Monday, January 25, 2016

It is what It is

It is what it is- the idealist/perfectionist in me loathes that saying. "It" isn't ever just what it is; "It" can always be changed, be made better. That expression has always came across as flippant and a bit apathetic to me. Even though people, who I love and respect, but who are much more "go with the flow" than myself use it as a perfectly logical explanation for life events all the time.But just like life has a way of doing to the best of us, I have been slowly but surely worn down and evened out.And  do you know what mantra I hear myself repeating a remarkable amount these days? It is what it is. Because I guess, in the end, it just is. 

 I have spent a good amount of my intellectual, adult life wrestling with and fighting back against the second law of thermodynamics (aka everything is in a constant state of breaking down), the status quo, and pretty much anything else that seems an excuse for things not to be at their best. Because I want the best; Namely, to be the best of whatever it is I'm suppose to be and for my little world to constantly be getting better. It's not a competitive drive, in that I want to see those I love enjoy the same status in life and am always trying to encourage towards that end. I have striven towards the ideal end goal since before I even knew I would be in the race. I was the girl who read the notable marriage books before I even had a suitor. Who wrote a multiple page manifesto on what the ideal husband, marriage and family life would like like, during a messy heart break of a break up. Who proceeded to relentlessly implement those ideals in our relationship when the boy who broke my heart ended up becoming my fiance;because I was sure, if we were all we should be this time around, we would be good to go. I read piles of parenting books not long after a positive pregnancy test because it's never too early to learn all the right principles and formulas to ensure happy and healthy (aka pretty much perfect) kids. I was pretty sure if you just did your homework and were well enough informed, things would go fairly well for you. But the farther in life I go, the more I realize that's not really accurate. 

I won't have just difficult days with my kids, but difficult seasons even. As much as I love them and as hard as I try to lay for them a solid foundation- I will fail them and let them down at some time in some way. I can know every square inch of them since birth and still not have all the answers for them. Because there are the parenting basics and then there are the languages of each of these unique, little souls and I don't naturally fluently speak each of these. It takes a lot of trial and error and even some tears to figure out how to get thru to each child's heart. What motivates and makes sense to me at times means not a lot to my sons. In the end, I now know, however my kids "turn out" not all the credit nor all the blame will go to me. 

6 years in and this man of mine and I have come so far in many ways;But then, in some, it feels we haven't made progress at all. It may be a new year, a new topic but we just fall into these patterns of relating (badly) to each other that make me feel a strong sense of dejavu. I find myself wondering, "Have we not had this same argument darn near a hundred times already??" How can you know and be known by someone so well and yet have moments of utter confusion and misunderstanding. So being the Fixer that I am, I push forward...and He pulls back. This is the way the cycle goes for us oh so many times. On the worst days, I think to myself "How much simpler would life be for both of us if we had chosen spouses who saw the world thru a similar lens?" When we were dating I joked that He saw life as a text book and to me it was poetry....and those are very different genres. It's true, life would have been much simpler but not better; and when have I ever thought the easier road to be the one that would be worth it? Because all these long but short years later and thanks to Him, my fanciful mindset is tempered with some needed pragmatism and you should hear Him wax poetically about some of life's wonders, from time to time. I'm learning that God made us so different for more reasons then I know,for His and our good. Yes, we are to keep forward momentum and get better with time. Yes, we are slowly helping to shape each other into better versions of ourselves and are doing a whole lot of rubbing off on each other along the way. But also, there are parts of us that will stay, that are engrained too deep in our DNA-maybe because they are suppose to be. And those versions of us may never fully mesh, may still always, occasionally clash-and that might be ok. So, I might not fight so hard in each skirmish to fully fix everything, but I will always choose to reach out. So somedays it may feel like we just keep trudging forward, but at least hand in hand.

 And then there are my personal insecurities, the thorn in my flesh- to keep my humble, I am sure. Sometimes, I feel like I am dreaming extroverted dreams in an introvert's reality. Down at my deepest core, I am most definitely an introvert; I need peace, quiet and times of solitary rest. I love people and know that's "what it's all about" but they slowly drain the energy right out of me. At the worst, lots of social time can leave me as not much more than a shell-able to somewhat take in, but not have a lot to give out. This fact can cause such an internal tension for me as I have big visions of hospitality, ministries and relationships; and those are great things I should and try to be doing but in the busiest seasons of this I always end up feeling weak and ill equipped. I envision in extroverted terms but thrive in an introverted fashion. I much more fully appreciate and function so much better in ministries and relationships when I have times for restoration and insight.I am coming to peace with the fact that this is who God made me to be and, though I should venture out of my comfort zone at times, I need to live my life out of these perimeters for best results. But it has been a hard won acceptance of who I was created to be. I am surrounded by many extroverts who I love very much but who thrive very differently than me-there is a lot of compromise to be made! I can always be pushing myself further but I can't completely break the mold I was set with. 

 And then there are the multitude of situations life throws your way that you really have no control over, in the end. That loved one one who just isn't living their best life but still needs your love and acceptance, if not your full approval. That relationship that went down in flames and just isn't getting better any time soon, no matter how long it's been. That person you have to emphatically watch struggle with an addiction or a hard relationship and all you can do is pray and try and encourage them from as close as they'll let you get. In all of these, it doesn't really matter what my ideals are or what I think would be best; it is out of my hands. But it is in the hands of the One who shaped the universe. And he is at work, even when I am begging to see Him do something, he already is. He is working all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). In His time, He is making them beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

  In His time and in His way, He is smoothing out the sharp edges of this girl who expects too much from herself is too hard on others. I am being shown that as much as my heart swells at the idea of grace, it is not my natural tongue. So, I'll keep reading my books and (hope to) be in a constant state of improvement; but there will be stumblings and failures along the way. I have come to know, there will always be struggling and,while on earth, that's how it's suppose to be. There are growing pains. This world is falling apart and I can strive to mend my little corner of it, to the extent that the Lord deems fit; but I'm not going to fix it all. His kingdom is coming-but it's a messy proceeding. It is what it is; And it's all Grace.
So I will cling to this- And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6).


  1. This is my favorite post thus far. Its such a unique situation to get to learn about people and the lives they live through their writings. You are a lovely mom with so many beautiful layers...Thank you for being an inspiration.

  2. I really need to check my "blog linked email address" more- or I miss special messages like this one :) thank you, friend, for reading and for the sweet words. You're so right- it's a whole new level of getting to know someone when you get to read about what's going on in their mind- I felt the same reading your personal blog post the other day!