Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting It All Wrong

There's this ... thing* ... going on in our family right now. It's not something I want to happen, but going along (and, in fact, helping it be a success) is an important part of being a good and loving wife, so I am trying to do just that.

But I am messing up so much along the way.

I am feeling an enormous amount of stress. And it's a different kind of stress than I usually feel. It's an other-focused stress.

I am used to feeling stressed because I've put too many items on my to-do list. I'm used to feeling stressed because homeschooling three children while my husband is gone every other week is demanding, exhausting, and lonely. I'm used to feeling stressed because I am failing to pray, to exercise regularly, and to eat well. All of those are more self-focused stressors.

But this stress is other-focused. I am anxious about the state of my home, it's cleanliness, it's order (or severe lack thereof). I am anxious about how I look, what I will wear for this thing and how I am going to appear to others. Actually, I guess it all comes down to that. What are others going to think of me? How will I come across? Will the perceptions in any way resemble the reality? And when they don't (because I am certain they won't), how do I deal with that?

I don't have the answers.

But I do know that I am getting it all wrong in the preparation. I am yelling way too much. I am losing my cool, giving in to frustration and impatience, and not pausing to ask for the help (both divine and human), which I so desperately need.

Which begs the question: does it really matter what the others think, if, in the process, I hurt the folks I love the most?

* Please forgive me. Right now, I can't elaborate at all on what it is... but in the future I will explain everything.


  1. Hang in there, baby! Remember, caring for you family (spouse) IS prayer! and we grow from our failings (ok, I know blah, blah, blah) But you will get through it, and come out better on the other side!!

  2. A wise man recently told me that being misunderstood and not defending ourselves is our daily bread. It's what sustains us, if we'd only open our little mouths for this purpose instead of our big mouths for another.

    It matters what God thinks of us, what our spiritual director thinks of us, what our husband thinks of us. Those are the ones with whom we have set out to fulfill our vocation. If others laugh or whisper, well, then perhaps those others are also helping us in a way that they never intended.

  3. Jane,

    I don't know how I'm going to LOOK on the other side, but this is an act of love on my part... so I'm sure I will learn/grow from it, and will hopefully come out better on the other side!

    Thursday can't come soon enough for me!

  4. Carrie,

    You are so right. And I am so not there... particularly this time. Usually, I'm able to keep my focus on God and family. But this time, I am WAY outside my comfort zone, and all sorts of faults and imperfections (and, yes, sins) are coming to the forefront.

    Thanks for the thoughts/support!