Monday, July 14, 2008

Living in the land of make-believe

Things are not always what they seem. We have all heard the saying, but what does it really mean?
As I was cleaning my room and doing a bit of laundry this morning, I found this on the floor.

It looks very much like the dogs have been in my room, which they have, but not like you think. You see, what you are looking at is not a pile of well placed poo, but a hair scrunchie, which for some reason, my dogs love to play with.

And as I thought about how funny a scrunchie looks lying on the floor like that, I was reminded of something my friend LaDonia said to me the other night in choir. She was telling her son that we should not do stuff at home that we wouldn't do in church.


We all have things in our lives, the not so pretty things, that the people around us don't see. I had a life size example of it over last weekend. My cousin came into town, and stayed at my house. I had the house pretty well picked up. The kids were little angels. They were respectful and kind. Considerate, even. They remembered their manners and their ma'ams and sirs. I was so proud.

But lurking behind my closed bedroom door was the truth. All of the laundry that was piled up, all of the things that needed put away, were in there. I wouldn't let my cousin in there, because my lack showed the moment you opened the door. (actually, you had to push on the door pretty hard to get past the stuff piled behind it.)
And the moment company was gone, and my children had been rewarded appropriately for their good behavior, the attitudes and disobedience returned.

I grew up in the land of make believe, so it comes naturally for me. Whenever someone from church came over, we had to scurry around and stash the ashtrays. (not that anyone could miss the smell ;-) And my best friend's daddy, who was a deacon, and at whose house I spent many a night, had a problem with pornography and ended up molesting his own daughter.

*Side note* This is the reason I do not let my kids "do" sleepovers. You think you know people, but do you really? I would rather have my kids miss out on a childhood pasttime, than risk having their innocence stolen.

But what came to me in the midst of the swirling thoughts was that I am not what I seem, either. I have said it before. I am a yeller. I have a temper, and when it flares, watch out. I don't think before I speak. Tact has never been a strong suit of mine.

Why is it, that when my kids do something thoughtless, that I fly off the handle, except when I'm in public. I have no problem stifling my reaction then. So I know I can do it. And, truth be told, after I give myself time to absorb the situation, I do deal with it more calmly. So I know in my head that if I would just stifle the reaction every time, process the facts, then deal with it, I would do less harm to my kids, who are so precious to me.



Lorrie said...

Life's hard isn't it.
I'm doing a Beth Moore study at home on my own for the summer and one thing she said during one of her lectures (and you may have done this study already) was, "Be who you are". This was a freeing statement for me. She asked the question (which hit me between the eyes) "Is it hypocrisy to act like the person you WANT to be?"
Her answer was "YES" she called it hidden hypocrisy. We have all played church lady. We have all played super-mom. We have all pretended we were rich at some point when who knows how next weeks bills were getting paid. We have all put on the masks that turn us into the person we want to be. Ugh, gives me a headache just thinking about all that acting. Just realizing this makes is more mind boggling that we are loved by the One who sees the real us and loves us even more. Dang! Idn't that good! Or in the words of Nacho Libre, "Eess Goooood".
See, you aren't the only one. And the acting comes in all forms. No matter, it's still acting.

Thank you for sharing your real story.


Kelli said...

Wow, what an eye-opener. What people think if we really let them into our private thoughts where no one else sees? Thanks for the reminder that I do need to keep the out-of-sight things just as "company ready" as the more visible.

HappyChristian said...

ok, so I'm not crazy! I thought I was the only one who has issues with letting their children spend the night somewhere other than home. I am always very nervous when it comes to even needing a babysitter. (yes, this does mean that though I trust you all very much, I am still nervous about the overnight visit in Aug., so expect a couple calls!)
I am also very guilty of living in make-believe, I mean, there are so many realistic things/people out there that I would rather ignore than face/deal with. I think a lot of people are like that. Everyone gets what they want in the land of make-believe, it's fun. But, Lorrie did make a good point and I guess I need to work on not acting and not worry about what people will think or react, such as people not wanting to talk with me. I'll just pray for them instead.

Kellan said...

This was a good post! We all have those things that other's are not aware of. I'm a yeller too! My kids are turning out just fine! REALLY! We can't be perfect, just have to keep trying.

Take care - Kellan

The Boyds Family said...

Diane - I swear, you and I may have been separated at birth.

This was a great post. Spend the night is always a difficult one and the kids just don't understand.

I'm a yeller too - think I've mentioned it before - it's one of the traits that I hate the most about myself and it absolutely breaks my heart when I hear Kayla "being me" with her little sister. I pray to God every day to help me overcome this horrible quality that I've got.

1MomUnderGrace said...

I remember reading somewhere once that we often show our "ugly" more to the people we love the most? I wonder why? No answer just a wonder. I am very thakful that our God's mercies are new everyday. So don't focus on yesterdays or day before yesterdays mistakes or sin, repent and ask God to give you the ability to step back each time so that you look more like Him! Isn't it exciting to ask your Dad to grow a fruit that He has given you ('s in there look it up) I love you and please know we all have those days, some are just more willing to share that others. Thank you for being honest and sharing a very dear and hard blog! LOVE YA LOTS (I want' yelling HEE HEE HEE HEE)