Thursday, March 13, 2008

Guilty Conscience

I feel this need to clarify about myself. I love lots of things. I'm a passionate person, I love to give new things a try, I get excited about life and living it to the max, I love friends and treasure all my friendships immensely - although at this stage of my life I'm only communicating very well via e-mail and the blogosphere - and meeting new people is something I am enthused about.

This does not mean, however, that I do all the things I love every day! (my apologies to those friendships where a phone call now and then has gone neglected - ok "those friendships," I might as well say all my friends) I keep getting compliments on "I can't believe you do all you do." and it makes me feel like I should explain - I love scrapbooking.. but I do it about every few months. I love knitting and probably work on a current project once a week or so. I love to sew but I don't have a sewing machine. So I borrow my mom's for a few projects a year. I love to bake and cook.. but do resort to making pancakes & scrambled eggs for dinner on nights when I don't have the oomph to put into a full meal. On days where I'm exhausted I am not the kind of person who can keep plowing ahead - I take a nap! Thus the reason I have several baskets of dirty laundry right now and bathrooms that need some attention!

And then.. I think I am proud of my accomplishments and I shouldn't shirk away from compliments from others.

I admit to having a fear of being admired. The reason for this is definitely based in a bad experience from my past. I'm a very open person so expect this to get a little detailed :-)

My husband is the son of a pastor. I did not grow up the daughter of a pastor, so I had NO IDEA what it meant to be in the public spotlight in any sense. When you date the son of a pastor there is an unwritten rule that you have voluntarily subjected yourself to the criticism of everyone involved in his life. Strange - but true. For some reason, no aspect of your life is not off limits for public conversation of hundreds of people. Anyway, for the first part of our relationship we were rather admired as the "good couple." I didn't realize how we were put up on a pedestal so to speak, that our relationship was the one people would compare others too - this is very dangerous territory to be in.

Well, a few years later and I was pregnant. Oh - but not married by the way. This isn't something that I take pride in - but it is real. It is the truth. It is a part of my history and who I am.

So imagine the drama that ensued afterwards. The pastor's son got his girlfriend PREGNANT! Some of the worst things I have ever heard about myself were spoken in that time. Thus the reason why I never want to be the standard of whom other people measure themselves of others against. But the crazy thing is that somehow the son of pastor is 100% good - so the girlfriend must be 100% evil and seduced him. Umm.. anyone know what 19 year old guys are like? Right. No seduction necessary.

Anyway, it was a very hard time in my life in which I learned very quickly that I do not want to be "oooo.. look at Katie, she's so amazing, so good, so wonderful." Because when I do things that are not "amazing, good, or wonderful" I don't want to experience that sort of criticism again. I don't need to be reminded that I am not perfect - I am very highly aware of it on a daily basis.

And yet I have to remind myself that it is ok to receive compliments because, through the work of Christ in my life I AM good, amazing, and wonderful.

So all this to say - all the things that I love and enjoy are not done on a daily basis. Who in the world could juggle all their passions on a daily basis? So... I'm just like everyone else, ok? :-)


Jenna said...

Wonderful post!

First I have to say, isn't the Atonement of Christ a wonderful blessing! We can be forgiven of mistakes and missteps. We ALL need this. As the Savior pointed out when he stopped the stoning of the woman, none of us is without sin.

As a mom to 5, I get this a lot. Even from those who have 4 kids and isn't that fundamentally the same?

As soon as some one says, "How do you do it all?" I cringe. 'Cause I'm not.

I love to scrapbook, but I'm woefully behind. My house is an unorganized mess with the tops of every possible high surface covered with paper and heaven knows what else, that has been set there to keep out of reach of my toddler.

Yes, I get to church every Sunday. Yes, the kids' homework gets done on time. Yes, we practice the piano regularly. Yes, we study scriptures together as a family every evening and say prayers. But.

But there are so many things that don't get done. Like making my bed. Or the stacks of laundry that need to be folded. Or the floor that we're sticking to that must be mopped again. Or the weight I need to lose.

There are so many things that other people are better at. So many things.

But you are right. We should accept compliments more graciously. Rather than pointing out all of our many failings, we should just say, "Thank you." And then thank God that we have the abilities to do the things we do.

Arizona Bam said...

So... you're saying that we might actually find dust in your home? WHAT?? ;-)

Great post... transparency (in all its guts and glory) always creates a connection between people.

Darlene Sinclair said...

Keep on pressin' on! You are to be commended! - even if you don't do all those things all the time! ;)

Carole said...

This is a good post. The reminder to be careful about admiration, to be honest about our sins, and the overarching Grace that covers all. I love the way Tim Keller sums up the Gospel: "The gospel is that you are more wicked and flawed than you ever dared believe, and more loved and accepted than you ever dared hope..."

ClearlyCrazy said...

Everyday tell yourself it is alright to take in compliments girly....because I am going to go ahead and tell stink at it ;) (While I understnad why....)
And when people compliment you...they are complimenting the way Christ shines through you and that is a pretty good thing!