Because I’m not such a good girl when it comes to blogging, I’ve fallen behind in my Grace for the Good Girl posts. To get 2012 started out right, I’m playing catch up. This post will cover chapters 6-9, the next post will be 10-13, and then I will be caught up when I post 14-15.
“I have to be perfect or I have to pay”.
Growing up, it didn’t actually occur to me to misbehave. Nothing major, anyway. I didn’t understand how kids could get away with not doing their school work and turning it in. Or why they wouldn’t do it and get it over with. I have to be clear hear. I was an excellent student. I always made good grades. I graduated with honors in the top of my class. And, I hated school. The same goes for working with people. I used to manage a bookstore, and I was great at my job. But looking back, I didn’t really enjoy it. I loved being surrounded by the books, but I could have lived without all the people. But that didn’t matter. It was school/work, and needed to be done. And if I didn’t do a good job…Well, who knows?
It’s always been hard for me when people broke the rules because, well, you just don’t. Whether you like them or not, they are rules and need to be followed. Nothing bothered me more than someone who broke the rules and got away with it, except maybe for people who actually got rewarded for their disobedience.
So many times I do the right thing to please God, or whomever else may be looking, and resent my actions the whole time. The truth is, God would rather I be authentic, and I already have His acceptance. No amount of doing is going to make me more worthy in His eyes. Still, I keep trying, and failing, to be enough to make God happy with me.
”I am never satisfied with me.”
I am really good at solving other people’s problems. I can brainstorm solutions for nearly anything that concerns you, or him, or that. That’s how I make myself indispensible to people. For example, when my husband asked me to wrangle up gifts for his managers for Christmas, did I ask the Store Marketer for help/direction/ideas? Of course not. I looked logically at the issue, and I started making phone calls. I researched locally owned companies and spoke with the owners/managers because they have more freedom in their businesses than those who manage large chain stores. I successfully collected $500 in gift cards for the managers, and my husband didn’t have to spend a penny. See? Indispensible.
I didn’t need to ask for help, even on the first day when I was so frustrated from hearing “no” repeatedly. I don’t need help. Ever. Really. Because it is much easier for me to be the fixer than to admit that I might be in need of some fixing myself.
After all, only the weak need fixing, right? A strong person can hang in there, and not need help. But if you are weak, you are defeated…the loser. And no one wants to be a loser. And this is why I have such a hard time with 2 Cor. 12:10 “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” It seems backwards because I have always looked at weakness from a societal standpoint and not one based on God’s word.
“The little girl wanted the pencils.” (The pretty princess sparkle variety.)
I don’t recall my parents ever trying to coerce me into making the practical choices over what I really wanted. They didn’t have to. I knew growing up that we didn’t have a lot of money, so a majority of the time, I just didn’t ask for things. If I did ask for something, it was because I knew it was within our means, or it was in my dad’s store (a pawn shop) and I knew it wouldn’t hurt his business for me to have it.
However, now that I’m the parent, I do find myself saying things like, “Well, it’s fine to get what you want, but wouldn’t this be better because…” And now that I see that, it’s one more thing I dislike about myself. I don’t want my kids to feel like they don’t deserve the fun/pretty/impractical things from time to time. There are still times that I will buy the good perfume that I love, but never wear it because I don’t have a special occasion. Maybe this is why I don’t call on God more. I feel my needs and wants are insignificant and silly, and therefore, unimportant to Him.
I also don’t often reach out to people for help. I’m much more comfortable tucked away in my house, away from life and people. My friends are virtual. The coffee is hot. The puppy is cuddled beside me. I’m much better off here, unless I have no choice but to go out there.
“Even though I know the Bible says I am not saved by my works but by faith, I still believe deep down that God is more accepting of those who perform well and do the right things than he is of those who do not.”
Going back to my first thoughts on those people who constantly are making bad decisions and doing the wrong thing, and yet, they somehow end up being rewarded for it, I totally identify with the older son in the story of the prodigal son. Why, after doing all the good, right things his whole life is it the younger, failure of a brother who gets rewarded with a party? Because “all that is mine is yours.” He was killing himself to get the acceptance that he already had, and just didn’t realize it. This sounds familiar…
I wish that every parent, myself included, could show the unconditional love and grace that the father in this story showed to his younger son. At first glance, I wondered why on earth he wouldn’t punish him for wasting and squandering what he was given. But then, I was jealous. Because I know I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve seen the looks on the faces of people I have disappointed.
Those looks are what keep me constantly feeling defeated. I’m a failure to the point of not even being able to finish mundane, everyday tasks for fear of disappointing again. I will admit that I’ve rebelled some, but I haven’t admitted it to the people I know who would be the most disappointed in me. I also don’t feel like my testimony is a strong one because I’m not good enough to prove the greatness that God has to give.
Why would anyone decide to follow Him after looking at me?