1.11.2011

Changing The Way I See

While pretending yesterday was a snow day, I did a lot of blog reading in bed. That sounds dreamy, right? It should've been, but instead of gathering inspiration, I became more and more overwhelmed by what I saw...goal setting that intimidated me, accomplishments that shamed me, creativity that was beyond me.

I came away thinking I am DONE blogging...both reading and writing. And it's not like anyone would notice my absence. It's not like I have many followers, subscribers, commenters, etc.  With all of the well-read, well-written and hugely followed blogs out there, who needs my ramblings?

But then I read this post by a new blog friend, Tara. {I love her authenticity.} Actually, I first read her post back in July, but I had forgotten all about it. I needed it more today than ever. This quote she shared from Beth Moore stopped me in my tracks:
"INSECURITY'S BEST COVER IS PERFECTIONISM."
But I'm not insecure, I thought to myself. Never have been. Right. So what was going on yesterday? Why did I feel so intimidated and...INSECURE as I surfed through all of my favorite blogs? It wasn't because of the person writing. Nope, it was something in me that didn't feel good enough.

This is the whisper of the enemy of my soul: that I am not good enough. We've all heard the whisper. The trouble isn't in the hearing; it's in the believing. And when we start believing the lie, it changes the way we see everything.

And you don't have to go very far to see things through the lens of the lie {that you are not enough}. All it took for me was one step out of my bedroom where I was confronted with this:


Looking at it now, I can see the truth: that we are really missing Elsa and the 10 hours of housekeeping help she provides each week. {Sweet Elsa broke her arm two months ago and has yet to return.} So things get a little crazy around here, and I'm no laundry queen. That's OKAY.

But when I looked at the laundry room through the lens of the lie {that I'm not enough}, I heard whispers of condemnation in my head. This doesn't look like all the blog photos I saw yesterday. Other people can do it all. Why can't you? {The comparisons reeled in my mind.}

Just ignore the mess, Linsey. Keep walking. Go downstairs and read that book you don't want to read. {More on that another time.} So I went downstairs to grab a cup of tea and sit by the fire when I saw this:


What's wrong with that, you say? Nothing. Nothing at all. Of course, I can see that now. But with the whispers of condemnation still ricocheting through my head, I thought: look at that boring, empty mantel, the dirty brick, the candle wax I've not yet scraped away...


...and the undecorated but yet-to-be-put-away CHRISTMAS TREE for crying out loud! No one who has a decent amount of motivation and respect for her home leaves things looking like this! {There's that condemnation again.}

You might be tempted to call me crazy, overly perfectionistic, too hard on myself...but I'm taking the risk of sharing this with you because I think there may be others of you who hear these same condemning whispers in your head.

And here's the deal: there is no amount of will power or goal setting or motivation that can permanently disarm these lies. To think there is would only cause you to further beat yourself up when you fall short. Been there, done that.

So it's time for a change: not in a resolution-making, goal-setting kind of way, but a change in the way we SEE, which requires a change in the way we THINK. The real question is: what will we choose to BELIEVE when the whispers threaten to undo us?

There's a lot more to say about those things, but this post is plenty long already. But I will say this: there's a shift that occurs when we choose to believe the truth. Now I can see things differently. 


Instead of fixating on the mantel, I sat beneath it and I enjoyed a hot cup of vanilla tea by a warm fire...and thanked God that I had a fire to enjoy on this chilly day.

And instead of focusing on yet another to-do (or "failure to do") as I gazed out the window...


...I shifted my gaze to a bird friend {bottom right corner}...



...and took the time to watch him drink, then welcome another friend.


And yes, my laundry room is still a mess (I only showed you half of it!) and my Christmas tree is still standing, but I see things differently now. And I see myself differently.
"For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
And THAT, my friends, is the truth...the truth that changes the way I see everything. And if sharing all of this helps even one of you see differently today, too, then this crazy-long post was worth it!

Blessings and hugs to you today from a heart that is being set free!

P.S. I thought robins were spring birds, but it seems they pop out even when it snows! I love the way my blog friend Paige captured a few bird friends here. Doesn't her post make you want to cozy right up in her home?

