Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A flaw

One of marriage's biggest blessings is its unique ability to expose your sin nature. It is my belief, based on the infallible word of God, that we are all born with a sin nature, that we are destined to sin, and there is nothing we can do to change that fact.

Well tonight, I'm particularly aware of my sin nature, as I sit perched atop the landing of the stairs working away at the computer station, while Brian slaves away in the kitchen to clean it to my liking.

Let me give you a rundown since I got home from work. I always park my car quickly and run into the house to let the dogs out, not even grabbing my things from work. You see, the dogs watch out the window to see when we get home. And, sometimes Wally gets so excited that he simply can't hold it any longer. Thus, it is of utmost importance to hurry to his rescue to let him out. Today, I completed that routine, and as soon as I went into the garage where the dogs were crated, I smelled the distinct odor that can only come from a soiled dog crate. My countenance immediate dropped, and I could feel my blood starting to heat rapidly to a boil. After a second, I had traced the problem to Wally's crate. And, I'll spare you the gory details, but please know that this was no minor mess. This was a major catastrophe. The crate had to be cleaned, the dog had to be cleaned, and the other dogs still had to be let out and fed and let out again. I left the dogs alone for no more than a couple of minutes, and when I returned to the garage, Wally was making a snack out of the wall.

Almost an hour later, I had completed the tasks, all except for bathing Wally. He was banished to the outdoors until Brian got home to rescue him from my threats.

This did not set the stage well for the evening. All I wanted to do after a long day was to sit down and rest when I got home, but the dogs had other plans. Of course, every time the dogs make me mad, which is more and more regular these days, I somehow manage to blame their existence on Brian, as if their maddening ways are his fault.

Then, when Brian got home we knew that we needed to go for a walk. We have read over and over and over that exercise is the single best thing you can do for your health, so we are really trying hard to go for a walk every single day. By the time we got home it was dark, and we still hadn't eaten dinner.

So, I whipped up some buckwheat pancakes (made with only allowable foods) and eggs scrambled with peppers, onions, garlic, and spinach. By the time I sat down to eat, I was exhausted, not wanting to move a single muscle.

But, I canNOT shut my brain off. I have a list of thank you notes to write that is a mile and a half long. And, I know all the rules about etiquette and about how you should send a thank you note within a week of receipt, and I usually do, but not this time. I'm behind. I do a few here and there, but I just can't seem to get them completed. And, that in no way is a reflection of how touched I've been by the thoughtfulness and generosity of so many. And, I need to do laundry. We have a laundry chute that drops into a cabinet in the laundry room, and the cabinet is so full that the door is starting to be forced open by the mounds of dirty clothes. I usually do laundry every week, but since we were out of town this weekend, I didn't do it. And, I still haven't unpacked our suitcase from this past weekend. And, our bathroom is in need of a deep cleaning. And. And. And.

At all times, I have a to-do list with at least 20 things on it. In some ways this makes me efficient and hardworking, but in many more ways it makes me stressed and exhausted and unable to relax. I hate this about myself, and Brian's not particularly fond of this trait either, and I don't blame him. I never saw this problem before I was married, but now it is glaringly obvious, and it stares me in the face each and every day. It's a personality flaw, and it desperately needs some tweaking.

I do appreciate the realization of things like this because it reminds me of how unlike Christ I am. It reminds me that I have a lot of learning to do if I am ever to display godly character to the fullest. More than anything I want to be like Him, and I want others to see Him when they see me. I'm afraid that, all too often, they see a crazy woman flitting around from one unimportant task to the next, and I might even have tears in my eyes because of my sheer exhaustion, but I can't seem to find rest until those monotonous chores are complete. So tonight, my biggest prayer is that the Lord would teach me how to rest, knowing that the only things that truly matter are my love for Him and my love for others. Everything else is fleeting.


Anonymous said...

I can so relate. I've been known to completely spaz out when I think the house is a mess, there is too much laundry to do, papers to grade, etc. Definitely something I'm working on with God's help.

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

I can't sit until my home is perfect. I like to walk in from day to a perfect home. It does not always happen that way for me!

