Faith / Spirit, Identity, Passions

Even Better

Lately, I feel like there’s been a bit of a cloud hanging over me, and I can’t seem to “pinpoint” the problem, despite my efforts to do so.

I’ve caught myself asking …

What’s WRONG with me?

What’s my problem?

Why so glum?

Things have been good … predictable, rhythmic, uneventful … smooth-sailing …

There’s countless things to be grateful for … and I am … but the niggling feeling just won’t go away … 

The weather’s been agreeable, the sun’s been shining, car trips have been safe, the kids are well, work is good, I’ve been getting out for walks, I’ve given up the social media scroll, I’ve tried to SLOW DOWN, I helped host a Christian Worship Evening recently (and it was amazing), I’ve tweaked a few things to make our mornings run a little smoother, we’ve had the house painted so it’s “fresher,” things are good between my husband and I (we’ve even gone on a couple of dates), I’ve set up a bedtime “novel study” for Dad and the big kids (so I can read and spend time with Cambri at the end of the day), homeschooling’s going well, I’ve scheduled (and followed through with) evening “tea time” with some friends (and potential homeschool helpers), I’ve laid out each week on a big piece of paper, I’ve scheduled and planned my work time, I’ve become more strategic with email checking, I’ve tried to streamline a few repeating “processes,” I’ve planned a field trip to the local curling rink for my students and their families, I’ve been reading a novel with Mackenzie here and there, she and I also listened to an audiobook in the car together on our last road trip, I’ve added “pencil drawing” to our weekly homeschool list, we’ve gone birthday present shopping (and survived), I launched a shared novel study for my homeschool families, I’ve been building my plant collection (and taking the time to care for them), I’m attempting a self-help break (which basically means no new self-help books or podcasts for awhile), I’ve listened to music and I’ve sang (really, really loud), I’ve started a simple cross-stitch project, I’ve been drawing and colouring a bit (a couple of things that I love), Madilyn, Mackenzie, and I are listening to an audiobook together (and we hope to watch the movie too once we’re done), we’ve had friends over, I’ve given thanks, I’ve set up a few family photo slideshow for us all to enjoy … 

I’ve done ALL OF THESE THINGS (and probably a few more) …

BUT …

I tried making lasagnas (one for us and one for a friend who had a baby this week) with ingredients we had in the house (because it’s Lent and we agreed to “use what we have”) …

and it was a flop … 

We all “suffered” through a few servings, but we really didn’t like it. AND NOW, I feel like I can’t serve the extra one I made to my friend either … AND I HAVE BEEN BEATING MYSELF UP ABOUT THIS STINKIN’ LASAGNA for three days now … I know it’s CRAZY, but I just can’t seem to shake these feelings of unworthiness! All I can hear is “You’re such a screw up … you can’t even make a decent lasagna! What’s WRONG with you?” 

And here it is again … what’s WRONG with you???

I trust the feelings of unworthiness are NOT ABOUT LASAGNA … 

But that’s not all … I can ALSO hear “someone” condemning me for the few extra treats I’ve been having lately … a brownie here and there, a few fresh cookies, a chocolate from the candy bucket mid-week … gasp!, milk chocolate chocolate chips (instead of my regular dark chocolate ones), and don’t forget those Pringles I ate ON A THURSDAY … chips are for weekends ONLY. “I thought you gave all of this stuff up FOR GOOD? You NEVER stick to your word!”

AGAIN, something a little bigger going on???

In the past, I’ve written about my desire to have a heart like Jesus … in a more recent book that I listened to (BEFORE I committed to no more books), I was challenged again to be “more like Jesus” … slow down, savour, enjoy, bask in the beauty and the glory right in front of my eyes … bring the sabbath back … REST … and this appealed to me because of my battle with feeling so completely overwhelmed FAR TOO OFTEN as I attempt to do “all the things” (my last post). 

