Monday, July 11, 2011

An Attitude Ickiness Check

Everything has been irking me lately.
Everything.

I mean, I get annoyed if I see someone. Or hear them breathing. Ok, that's extreme, but I'm really on edge these days. It's almost as if my current attitude is: "The only people that should exist in the world are me, Gwendolyn, and sometimes Elliott."

(Sorry, Elliott.)

And I'm not really sure what's going on. Is it my introversion? My sleepiness? Or am I just being self-indulgent and snobbish? Whatever it is, there is an ickiness inside my soul that I can't seem to shake. And the feeling is (unfortunately) familiar.

It comes in different forms, but it always finds a way to lodge itself into my core. I'm reminded of the passage in James that describes these small "ickinesses" as leading to conception and giving birth to sin. When the sin grows up, it becomes death (James 1:15).

Guys, I don't want death.
But I feel it festering inside me.

If I were a hermit, or even living day-to-day in my own secluded apartment, I might be able to ignore the icky. If it were up to me, that's probably what I'd do. Ignoring it is easier than acknowledging it and having to deal with it.

But, as we all know, I live in community. And what festers inside and me affects those around me. My attitude is something my housemates have to deal with on a daily basis. I'm not an island. And so I have to fight it.

In order to do battle and rid myself of a destructive attitude, I turn to the Bible.
In it, I read the reminders...

"There is no one who does good, not even one."
Psalm 14:3

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

The thing is that I honestly can't do good on my own. I can't just decide, "I'm going to have a better attitude," and click the switch. It doesn't happen that way. I can't do good apart from Christ, but I can do all things through Him. I can ask the Lord for an attitude change -- for the good that only comes from Him -- and watch Him change me. After all, He promises...

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you."
John 15:7

So, God, this is what I'm asking: that you change my attitude -- that you root out the ickiness, and fill me with love and grace and peace -- that you would allow me to bless those around me, and especially those closest to me -- that you would give me wisdom in knowing how to take care of myself so as to care for others -- and that all the glory will go to you, Father. I can do nothing good except through you.

5 comments:

  1. I believe in confessing this issue, you'll be able to have more accountability and more awareness in yourself to fight it. I am glad that you found scriptures and are praying about it.

    I don't know what exactly you're going through regarding this, but I can imagine it would be harder to adjust to motherhood with so many people around. I pray that God will grant you a peace of mind and a calmness in your attitude.

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  2. Praying along with you Rachel. I also seek this peace, quiet and companionship with the Lord, in ways that others may not fully understand. We are each uniquely made, as you see with little Gwendolyn, when you seek ways to meet her ever changing needs, providing ways for her to grow. There are moments, when less is definitely more, slowing down "time", even when others dont see the need/nor can understand the necessity for that, to provide the proper nourishment for us to grow. Just as baby Gwendolyn lets you know, there are times for quiet, times for stimulation, times for rest and times for activity. Each of these is unique for God's children. How He has blessed us with spouses, who are patient and gentle. Just as you encourage each new shake of a rattle for Gwendolyn, encourage each new night of unbroken sleep, speaking even when she cannot understand your words - she knows your heart - as the Lord knows ours, and blesses us with Spirit filled hugs from Him in quiet moments, and, also encourages us into the embrace of others. How precious and wonderful you are leaning in to hear His voice, and that of Elliott's, and that of your dear little baby. Even the Lord, sought those quiet moments with His Father, knowing when His body and spirit needed nourishment. Praying for patience and returning strength, clarity of thought and sleep filled nights.
    God bless all three of you. Even those in community need a feathered nest to find sanctuary/rest, gaining strength for the activity of life.

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  3. Hi, love.

    I admire your transparency in everything you are dealing with, and I'm praying with and for you, that you will have love, grace, and peace, and that you'd be a blessing to those around you and God would show you that you're already a blessing to lots of people.

    I'm not offering this as a justification, really, but do remember that you're adjusting to a whole new way of life, and that is emotionally draining, so you're going to need extra time to recharge, and time alone with your precious baby. I imagine it must be hard, in a lot of ways, to suddenly have to share this incredibly special little one with the world, when for 10 months, you knew her more intimately than anyone else could. Shifting from an internal bond to an external bond is really hard.
    Remember, too, that you are still dealing with all the wacky hormones that hang around post-partum. There is probably a significant chemical component to your current emotional state, and that's totally understandable--your body underwent huge changes, chemically as well as physically, while you were carrying Gwen, and that's not going to go away instantly.

    Love you, and praying for you.

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  4. ...but adjusting does not give me license to be mean to others. :) We are learning together how best to allow me to continue to adjust, take care of myself, and still live fully in this community. It is more of a challenge that if I were living alone, but that doesn't make it bad. :) I appreciate the prayers!

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  5. Hi, love.

    I admire your transparency in everything you are dealing with, and I'm praying with and for you, that you will have love, grace, and peace, and that you'd be a blessing to those around you and God would show you that you're already a blessing to lots of people.

    I'm not offering this as a justification, really, but do remember that you're adjusting to a whole new way of life, and that is emotionally draining, so you're going to need extra time to recharge, and time alone with your precious baby. I imagine it must be hard, in a lot of ways, to suddenly have to share this incredibly special little one with the world, when for 10 months, you knew her more intimately than anyone else could. Shifting from an internal bond to an external bond is really hard.
    Remember, too, that you are still dealing with all the wacky hormones that hang around post-partum. There is probably a significant chemical component to your current emotional state, and that's totally understandable--your body underwent huge changes, chemically as well as physically, while you were carrying Gwen, and that's not going to go away instantly.

    Love you, and praying for you.

    ReplyDelete