Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Getting Beyond Survival

In an effort to take one of those poignant pictures of the books on the old oak table with the steaming mug beside them that makes you want to just jump in there, grab whatever afghan the person who just took the picture just got done knitting and snuggle into it, wrap your hands around the mug of tea that they brewed from herbs they grew in their garden and sit in the chair that their husband just reupholstered and watch their 12 very well behaved children doing puzzles and reading to the dog while basking in the heat of the fireplace,

I had to move a pile of dirty dishes off the table, brush crumbs onto the floor because the Cheerios hiding out under the chairs were lonely, move the scraps from Gabriel's latest cutting project to the recycling bin, shift Piglet and his Uno cards to the side, find my books, take a swig of lukewarm Mother's Milk tea, and finally take a shot.

And I can still see crumbs.

But whatever.

There they are.  The books that I'm reading.  Perhaps an interesting conglomeration of books, but let me explain.

I loosely follow Crystal Paine's blog Money Saving Mom, and one day, as I sifted through the posts about the women gathering coupons, scouring ads and visiting various stores so that they can live on a grocery budget of $50 a month, the title  'Say Goodbye to Survival Mode' jumped out at me and I knew that I had to have this book.

I want to say goodbye to survival mode.  It's driving me crazy!  It's kind of a joke around, but not one that's really funny, that goes something like this:

Jimmy (or Elizabeth):  So, what's the plan for today?
Me:  Survival.

Both of us turn toward each other and kind of chuckle, but for some reason we can't really meet each other's eyes.  Because we know it's true.  That's all it is:


And I am tired of it!

My mother always says 'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.'

Which is true...

But that means that if we (me, Jimmy and Elizabeth) want something to change around here, if we want to get beyond survival mode, and move on to enjoying life, we are going to have to...gasp...change!

The second book in my stack is Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.  Her story is incredible, and one that I always dreamed would be my day.  But I realized that 'one day' will never come if I don't get ahold of my 'today', which leads me back to removing myself from survival gear, and takes me to the third book which is The Books of the Bible:  New Testament, and is the book that our church is using to read through the New Testament as a community.  (If you would like to join us, please do and let me know and post a picture of yourself reading on the Downtown Baptist facebook page (or not, and just read the book, although I would really like to know if you are doing it with us...)

You see, the thing is I realized that in the past, I had opportunities to be a 'Katie', but I was not standing in the center of God's will, so either I didn't see my opportunity, or it 'fell through' because it would not have been the best thing for me nor for the people I would have been sent to serve.  And now, I feel that I am so entrenched in my own world, in my own issues, that I can barely get out of survival mode, let alone be a 'Katie' to anyone else.

And so, in the next few weeks, I plan to do 3 things:
1.  Pray for Katie and her work in Uganda in a purposeful way
2.  Read through the New Testament with Elizabeth and explore what God has to say to us, and
3.  Work through Say Goodbye to Survival Mode with Elizabeth and Jimmy so that Jimmy and I can become stronger, more effective parents and partners, and Elizabeth can learn some good strategies for organizing her thoughts, priorities and goals.

In the meantime, I will tell you that I did submit a piece of my work to a company that is looking for someone to write for them, but I have not heard back from them, so I am assuming that I didn't get the job.  It was just some place on craigslist that I submitted to on a whim, so I don't even have a phone number or anything to follow up with them, but it was kind of fun, and it made me think that I may want to try again somewhere else.  Getting a small income on the side would be a part of saying goodbye to survival mode,

So, follow along with me here as our engines cough and sputter and hopefully roar into life to carry us on to the next chapter!

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