True confession time…
1-There were two dishes of leftovers in my fridge that looked like science experiments.
2- I decided that the laundry has multiplied. I haven’t shopped, I haven’t added summer clothes, but for some reason, there is clean laundry all over my couch and a full hamper in my bedroom, like 2 more loads full. That’s not even including my 9 and 11 year olds baskets in their rooms. There is a boat load of laundry everywhere!!
3- Also concerning laundry; every time my gray sweatpants come out of the dryer, I need to wear them! They are just so comfortable!
4-There is a small buffet under my kitchen table that if I don’t sweep soon, the ants will be coming in through the front door with bibs around their necks ready to dig in. In my mind, they are carrying forks and knives too.
After I discovered number 1 above, I texted it to my very dear friend for 2 reasons, 1- because I knew it would make her laugh and she is at a job where she needs a laugh in her day and 2- because I knew she wouldn’t judge me, she would probably say, “me too” or just laugh at me.
I knew that my friend would not judge me in a condemning way and I love her for it. We have a TMI kind of friendship. How desperately do we all need friends like that. Friends that we can text or call and say, “I just lost my temper so bad with my kids I think the neighbors are going to call it in,” or “I just cleaned vomit off of the bathroom wall,” or “I’m having a bad day, will you pray for me.”
I don’t know about you, but I am a fixer. If you tell me your problem, I will want to fix it! My sister is a fixer too. This morning I sent her a Marco Polo that my oldest has a hard time falling asleep at night and she MP’d me back with suggestions of things to try to get him to fall asleep faster. And since we are sisters 100% they were all things I have tried and I had to laugh.
But lately I have been going through a dark season of my life. My youngest broke and then re-broke his arm after it was healed from the first break. I tell him no running, no jumping so much that I should probably just record it and save my breath, but in all of his brokenness, a part of me broke as well and I have felt isolated, lonely, and sad at times while I sit at home a lot and wait for him to heal. This time at home has taught me a few things about myself. I learned that sometimes I judge people even though I don’t mean to. I also learned that because of my fixer nature, sometimes I offer unsolicited advice.
I have a lot of really good friends. But if I’m being honest here, in this season that I am going through, I have been mindful about who I open up to. Why? Because I don’t always want advice. Sometimes I just want a friend who will listen. A lot of times, someone will let me vent and by the end of my rant, I have come up with the solution. I think I have been guilty in the past of sharing anything with anyone who would listen. In hindsight I can look back and see that I would do that until I got the advice I wanted to hear, even if it wasn’t the advice I needed.
So in this realization, my a-ha moment, I know that I have been guilty of being that kind of friend. If I have done that to you, I am sorry. Life application, I now ask before offering my 2 cents!
People spend so much time trying to fix others. What we need is a culture of friendships where people will just listen and pray for one another. God will take care of fixing the broken places. I want to be the kind of friend who listens and points to the Lord in all things, it is not my job to fix anyone.
My husband tells our boys, there is a reason you have 2 ears and 1 mouth-you should listen twice as much as you speak. Smart man.
The bible tells us in James 1:19 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
This is not my nature. This is not the nature of most people I know. But there is a reason that this is such good advice. It is effective!
This morning my 11 year old wouldn’t get out of bed. Every part of me wanted to yell. I even contemplated getting a pan and a spoon and banging it above his bed. But I didn’t. I quieted myself. I listened to his plea of, “I’m tired, I couldn’t fall asleep last night,” and although it would mess up my morning plans, I determined I would drive him to school. Do you know what happened? He eventually got himself up and he even made the bus. We did not yell and scream at each other, not even once. Victory! Even though it was annoying he wouldn’t get up the 12 times I told him it was time to, it was a beautiful thing to get him out the door without being mad at each other.
Another moment in my morning was when my 7 year old got up(yeah he’s still all broken) and absolutely, positively could not do anything until he looked for his missing stuffed animals. Usually I would say, “No-not now. Do it after breakfast.” But today I listened. I listened and knew he could not do anything this morning until he looked for his little guys. For crying out loud, he didn’t even find them all. But since I listened and let him look, it didn’t even matter to him that he didn’t find them. He was able to move on with his morning.
Just like my girlfriends, my husband, the person behind me at the grocery store… My kids don’t need me to fix them. They need me to listen to them. Pray for them. Pray with them. Besides, I can’t fix them. I can’t fix anybody. I can’t even fix myself. And ya know what? I don’t want that super power. That is all God’s department. Now I’m going to fix my eyes on Him and depend on him to help me be the woman He wants me to be for all the people He has put in my life.