Monday, October 24, 2011

Perception vs Reality

I live in a world of expectations.  How life is going to be.  What my day will be like.  What time I will get up in the morning.  How much time on the piano I will have this afternoon.  That I will take a walk today.  That I will get my devotions done before anything else happens.  That I will have a long fuse with my siblings instead of blowing up in their faces at the first offense.   That I will dress fashionably and femininely every day.
The list goes on.
And, honestly, I think, especially in the blog-world, we get those expectations of each other. Like sometimes I feel the need to post a picture of myself just so my readers know I’m still dressing modestly and fashionably.  Because we don’t know each other on a personal basis most of the time in this lovely thing called cyber-space, we can get a false perception of who these other bloggers are just from the snippets they share.  What do we really know, truly?
So, I’m going to let you get to know me a bit better today.  I’ll let you get a little more “up close and personal”.  I know I fall into that category of “stay at home daughters” or “homemakers in training”… or whatever you wish to call it.  And I know there are certain expectations for girls who fall under those labels.  You may not like all that you see as you get to know me better… but I think honesty is good and I promise I won’t share too many of the scarier things about me.  J

Rachel, as a Stay-at-Home-Daughter, obviously loves cooking and cleaning and everything else domestic!
I enjoy cooking sometimes (crock-pot meals are the best!) and don’t mind vacuuming or cleaning windows or mopping (if it with one of those amazing Swifter mops!).  I abhor cleaning bathrooms, dusting, and making “hours of preparation” meals. 

Rachel, as a Homemaker-in-Training, must adore babysitting other people’s children and teaching little kids.
I enjoy babysitting sometimes.  Babysitting my own siblings is fine.  Babysitting 6-month-old children that belong to a complete stranger is NOT a preference.  I used to be a “Mommy’s Helper”/Nanny and enjoyed that job… but I can’t see myself doing that as a true “job”.  I struggle sometimes to connect with smaller children, though I never try to avoid them.  My true passion is pre-teens and teenagers.  I would love to be involved full-time in youth ministry.

Rachel wears fashionable and feminine clothing every day so she can set a great example of modest fashion to her friends and family.  She also looks very put-together on a daily basis.
*chuckle* I LOVE to wear fashionable and feminine clothing.  I do quite a bit… most of the time actually.  Today is Monday though… I’m a little under-the-weather… and my family isn’t going anywhere or seeing anyone.  Here’s the honest truth:  I’m wearing dark, thin sweatpants and a long-sleeved, plaid button-down shirt.  I have warm socks on with the grey toes and heels.  I have no eye-makeup on… hardly even anything that could be called makeup.  I’m clean, of course, since I showered this morning.  My hair is air-dried, brushed, and hanging down… long and slightly wavy (mostly straight)… no accessories…  Just me.  Yes, I do have days like this and enjoy them very much.

Rachel gets up at a productive hour every morning.  She does her devotions immediately.
I am a late-to-bed-late-to-rise fiend.  I hate getting up before 8:30am.  I got up at 7am this morning… but that is not a regular thing.  I would much rather sleep half the morning away and stay up late at night.  I do enjoy having more time in the morning when I get up earlier, but I don’t do well on less than 8 hours of sleep… and, yes, I can sleep longer than that.
I also am not perfect about devotions.  They can happen at any hour of the day.  And I have gone through even harder times when I’ve struggled with priorities and gone for days without actually sitting down and making the time to spend precious moments with my Savior.  I’m not perfect.  I’m thankful for God’s strength in my weakness and that He always draws me back to Him, no matter what struggles I’m going through.

Rachel eats nutritious food three times a day and is very good about exercise. 
 I struggle with eating early in the morning, so I have been known to skip breakfast (especially on Sunday mornings).  My stomach gets upset easily, so I have to watch sugar intake… but I’m not always careful.  I love those little, crunchy, frozen pizzas… the ones that are REALLY bad for me.  I do try to be careful when I get a chocolate craving and eat 87% cocoa chocolate (the EXTREME dark), which I LOVE, or enjoy a special kind of fudge bar which doesn’t hurt you any more than having some fruit (gotta love that!).
I have very bad activity-induced asthma (and also some good old “I’m not doing anything but I’m having trouble getting a deep breath” asthma), so I can’t jog or do anything strenuous without nearly killing myself.  I love to walk for exercise and do some other creative things that don’t hurt my back and put pressure on my throat and chest (which rules out crunches!).