29 comments:

  1. We all have days, months, or years like that when it just seems overwhelming and we feel like we are not moving forward fast enough. It all does not need to be done on anyone else's schedule...but yours. Life is so much faster now and it is easy to get caught up in the rules....blog more...decorate more....shop more...but you know what.....go at your own pace....I say don't run into life...lean into it....and do the things that make you happy, not the things that make other people happy. Because....that's why :)

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  2. THANK YOU for your honesty! I have thought some of those same things, funnily enough in the past couple days. New Year maybe? Overwhelmed with getting things back together after the holidays? Anyway, your candor is much appreciated over here!

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  3. It is so easy to see ourselves through the distorted view of the world. I have yet to finish putting Christmas away, too. And I am dealing with a hair color malfunction. But, I have sat in the garage with my son working on his pinewood derby car, snuggled with my daughter after I helped with her chores, and actually cooked dinner. In 10 years, what will my family remember about this season? Logan being babtized, Reading Luke 2, opening Christmas PJs, knowing I love them, knowing God loves them and family time. (ok... they may remember the hair mishap) They will not remember the little stuff... PRAISE GOD!

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  4. Eleanor GrayJanuary 11, 2011

    Thanks, Linsey. I've been enjoying your blog since I saw you at Lizzie's wedding. You helped me look at my "mess" a little differently today. Happy New Year!!

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  5. Ellen SteinwachsJanuary 11, 2011

    Hi Linsey, I love to read your blog. Your creativity inspires me, as do your words and stories. I myself am experiencing what I call a stuff crisis which is when I know it is time to clean out the closets. Now if I could just find the uninterrupted time to get it accomplished...so I am just trying to remind myself to take small little steps to finish the big project. I'll let you know how it goes. Happy New Year!

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  6. Sweet friends, thank you for leaving words of kindness. Exposing so much always feels a bit risky, but your comments have encouraged my heart! Thanks for taking the time to read all my words and for responding to them with your own words.

    Xo,
    Linsey

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  7. Beautiful post Lins and quite timely for me as well. I've been in a blog funk for the past few weeks and have felt very inferior to my bloggy friends. ;)
    I read a quote yesterday that goes perfectly with your post: "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change", Wayne Dyer.
    Sending love and inspiration your way.
    T

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  8. sweet linsey....
    one of the qualities i hold in very very high regard, is that of transparency.
    while i enjoy visiting photography blogs of those who share their styled home photos, i long to hear them share what's in their heart....not just on their mantel.
    i love the mix of it all. as that truly is real life.
    our beautiful, well ironed, scrumptious dinner in the oven days are few while the real, running late, yoga pants, fussing at our babies seem more frequent.
    it's all mixed in there together.

    please never let that Liar, that he is, dominate your thoughts.
    & please don't think about shutting down your blog.
    you bless more than you realize.

    thank you for the shout out.
    you are precious

    now go take that tree down.
    wink!!
    xoxo

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  9. I found your blog a few months ago and have yet to comment, but today is the day! I know how you feel and often have to shut it down and walk away. Bottom line, I have to be careful where my heart is, because there is my treasure. And while blogs and stuff and pretty things are fun, they are also idols that we sometimes give our adoration to. "He is jealous for me..." often pops into my mind when I am feeling my life unbalanced on what doesn't really matter. I hope you find your balance, and know that I appreciate the honesty!

    p.s. Love that sweet Tara!

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  10. I just adore you.
    seriously.
    Girl, you do authentic beautifully.

    there is nothing more appealing than an honest person.

    it's hard isn't it?
    these kind of posts always leave me feeling a little outside of myself.
    (it's the perfectionist in us)

    watch out...there's freedom coming and it's addictive. :)
    appreciate the shout out....

