I’m going to be very real with y’all right now.
I found poop on my wall the other day. It had been there less than a week but more than a day.
Let’s visit a few important points about the sentences above:
1. I live in south-central PA and the “south” part of that statement makes it ok for me to say “y’all.
2. Also I like to drink out of mason jars. That’s southern. Right?
3. I have a 6 month old daughter
4. My life is a little chaotic at times
5. The wall is now clean
Now that we’ve gotten all the essentials out of the way, let me confess something else to you. It’s not easy for me to be real. I would much rather tell you that I’m fine, or tell you the funny “poop on the wall” story to distract you from the reality that I am struggling, feeling alone, and could use a hug. And some chocolate. Preferably dark chocolate with sea salt caramel.
I posted here about my issue with saying “no” and how I’m working on overcoming my need to please everyone and I’m realizing that this people pleasing persona that I’ve developed over the years has also turned me into a “fine” machine.
How was work today? Fine.
Actually it was wonderful. I was recognized by the CEO for doing a wonderful job and he wants to know how I would handle managing people. I also came up with a great idea that will save the organization money, and I bought a hot pink binder for the big project I’m working on. But that all sounds like pride and I don’t want to make anyone feel bad if they had a bad day or don’t have similar opportunities for advancement, so I’ll just stick with “fine.”
How’s the little one? Fine.
Actually she is the light of my life, but she seems to hate sleeping, has a cold, is a bundle of drool, snot, and – apparently – projectile poop. Sleep deprivation is physically painful, I feel like I never make the right decision with her, I can’t figure out when/how much/how frequently to give her baby food, and I think she’s teething. But since that all sounds like complaining, I’ll just say “fine.”
How’s everything going with your husband? Fine.
Actually the sleep deprivation and stress of having a 6 month old is putting a strain on our marriage and it’s not easy right now. He is my best friend and I love him more than life, but we’re concerned about his job security and he’s hit the burn-out stage in the school year. But since I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea or think we’re not both on the same team fighting through it all, I’ll just say “fine” so they aren’t worried for us.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think God wants me to be fine all the time. How do I rely on Him if I never have a reason to trust Him with the present or the future? And isn’t it a slight against the gifts He’s given us if we can’t use them for His glory? My love language, for example, is words of affirmation. If I’m always fine, am I keeping someone from using their gift of encouragement to speak love & truth over my life? And if I never give anyone a reason to affirm me, and my “love tank” stays on empty, how can I pour out into my family, coworkers, and friends? Let’s stop being fine, and start practicing being real.
So friends, how are you today?
Bio: Crystal Stine has a heart for encouraging women through the written word. She blogs at Shine where you’ll find posts about motherhood, marriage, friendship, God and more. Crystal spends her days working at a bank as a project manager and marketing officer and manages the worship band Stars Burn Down. You can follow Crystal on Twitter at @CrystalStine.