Archive for January 2014

Out of control

January 15, 2014

I’m almost certain that Stanley Hauerwas wrote something about the need to live life out of control. I’m almost certain that he says that nothing makes us feel more out of control than having a child.  I cannot locate either of these thoughts but I’m sure Kevin hargaden will be able to if they exist. 

I have never been more bad tempered than in these last few months.  I dried and put away a saucepan so furiously that I broke the ‘soft close’ mechanism on the kitchen drawer.  I have scowled and cussed at my husband and child, (yes that cute baby).  Rage has surged up within me as unexpectedly as vomit.  I am more than a grump.

I’ve been reflecting on this a lot. Trying to understand and control my emotions. And what has recurrently come to mind is the thought of control, or lack of it.  In the past 4 months we have moved house and all our belongings twice, the first time we didn’t unpack because it was temporary and so we recycled 4 bowls and mugs for 2 months.  The second move was into a house that we have bought with a mortgage that will take us till our old age to repay. The house was a mess – we called it a “project”. The first move happened with a 3 month old, the second with a 5 month old. I am not in control.

Then there was weaning – I started back to my studies and discovered that our child preferred to starve himself for seven hours rather than drink from a bottle. For 3 months we tried daily and failed. On the days I was away from him I would be wracked with guilt and worry. I am not in control. And then there’s the fact that he feeds 3 times a night and people look at me horrified at such lack of discipline. Then he doesn’t always go for his naps when he’s supposed to and more often than not he will not ‘go to sleep on his own’. Then I make him some supposedly healthy recipe and he’d rather not eat it. …these moments when I can’t get my child to do what I want him to do make me feel more out of control than almost anything else. And it’s so daily. 

It all makes me mad.  So mad. I am not in control. I wouldn’t mind so much but the onlookers make me panic and feel like a failure. And I am my own greatest onlooker.

I am most angry when I am least in control.  And nothing has made me feel less in control of my life than loving my husband and child. I cannot control what they do and I cannot control what happens to them. 

I get cross when life acts independently of me. At least when a peer acts independently of me I can have a shot at manipulation, but that little 7 month old just doesn’t give a damn.

So maybe this confession is the beginning of my repentance. Something about not demanding it all be my way I suppose. Something about me not trying to be God in my life or anyone else’s.  I guess submitting to living life out of control is an act of humility (something I greatly lack these days).

Here’s to stopping fighting for the myth of control.

Here’s to submitting to living life ‘out of control’.

The gospel is true but we still need help

January 9, 2014

I am very thankful for my experiences with other Christians, especially the ones who helped me understand the gospel a bit more. Stuff like I am loved by God, I’m forgiven, made new in Christ, a daughter not an orphan and so on. This all felt so alive, so eye opening that I became emersed in it. In some ways this was good, but in some ways it led me to a place where I’d sort of use these kind of aspects of the gospel to combat all of life’s problems, mine and yours.  I’d think that if I would just believe the gospel better, believe that I was precious and valued by God that this would set me free from my deep insecurities and self hatred.  If I could just believe the gospel then I’d live without fear of what others think of me.  If I could just believe how loved I am by God I would not feel the weight of depression lurking or so needy for the love of others. I’d tell you these things too over coffee. I’d say “you are so loved by God” and I’d so passionately mean it (and still do!) But I’m starting to think that I’d be less likely to say that to you today, less likely to say it to myself. Not because I believe it any less but because I’m starting to feel like maybe the truths of the gospel were not meant to be used to bat away all depression or whatever.  (But then there’s that bit about faith being a shield that extinguishes the flaming arrows of the devil or something but let me ignore that for a minute until I get to the end of my heretical thought).

I think I feel like when Christians respond to someone’s mental and psychological suffering with gospel phrases it sort of shortcuts a process of healing.  It’s not that I don’t believe these things and it’s not that these things have not transformed who I am and how I approach life, but knowing that God loves me and believing that and enjoying that does not negate my need to face the painful parts of my own story. Face the parts that have contributed to the fact that I feel like I’m stupid or not enough or too much to handle.  I think when we go on those journeys God goes with us but I don’t think he short cuts them. 

Why I quit blogging and why I may begin again…

January 4, 2014

I used to post on this blog fairly regularly but for the past couple of years it has been mostly silent.  I’d love to make excuses of house moves, job changes, studies, baby arrival, marriage commitments blah, blah, blah… but the truth is I stopped blogging because I realised I’m a jerk when I blog.  Many of not most of my previous posts have been angry, sarcastic, mocking rants that do not invite approach from people who disagree with me.  In one such post my words and judgements had been crushing to another person.  And I couldn’t undo it.  I know that I’m not responsible for everyones response and it’s the internet and things can be misunderstood etc etc.  But I sort of got to a point where I didn’t want to be that critical and I didn’t know how to go on a blog rant without mocking so I just stopped.

But over the past few days Jayber has been beating the blog drum.  He’s going to think that he is responsible for my return but he’s not (ok he is a little bit) but mostly it’s because I found a blog I really love.  weefrizz. I love it.  Reading it has made me itchy to engage again, to write again, to think again, reflect.  Reading it made me miss Espero and Jaybercrow but rumour has it they may return again too.

Today Espero asked a question “how do we live lives of adventure again?” and I hate her for asking that question because it reminds me how afraid I am as a person.  And how comfortable I have become with being ‘safe’.  Maybe beginning this blog again is my move out of safety.  I have to risk the fact that sometimes I’m too much with my ranty gub and sometimes that gub hurts others and maybe I have to risk that rather than never speaking again.  (I will try to be more sensitive though!)

There is also that feeling that I have nothing to write about these days because my life is all about dreaming about how many more minutes my child might sleep before waking AGAIN and how the F* I get him to drink from something other than my boob and if I have broken him by letting him roll off the sofa TWICE under my watch and well, you get the idea.  But as a wise man said “don’t knock the trivial – life is a series of repetitive tasks” and that sentence has given me an unusual freedom to join the blogging world again.

So I’m in!