Sharpening, or Hacking?

So, still thinking on this "self-focused" topic. Because, rather than just defending or arguing, it is important to also consider.

So, for instance, is blogging "self focused"? Some might say that it is, and to some, I suppose it is.

I guess it comes down to, in large part, motive.

Why am I blogging? Is it just to brag about what am doing, talk about me...hope you'll read about me? I guess that happens, but that is not why I blog.

I blog because I want to celebrate my life. I want to focus on the things worth blogging...not just the emotion that carries me, or jerks me, in and out of the day. I blog because being a stay at home mom is very hard, and I lose sense of my own thoughts, my own joys, and my own self all too easily. I blog because I cannot spend hours upon hours in the day on the phone, emailing, and connecting with people in traditional ways. I blog because it allows me to share things I find on the net with others instead of it being a purely selfish thing of saving all resources, ideas, and finds for myself.

I blog because I want others to be part of my world, my pictures, my life, even though I often cannot take the time I would like to sit down and visit. I blog because I like a place to be thoughtful or funny or reflective...even when there is no one around who I can be that way with. It lets me focus on my children more, not less, to have a place to vent and be real for just a few minutes here and there in the day.

I take more pictures. I enjoy more moments...I look for the "bloggable". I think it is shaping me into a more positive person. A more attentive person to the joys. A more "real" person...in that, I am finding what I like and do not like. Honestly, as I was telling a friend yesterday, until I had to fill out my profile and come up with "who am I"? I could not have told you what my favorite color was, my favorite food, my likes, dislikes. My life has been from one type of school to another, to work, to early motherhood. My likes and dislikes were lost in the shuffle...they were there, I guess. But, doesn't it feel a little weird to not know what they are? I always thought it sounded weird to "find yourself" as if you could be lost.

But, there is a truth to knowing yourself.

I think for a long time I felt low often because I didn't even know what cheered me up. I was just there because that's where I should be. I served because that's what I should do. I did the right things because they were the right things. Nothing wrong with that.

I'm just enjoying the season God has me in this year. Soaking in joy. Enjoying the moments that will not last forever. Photographing them. Laughing at them. Basking. A season is ending. The toddler season. I am squeezing everything I can out of this year.

Am I self focused? On the outside, I suppose it could look that way, and maybe I am. Probably so.

But, would I regret not living this way for this year? I think so.

My priorities are around my family and where I fit in that for now. Could I serve more, minister more, focus on others more...YES! But, am I self focused? I don't think so.

I am, however, learning to celebrate self. I spent too many years beating up on self as if I were God and had the right.

I am not. He doesn't.

The first verse of our Master Life class says, "If you will follow me, you must deny yourself daily, take up your cross, and follow me."

So, what does that mean for me right now? Does it mean I deny myself all joys? No, I don't think so. For me, it may be scrapbooking for the day.

Frankly, this is something I told a friend once I would never, ever do. A waste of time, money, and duplication of effort. Why did I start? God told me to.

I was not having time to cherish family the way I wanted to and should. I was not getting time with other females that I needed. I did not having a time for creative outlet I am wired for. I did not even know where to start and didn't really "want" to, but I did it because He led me there for that season.

Now, God is using it in my life to multiply joy in ways I cannot even articulate.

From the outside, does it just look like another "self focused" activity? Probably so. But, should I even have to defend it? Not really. It is part of me.

I could make a list of pursuits that could seem "self focused" to anyone else who is not doing them. Things that take time, effort, energy, concentration. Things others may not understand.

Today, I guess I am heavy and grieve that I often do the same to others. "How could he/she have time to do THAT with all they have going on? No wonder they are tired and running late all the time. No wonder they got hurt...how silly. No wonder..."

How childish is that? Who am I?

It is one thing to be reminded of a hurt. It is another to allow God to show you that the pain you feel is the same pain you have caused others and ask him to help you forgive and to change you to be more like Him.

That's where I am today. A simple comment can remind you of a wound that hasn't fully healed. But, I hope it is also making me more who I need to be myself...just as guilty of "judging another man's servant."

Tough to "sharpen one" another ("as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another") without hacking at each other! Help me know how to do it your way, Jesus!

Thanks for allowing me to hash this out some.



the good, the bad & the ugly said...

AMEN, SISTER!!! I hear what you're screaming (or to quote my sweetie...smell what you're steppin' in!). One of my dear friends has a little boy that I ate dinner with tonight. He asked me what my favorite food is. I thought and thought and just could not tell him because I have two picker eaters and my favorite foods have become any foods that they will swallow...and keep down! I think God is pleased and glorified when we "keep it real" and become who He wants us to be. Sometimes figuring that out can look self-absorbed, but the difference is that we are simultaneously giving it all back to Him at the foot of the cross.

Loved your blog!

terrible speller said...

You have a lot going on up their (in your head). Thinking is so wonderful isn't it, but at times it can be so taxing. I am glad you have this blog as an outlet. I honestly think our "world" pushes the theme Focus on yourself. Do what feels good to you. As Christians we have to battle this in a different way. Let me see, I might have a hard time explaining my thoughts. I look back and can see several years where I focused so much on my family, kids, husband, parents, etc. It overwhelmed me. I kept thinking what am I doing to be a better mom, daughter, wife, constantly trying to improve me & my immediate life relationships. I was so obsessed with self help books. I became so hard on myself and on those around me. This past year and half I have become much more relaxed. I feel like I really know myself and I am comfortable with that, even the yucky parts for I know it's all a process and I know God is real, I know he knows I desire Him and He will change me in His timing not mine. Living life with the perspective of who God is and what is is about, His mandate for all-to share Christ's love with all peoples on this earth-really to me puts everything in order. Just being aware that I am on this earth to glorify God and be intential to share Jesus, it fuels me. It has really helped me clearly see ministry opprotunities in the mundane everyday. So that's how I feel. Probably a lot more than you wanted to know. May not even make sense. My man is watching Ultimate Fighting right beside me. I guess my point is we don't need to scrutinize other peoples paths. As Christians we all should have the same goal (many have gotten confused, redirected, lost the urgency fr the mandate, etc) but all of our paths will look different. We, myself, need to look beyond some of our ways, it may never make sense to us. You know, I gotta stop, I should erase this. I am not making sense. Sorry bandy. I guess since we are such good cyber friends I will keep my crap on your comments, knowing you'll forgive my ramblings. :)