If I just tried to be “more like Jesus” (and was satisfied with a little LESS), I would be CONTENT … after all, I’d tried the hurry, the hustle, and all the things, maybe it was (is) time to try something different …

But now, as I aspire to be more like Jesus, it seems to just exacerbate how IMPERFECT I really am … Jesus didn’t make mistakes … Jesus was perfect … and even though I really try to be … I’M NOT … and accepting this is something I ALREADY battle with … ALL … OF … THE … TIME … I want everything to be perfect, I want to be perfect, I want to do everything perfect, I want all my responses to be perfect … and if I was more like Jesus, I WOULD be perfect, so now in my “new striving,” I’m actually STILL doing my “old striving” (but MAYBE in a little more peaceful, slower, and gentler way) … BUT GUESS WHAT? I’m STILL not satisfied … I’m still apparently not quite “full” … I’ve still got that “little cloud” hanging over my head … WHY??? WHAT IS THAT?

WHY CAN’T I JUST BE CONTENT? SATISFIED? 

WHY? WHY? WHY?

Is it just WHO … I … AM???

Am I trying to be someone I am NOT??? 

In my aspirations to be more like Jesus, it’s becoming more and more apparent how discontent I am with His pace, His level of striving … granted, He has countless traits I WOULD like to emulate … 

Three people, near and dear to me, have told me that (after writing “All the Things”) … 

“It’s just WHO YOU ARE … It’s what makes YOU, YOU …”

And I’ve been blessed by their words (and I’m ONLY just realizing it now as I take the time today to write this). My friends have given me permission to BE … ME.

One told me recently about her attempts to “be someone else” or “be different” … and the discontent that stemmed from those attempts … 

I’m really starting to wonder if that’s what’s happening here (and my feelings of unworthiness ARE NOT about a lasagna flop or eating too many brownies last week) … perhaps I’m striving to be content with …

  • the mundane
  • the simple
  • the mediocre
  • the “good enough”
  • the “same-same” (to use the words of my toddler)

But it’s NOT … WHO I AM … 

MAYBE THIS IS ABOUT … IDENTITY … more than I have EVER realized BEFORE … 

In my striving to be like SOMEONE ELSE … in this case, Jesus … I’ve lost MYSELF.

And I don’t think that’s what God wants for me.

I don’t think God wants me to be like anyone else … I think God wants me to be Leanne … lit up and alive … passionate and purposeful … excited … and joyful … 

Maybe at a little slower, more manageable (and hopefully, less overwhelming) pace though than how I sometimes operate … 

I’m reminded once again of Rick Warren’s words from his 2014 Ted Talk, “God smiles when YOU be YOU.” I heard this for the first time on the highway between Greenbush and Hudson Bay back in 2014 on my regular morning commute, and these words (and the ones that follow) have been a catalyst for MANY of the changes I’ve made in my life to BE ME … 

“Some people have the misguided idea that God only gets excited when you are doing, quote, “spiritual things,” like going to church or helping the poor … the bottom line is, God gets pleasure watching YOU be YOU. Why? He made YOU. And when you do what you were made to do, he goes, “That’s my boy! That’s my girl! You’re using the talent and ability that I gave you.”

Why is this SO EASY to forget??? Why are we “led astray” so easily?

The discontent I’ve been feeling lately …”the cloud” … the fog … the mist … seems to represent “the gap” … an identity crisis of sorts …

The gap between “good enough” and AWESOME …

I’m not ACTUALLY content with “good enough” (not to say that Jesus WAS) … 

I want AWESOME … 

I want MORE … 

I want BETTER …

I want GOOSEBUMPS … SPARK … FIRE … 

And I want it ALL … THE … TIME … 

I see something great, and I want to make it EVEN BETTER … 

  • a space
  • an opportunity
  • a meal
  • a trip
  • an outing
  • a piece of writing
  • a project

I don’t know why this surprises me so much …

It’s obviously WHO I AM …

It’s who I’ve ALWAYS BEEN.

It’s who I’ll ALWAYS BE … 

… even BETTER …

It’s who I AM.

It’s who I AM.

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