As the oldest of seven (one being special needs), Rachel must have an abundance of patience and adore her siblings unconditionally.
I struggle with stress, overreacting, worrying, impatience, anger… etc…  I love my siblings and would give my life for them, but it’s not easy… especially with someone having special needs.  The only reason I can ever extend grace to my siblings is because I have first asked it from God.  And I don’t always remember to do that, sadly.

*you fill in the blank*
  I am sinful and imperfect.  I’m not always loving.  I say things I don’t mean.  I forget to forgive.  I can be bitter and judgmental.  I jump to conclusions.  My room isn’t always clean.  I don’t like making my bed.  I’ve already pulled a couple grey hairs from my head.  I like baggy sweatshirts on my “unfashionable” days.  Sometimes my clean laundry doesn’t get folded for days.  I’m not really a professional at anything except messing up.  I can still get a zit every once in a while (I thought those ended with school!).  I haven’t read all of the “right” books or watched all of the “right” movies.  I don’t vacuum my bedroom enough.  When I paint my nails they stay that color until it all chips away (which is why they don’t get painted very often).  I’ve pounded the piano in frustration.  I’ve talked to things that aren’t alive by accident and I talk to myself way too much.  I’m constantly stubbing my toes.  I don’t handle change well.  I don’t pray as much as I should.  I have a lifetime’s worth of growing to do.

The list could go on forever, you know.  J

I think it’s important to be honest with ourselves and with others.  Now that you know a bit more about me, you can truly believe that I’m a real-life human.  Just another saved sinner who needs grace every day.  When I write about struggles that we, as young women loving the Lord, need to work through, please know that I am working through them too.

 Thank you for letting me share.  God bless!


Annie said...

Great post, Rachel! I often feel the need to post something like this as well. =) It is quite hard to portray yourself authentically online!
Many blessings,
P.S. Thanks for all your sweet comments! I am always so encouraged by them. =)

Nina said...

Aw, thanks for sharing this! :) A lot of these things remind me of myself... haha actually every single point. Seriously. Oh and thanks for the reminder that I need to vacuum my bedroom.. one of these days.

But more than that, thanks for the reminder that nobody is perfect - and how much better it is to be honest about those imperfections than to be just another facade - to rely on His grace instead so that it can pour out to others who face the same struggles.

Anonymous said...

It's hard when the whole world seems perfect. We feel flawed and alone. Thanks for sharing this. I think honesty with others about our real self is so freeing. Thankful each day for the Grace of God!

Ashley@ Stay-At-Home Daughter said...

Wow! you and I sound a lot a like! Thanks for being transparent, girl. Such a good quality. I can definitely see God’s grace in your life!

Kimmy said...

I stumbled upon your blog this morning! And I love your heart! What an encouragement you are to so many young girls and women! May God richly bless your ministry!

Sunny said...

Thanks for being honest. I've been concerned lately about this very thing. What idea are we presenting of ourselves on our blogs. It's so easy just to present the presentable, even exceptional, aspects of ourselves. Who wants to talk about their failings?

But I think our blog readers would be much more interested, and much better served, if we share our struggles and how we deal with them--by God's grace alone.

Like you said, "In our weakness, He is strong."

I think I shall follow your example and tell people how rotten I really am!

Lily Marie said...

Such an honest post! I appreciate these. ;)
It is difficult to stay yourself while being online sometimes, isn't it! (and just fyi, I too detest making my bed every day!)
Christ is our perfect example and it is still obvious that you strive to be like Him. Keep shining for the Lord, He can use you! I have to continually remind myself of this as well.

P.S. You have a beautiful blog, and I am now following! Thank you so much for your sweet comment on mine. ;)