’t see much that’s actually finished. My life is much of the same.
My history is full of unfinished, safe choices and it is getting to me.
So now, I’m wondering why I’ve been making safe choices when that’s not really who I am. I’m a bright, bold person. I think outside the box. I’m creative. I’m even inventive. But taking inventory of my life, I see myself having made choices for the future that require less upkeep or will be the shorter route or skip a step or “take me from season to season” with a lower price (as if that’s wisdom or something); lazy choices (I’m totally lazy) … but these choices don’t entirely reflect who I am.
And there’s more. Replaying the mental videos of me making these choices, I was, at the time, patting myself on the back for transcending myself and making wise choices, when all I was doing was making choices someone else would make, out of fear; fear that choices that are full of me wouldn’t be good enough or stand the test of time or be liked by others… This list goes on.
As some of my central relationships have changed, I have begun to view myself through my own filters of goals, personality, personal preferences, and values, instead of as the person I think those people view or wish me to be. I realize now that I’ve shaped my choices around what those with whom I am in relationship would choose or what it would take to get the approval of those folks. I have even shaped my choices based on how I thought my husband would approve or disapprove; whether good or bad, it just wasn’t me. Omitting the filter-of-other-people (no matter how important those people are) part of the equation, I find myself to be a very different person than I’ve been presenting.
At the beginning of this journey of shifting, the Holy Spirit very kindly took me on a walk through many the ways I’d been told I wasn’t good enough; the things I needed to change about myself so God could use me… He showed me that He’d made me exactly as He wanted me from the very start of my life. He’s not turning me into the person I need to be. I *am* that person. I was born that person.
He showed me how His plan for my life required those attributes in me that were pointed out as “bad” or “wanting”. My personality is as He intended it to be. My skill set is just what He wants me to be able to do. I was born that way and I only need to realize who I am in Him (through relationship with Him) and just be that Stephanie.
Of course I have some rough edges that need some smoothing! Of course I must continue to build my character and pursue a relationship with Christ. But it’s so freeing; exhilarating; to actually understand that He doesn’t mess up. He doesn’t make junk.
I am not junk.
For these four years, I’ve really been embracing who God made me to be from the beginning of my existence and that I don’t have to change the core of who I am to be more like Him or to be in His plan for my life. Now, I’m open, proud of who I am … I even like myself … and I’m ready to see this person push Scared Stephanie aside and make bold, truthful choices in this life of mine.
And now I come to my wonderings of why I have such a hard time completing tasks. I’m a superstar idea person. I’m awesome at planning things out. I’m great at starting things. I’m even good at motivating others to do great things. But when I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I take most adventures all the way to pretty much the final step and then stop. And this isn’t just projects. It’s life choices too. A lot of them. Some not so important and some extremely vital. Why on earth do I do that?
This morning, for example. I was folding a load of laundry and literally had to force myself to fold the last 3 pieces before walking away to do something else. THREE PIECES! Why would I walk away from that?! I still left the stacks of folded clothes sitting there on the couch. I reason that I’m saving myself a step because I’m washing more clothes, so I’ll wait to put it all away until it’s all washed and folded … but it’s still unfinished; just less unfinished than it would have been. Good grief.
I’m told I’m a creative, so it’s normal to not be motivated when something isn’t a challenge. That’s all well and good, but some things in life must be done with or without motivation. How do I conquer that? I don’t have much explanation or even a fix for that yet, but I will keep trying.
So, I’m attempting to start something that will fully be me and I will finish.
I am going to be intentional in giving myself permission to fully be myself instead of who I think others think I am. I am giving myself permission to be bright, bold, adventurous, courageous, and open instead of safe and guarded. I am giving myself permission to insert myself into my life; to live wholly as the person God created me to be.
Look out, y’all.
With Christ as my focus, I’m gonna be all me and I’m gonna finish.
Here’s my “determined face”. (self-portrait)