It’s official cheating is a VERY good thing.
I read a book a few years ago titled Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley. Sad to say four years later I think the concept is finally anchoring itself in the sea of my tossing thoughts.
Maybe it took 1,460 days to rewire my brain and fully comprehend the thesis of the book because you and I live in a culture that lives by this unspoken creed: we can do it all, we can be it all and with ZERO sacrifice.
Even a fool would tell you nothing really good comes without having to give up, dig in and push through. A seed dies to become a burgeoning begonia, wintery snow and ice gives way to revitalizing spring, nine months of incubation and a baby emerges into this world pure—a bundle of untainted joy and perfection wrapped in untouched flesh. Creation tells us this truth, but we still thrust on…we live in a culture where we don’t want our kids to fall, to get hurt, or take accountability. A culture in which you and I believe we can have the house we want, the kids we can design and create like Play-Do, the not made in reality marriages we see in Hollywood with the simple twitch of our nose like the 1960’s character in Bewitched.
But what am I learning is that I cannot write all the time ( though I love it like a drug and it can become my idol in 2.5 seconds),nor can I be friends with everyone on twitter, connect on fb 24/7, “pin” every creative notion that sends my heart ‘aflutter, check email promptly every 2 seconds, be fully engaged in conversations with Seth, attentive and loving towards my kids all at the same time. As much as I was obsessed with Wonder Woman as a kid, I suck at being her. I can try to put the red cape on but when I jump off the cliff there is no flying high for this gal just hitting my face SPLAT onto the pavement reminding me of my humanity–failing everyone..including myself.
So here I am writing a post that has literally taken me three weeks of sitting down and then getting back up because my babes need me, my husband wants to spend time with me, my best friend lost her precious and perfect baby girl, Georgia, and in between all this starting and stopping I am learning that who I am is more important than what I do. But, inside me there is this inner struggle –this fleshly tug and pull to write more, perform more ( because if I accomplish more people deem you more important, right?), but I keep thinking this: you must cheat, Lindsay, for the sake of your family. Who cares what you do for this world if your family is a big ole mess?? So I cheat on facebook, I cheat on my house being flawless, I cheat on my roots not being done very six weeks–basically, I cheat on perfection and all of its kinfolk. But it’s a sacrifice that has paid high dividends over the last several months. The time I have surrendered I have in turn gained this: time with my family and a greater peace of who I am in God’s sight–slowing down enough that I can enjoy my life, my kids, my husband. The mundane things that use to get in my way now serve as little lights guiding me down my day’s path showing me that I just need to follow their simple flickering prompts such as, “listen Lindsay, to your son more when he goes on his creative Avengers tangents because it shows him that what he has to say matters, reread Posey’s half gnawed off Minnie mouse book one more time because it makes her day, and cut off the computer at night and have a real live conversation with my husband.”
Now, here me out—I am still not the Mary Poppins type –it’s not in my DNA—we will most likely be listening to “the” ZZ top as Roman calls it instead of nursery rhymes while my kids bop to the beat, I will still live by the seat of my pants because that is all I know, I will still be a free spirit lost in my own world because that is how the good Lord made me and I will still have THAT kid with the really cute outfit and big fat stain front and center.
But it’s okay. Cheating liberates YOU. I am slowly and steadily winning the battle over my schedule, which use to bind me but now has served to set me free. I mean what in heaven’s name are we all rushing towards anyway? WHAT is it? I cannot even figure it out to save my life. To prove we matter and then die? It’s like this false race we have allowed ourselves to be thrown into and once the blindfold is taken off we realize we are going a 1000 miles per hour up a steep mountain that if you are lucky enough to get to the top of you can’t even enjoy the view because you just end up falling right off and nosediving into the canyon of who we thought you were suppose to be simply because you were too busy to remember your parachute.
All these thoughts have woven this web in my mind lately and all my actions seemed to be attached to these new mindset. I was journal-ing about all the little things I have learned while applying this whole “cheating concept” and put it in a letter form for my kids.
Things I wish I would’ve known but as always learned the hard way.
Dear Posey and Roman,
I write this in hope that the words will sink deep and that I will not just write them but that I too will live them— that you will live them.
Find something you love to do, but always know this: it isn’t who you are. The soul cannot be fed without human interaction…the soft gaze of the eyes hushing the pain, a gentle touch easing the anxiety, a smile melting our self-inflicted insecurities; so put whatever distracts you down and have an emotionally infused and tender conversation with your kids, your spouse and those that love you without end. The friends that love you when you have nothing won’t love you any more when you have plenty—those are your true friends, fight for them, stand up for them and let go of all the ones that were in the shadows when life got hard. Know there is no good time to forgive—and the simple act of forgiveness revives the deadest spirit. The heart is an empty room what are you filling yours with? Don’t be afraid to speak the truth in love. Do not be afraid to give a loving, but firm “no”—an over-committed schedule equals an underwhelmed life that limps through each day to meet expectations that have no real ceiling. Don’t criticize—a critical spirit is like drinking poison and wondering why your soul feels sick all the time. When you love people for who they are instead of what they can do for you then you have found life—Jesus is the ultimate example of this. You will never have good friends until you become a great friend yourself. If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all–words have the power of life and death–always choose life. Don’t leave when it gets uncomfortable—that means you are on the brink of something magical—most people never taste that magic because they bail too soon—they settle for dust instead of glitter all their lives. Love yourself, your flaws, your story and don’t exhaust yourself trying to be someone you are not. Your life is your greatest sermon—words are cheap, love is expensive…let the world stop and wonder what is different about you. And always remember God’s dreams for your life are much bigger than your own.
Love, your Mama
and because no blog post can go without unrelated pictures!