Friday, October 26, 2007

The Foes of Motherhood

So I was driving home last night--from a guilt-ridden shopping spree at Target where I justified spending money I wasn't sure we had because I technically "needed" a few things--with little Ethan in the back seat, happy as can be. Singing, as usual.
I noticed I was tense and in the "guilt zone"; the place where I shut down and just cruise for awhile until that awful guilt feeling is gone, usually three to four days.
The problem with this place is I am totally consumed by it. It's a place where I don't feel any bad feelings, like guilt, but I also shut down my good feelings, like the feelings that make me want to sing along with Ethan when we drive home.
This got me thinking: these emotions of mine seriously have influence on the kind of mommy Ethan has from day to day.
I tried to snap out of it but couldn't really.
Ethan kept singing, I kept driving. Kept thinking.
I came up with this short list I call the Foes of Motherhood:
Guilt
Distraction
Control
Worry
Then I thought about Jesus and how he said that his burden was light..."Come to me...." and how Paul reminds us in Philippians --I think--to think on things that are right and pure and lovely; to cast all our cares on Him because He loves us.
Does this apply to guilt and worry about weaning checking accounts? Does this apply to random and maybe not-the-best-choice shopping sprees at Target?
There is a truck in front of me with a picture of a beautiful mountain and lake on its tailgate. It's an old, little blue Toyota. Above the mountain, in white scrawly letters that look like they were written in chalk it says, Cristo es mi pastor, sal. 23.
I picture myself a little sheep. Then I picture that same sheep with the green corduroy coat I just bought at Target on its back, buttoned around it's belly.
The sheep, ie me, looks ridiculous.
And Christ, my Shepherd, is smiling at me, still watching out for me, still loving me, still there.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surly goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

1 comment:

Jooste Roost said...

yes, guilt, I hate it. But I seem to always find something to be guilty about (because I'm not perfect, ya know). I have the hardest time actually doing what I am supposed to with guilt. Confess the sin (if it really is) and then cling to Christ. The hard part, for me, is knowing what is sin and what is just me and my moralistic tendencies. There is freedom in Christ and He looks at our heart - I forget that. Like, drinking still makes me nervous, I look down on people who smoke and swear (now THAT is a sin "judging others")- even though these are not necessarily sins. It's what is in the heart that matters.
Lately I have been feeling guilty about food. I know that I eat when I am overwhelmed, anxious, angry and tired. When I confess this as sin and acknowledge that food has become an idol to me, once again, there is freedom and hope to press on knowing that He is completing the work he started in me and that He has given me a helper and I have the power to fight these temptations. Half my battle is identifying the sin - in my HEART.