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  11. That's the tricking nature of blogging isn't it?! Sometimes things feel like a popularity contest. I’ve never been too good at those! I've been in a bit of a blogging funk myself. I catch myself on occasion not posting or rather posting based on what I think my "readers" would want. If I catch myself doing that then I take a break from blogging for a bit. It takes a conscious effort to keep posts authentic. A few moms came up to me a school pick up saying they started reading my blog – that freaked me out a bit. Though, I’m not sure why. It’s all such a weird phenomenon, but I keep coming back. And sure I look at the big blogs with 5000 followers, but I rarely comment, I certainly never hear back, I don't know really know those women so it feels impersonal. That's why I enjoy blog friendships and blogs like yours. Thanks for your honesty. Give thanks and gratitude, we are blessed. There is a whole story behind everyone's blog that only the writer of that blog knows. We only see a glimpse. xo, Tess

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  12. We have all been there. As I write this, I am looking at Thomas the Trains all over my living room. One of my lampshades has been drawn on by a two year old. I have a To Do list sitting right beside me...........and not one item is crossed off. BUT tomorrow is another day. Enjoyed visiting your blog tonight.

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  13. My dear girl, you have to compare yourself to no one nor seek to accomplish goals that are not yours. You don't even have to take your Christmas tree down. Leave it standing to hold other ornaments for other times. To me you are a gem, and there's no daughter I'd rather have, perfect or no. xoxox

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  14. It's the whole Martha-Mary syndrome! Your time with vanilla tea by the fire; communing with Him is a lovely day indeed! I appreciate your blog more than you know. Don't move.

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  15. Linsey,
    Thank you for sharing such an honest post! This is a great reminder that we need to slow down and enjoy our time and not worry about the little things. We still have our Christmas tree up, One of these days, it will come down, but I would rather spend my time with my husband and dogs!

    I read your blog often. I would miss hearing your voice if you decide to stop!

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  16. I am here from reading Tara's blog today! WOW - I am so encouraged reading all of your comments from these ladies...the realness...it is like a breath of fresh air! It is nice to meet you Linsey and I am coming back to read more...gotta fix the kiddos some lunch...schools out for the third day:) SNOW!

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  17. YOU ARE ENOUGH! more than enough. and i have high standards!
    your sister loves you more than nearly every human on this planet. sister love must be at LEAST a LITTLE close to god love. otherwise why did he give us to one another?

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  18. Aww! I'm just humbled and encouraged and inspired beyond belief today!

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  19. By the way, you would totally, totally, TOTALLY be missed.

    Leigha

    Psst. Happy New Year!

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  20. It's easy to believe the lies. So much hard to believe the truth, but even as I write that I wonder why that is so...

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  21. What a beautiful post. I too sometimes have an inferiority complex when it comes to blogland. Sometimes I forget that the blog world is still a glossy magazine and nothing is really as it seems. You can take a beautiful picture of a room but still have a huge mess in the corner. (As I usually do.) Thank you for your honesty!

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  22. Linsey- I loved this post. Loved reading what you had to say and what is on your heart.

    I'm with Megan above. Trying to be careful about how much time I spend on blogs and design. They can easily become an idol in my life. Trying today to put HIM first. Just take it one day at a time... that's my plan.

    xo- Brooke

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  23. You are (honestly) Awesome.

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  24. nicole marston simpsonJanuary 13, 2011

    dearest linsey,
    totally resonated with this entire post - perfectly put and entirely authentic. keep writing and inspiring me!
    xo
    nicole

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  25. Thanks for being real..
    love,
    AMy

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  26. The post has so moved me. I feel like this way too much! We have to do what is best for us and not listen to the whispers of doubt. Good luck to you and all the best for a fabulous 2011, dirty laundry and all!
    Lori

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  27. * I just "found" you, & the timing couldn't have been more perfect... believe me, it just COULDN'T!

    I THANK YOU from the very depths of my heart for making me feel "it's OK" N*O*T to cross every T and dot every i... and, I'm now REMINDED to remember what my darling Grama used to say, when I might be concerned "SOMETHING" wasn't "perfect" when she would come to visit~~~ She'd say something like:

    "Relax Sweetheart, nobody's going to write it on your tombstone that you didn't make rosettes out of your radishes!"... (No laughing... it was the time of Martha's hayday, as T*H*E one to emulate!)...

    THANK YOU MOST SINCERELY~ you are a true joy to read!!!

    Linda in AZ *
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net

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  28. Linda, thank you! What a very nice comment from someone who has just "found" me. :)

    And many thanks to all of you who I've never heard from before. I'm honored that this post has inspired you enough to leave a comment.

    Many blessings to all of you!
    Linsey

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  29. I loved this post! Im reading it at a time I really need.to hear.

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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