We have two Mastiff's and two other dogs, many cats and 5 horses!
The one thing I know about the dogs is crating would never work for them. We tried several years ago. I just felt that the energy they exuded when we came home was from being pent up all day, without totally being able to stretch, move, roam, and relax they basket cases by the time we came home. Our vet agreed.
So, at first we some changes and created "safe space" for them. After a while the little terror things they did...ceased. they now have full roam of our home. Lest anyone think I live in a shack and do not have furnisings etc that don't matter; I do not! I cover my furniture each night before bed. Second nature now! My dogs are so well behaved that I cannot imagine what they would have become more like had we not done away with the crates! They are NOT allowed in the kitchen while we are preparing food or dining. We do not feed them people food. ever. They have learned so many commands since ditching the crates, that friends often ask for the number of our trainer!
As far as our cats. No problems. A good squirt bottle keeps a cat honest!
I was raised to return a prompt thank you also. On paper with pen, through the USPS. But in light of life getting in the way, I do believe those who forwarded good wishes to you will understand a slight tardiness.

Husbands can help with notes also! One can always write on your behalf, thanking them for loving you!

Cari said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only wife who blames her husband for the dog's mishaps and annoyances! ;)
Praying rest for you tonight, sweet Lindsey.

Coop said...

Yeah so I'm going to need your address ma'am. Kelsey and I are coming over this week to do laundry and clean bathrooms. Please text me your address with the best day and time for me to come over. I mean it. Let me know ASAP!!! Love you! -Lori

Leslie said...

I love you friend....you are so real...and if it makes you feel any better I banished my children to their rooms and forbid them to speak to one another yesterday afternoon because I had had it with their whining and bickering!!:) It was so quiet, I kind of forgot about them (not really, but kind of)...when I hear this voice...so sweet say, Mom, can I come down, it's getting dark! HA! I am there with you on the laundry....exact scenario except the chute spilled over into the floor...resting is harder than it sounds:)...hang in there...I was reminded of my own whining as I sat in the quiet. Thank goodness he doesn't expect perfection...and is so patient with us...

Chelsea said...

Lindsey, I am so much the same way! I blame all the mess and craziness in life on Josh, when it is not his fault! Marriage sure exposes our sin! Good thing it is so wonderful at the same time.

Marriage reminds me so much of the gospel. The fact that our husbands love us even though we continually sin against them is incredible! What a beautiful picture of God's grace!

Becky said...

Hi! I have been following your blog for a bit now and as one young woman who battled breast cancer to another young woman battling breast cancer, let me encourage you not to beat yourself up about the thank you notes, I know that it feels like they are hanging over your head and you WANT to do them, but there are some thing that have to give, and people aren't expecting them, they know that you are under an insane about of stress and pressure and busyness of life and doctor's appointments. I so recognize that need though and remember the piles of thank you notes that I wanted to/needed to write. And some of them never got written and I have just had to come to terms with that. It is okay...I promise!! praying for you!

Anonymous said...

i'm praying for you

Erin said...

I relate so much to this post. Being a list-oriented person myself, I sometimes have to just ignore the list and take a breath. Russell and I were just talking about what surprised us most about each other after marriage, and his answer was in reference to my list-making and uber-organization needs. I relate, girl! Just take a breath, ignore the unwritten notes, let Brian take care of the pups, and you REST REST REST!

JoJo said...

Don't "beat up" on yourself. It is just stress. Believe me, I know what's it's like. I just lost it with Bob the other night and we both were snipping at each other. I just had you on my heart today and wanted to let you know. I so look forward to meeting you in person son.
Joanne Williams

Anonymous said...

Sharing today's "Reminder from God" with you: "No matter how gloomy the outer circumstances, My Spirit is always shining inside you revealing the way."

Praying for you,


Alex said...

Can anyone say CESAR MILAN, I think he would be excited to help you all out...

Lisa said...

I completely understand. I am a compulsive list-maker and I am just not happy at home when it's not cleaned and organized. My husband has helped me chill out a little bit and realize that the chores will always be there and that I should just relax and enjoy our time together. And ya know, it's pretty darn tough to argue with that :) Praying for you and hoping you get some much needed rest!!