The Junk Food of Life

When I first started writing this post, I had already thought of  a title for the post.  Then I felt compelled to stick to that one topic and, well, if you know me at all, I’m a rambler.  So, that didn’t work out too well.

I erased the original title and it is currently blank, and I have no expectations for what the title will eventually become, because I have no idea what ideas or thoughts will pop into my head as I type this entry.  I’d rather be a little more organic.

The truth is, I love to think of myself as organic.  Someone who is real and raw.  Someone who lives life as it comes.  Chances are, my life would appear that way to someone looking in from the outside. After all, I DO live in a travel trailer and roam the earth with my husband and kids.

The real, raw truth, though, is that I’m full of preservatives.  And added sugar.  And GMOs.  And all of the other bad stuff that makes you less healthy and less “real.”  The constant worry, the idealism, the occasional pessimistic attitude (OK, it happens more than occasionally) — the junk food of life.  Might feel good, but rots you from the inside out.

I started grown-up life very young (I was a single mom at just barely 18) and I believe that compelled my already-present need for perfection.  I had  a baby to provide for, after all!  (Insert any excuse you have — you can use anything, I’ve tried! 😉 I needed to be the perfect mother, the perfect daughter, the perfect student.  Then later, the perfect employee, the perfect wife, the perfect stay-at-home-mom, the perfect church-goer, the perfect friend, etc.

I ended up living a lie.  For more than half a decade!  I denied myself so many times, I eventually forgot who I was to begin with. For months and months, questions have been flooding to the surface of my heart.  What do I love? What are my goals? Why am I scared? Why don’t I feel worthy or capable?  What is holding me back?  What is my purpose?

My usual answer: “If I can’t do it perfectly, without affecting any other area of my life, I refuse to do it at all.”  

Whew.  That’s a tall order! Not only do I have to be perfect, but I have to ensure that everyone around me’s life is perfect and unaffected by my choices, that our finances are unaffected by my choices, and so on.  That’s a recipe for “failure to thrive” if you ask me.

At the same time, these same qualities are what make me, ME. I’m a nurturer, a caretaker, an emotional mess, a mother and wife, a creative, a nerd to my core, and an obsessive-compulsive freak of nature.  There HAS to be a way for all of the parts of me to co-exist because God made me this way, and He doesn’t make mistakes.

SO – after years of “denying myself” to myself, and insulting God in the process, I am taking some pretty big steps in the direction of finding my purpose and the beauty of this crazy, beautiful life.

I encourage anyone reading to do a thorough audit of their life and priorities.  Do you feel fulfilled?  Is there a tug on your heart that you’ve been ignoring?  Don’t ignore it!  Listen to it, ponder it, seek counsel. You have a purpose, and it isn’t just to exist.

xx, Ashley :-)