Well it has come to this. After weeks of mulling over this pace of life stuff, begging God to write my schedule out for me so I know what He wants me to be doing, processing with my counselor, and talking Jesse's ear off, I have had to make some decisions that have made me scared to death to write about it and put it out in the world. But the point of all this is to record what Jesus is doing in my life. And so I have to admit that I have hired a cleaning lady and Jesus still loves me anyway. The biggest thing He is teaching me right now is I am more scared about people thinking I am worthless, than I am willing to be obedient to Him and what He is asking me to do. That is why this is coming out on a Saturday instead of a Tuesday. I have been trying to avoid writing about this all week, trying other topics, but this topic is the only one that has words right now.
You see, I found when my therapist said "I want you to write out your schedule, your real schedule, in real-time," I started to see that what I was expecting of myself was not a realistic pace of life. I have always thought of myself as Lara Croft Tomb Raider. Not that new imposter Lara Croft, but the OG Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie). Guns strapped to her legs, cheeky, smart, takes no crap, will straight up shoot you in the head, and can DO ALL THINGS. Lara Croft does not worry about writing her schedule out because all her schedule would say everyday is:
Monday: Kick Ass
Tuesday: Kick Ass
Wednesday: Kick Ass
Thursday: Kick Ass
Friday: Kick Ass
Saturday: Kick Ass
Sunday: Go to Church and then Kick Ass
In my world, the real world, this kind of pace of life does not lead to good things. This blasted anxiety cripples me when the pace of life reaches an unrealistic pace. I become mean, I yell, I get paranoid, and I hurt the people I love when I am running at "kick ass" pace. That's how I know it is an unrealistic pace, because I can't do the things that Jesus asks me to do. More than anything I don't want to be that ungentle, mean, impatient person anymore. So, things have to change. I had to prioritize what can get done by someone who is not Lara Croft in a normal week. When I say I had to prioritize I mean I had to take every one of those priorities to the Lord in prayer. I had to submit to what came up in that meditation with Him. I had to talk to Jesse, admit how much I am struggling and ask him (gulp) how he thought I needed to prioritize things. I had to ask all this and then I had to listen. Which is good because people always say I am a really good listener, when I shut up long enough to hear them talk.
Here is what I came up with. I'm hiring a cleaning lady. I am scared to death to write that down and put it out in the world because I am terrified of people thinking I am worthless. I am so scared you will think that I am lazy and just a well to do white woman with nothing to worry about except what to wear. But Jesus is asking me to be patient and gentle and I can't be patient and gentle with the pace of life I use to live. Things have to change. I have things that Jesus has put things on my heart to write, to study, and bible studies to teach. I want to devote my time to that and not to my ridiculous cleaning schedule. I will constantly deal with the guilt of not doing it myself. I will have to remind myself that I am not worthless for hiring a cleaning lady. I don't know why God has blessed us with the resources to hire a cleaning lady, I just want to be thankful for it. It would be so much easier to justify it if I worked outside of the house full-time. If I had a full time job I would not hesitate to hire a cleaning lady. I don't and so I am a housewife who is hiring a cleaning lady, and I have to deal with it.
Guess who had a cleaning lady, Lara Croft. Actually it was a guy, but you get the point. People of the world, hear me now. I am trying to stop living my life based on what you think of me. I am going to try to live my life based on what God thinks of me. I am almost 100% sure that God does not care if I hire a cleaning lady as long as I am not going into debt over it. He is especially ok with it since my husband says he wants me to. If I hire a cleaning lady and I tell you and you think that I am somehow less worthy because of it I don't have to carry that around with me. This is one of the crutches my anxiety leans on, "Do this because of what people think." I can't live like that, its crushing me. I have to become me, follower of Christ. More worried about pleasing Him than the world.
I set out to write this post to tell you the following story, but of course it took 1000 words of back story to get here.
I called a cleaning company to get an estimate. The lady on the phone told me she would like go over what they do during a cleaning before she scheduled the in home estimate. Here is how the conversation went. Her name is Linda.
Linda: Mrs. Griffith the maids who work for us have all been trained and our cleaning comes with a guarantee, so if you are unhappy for any reason you call me and we will make it right. We want you to be a long time customer.
Me: Linda, that is so great.
Linda: The ladies will come in and dust from ceiling to floor including the base boards.
Linda: Yes ma'am. They will be sure there are no cobwebs and they will vacuum out the window sills.
Me: Ok, (thinking to myself, shoot, I need to vacuum out the window sills before they come because I never do that.)
Linda: They will vacuum your furniture, and all the floors. Do you have dogs?
Me: (Shoot? Do I lie? I don't think I can hide them when the come over.....) Um, yes we have 3? Is that ok?
Linda: Oh yes! We love dogs, and I just wanted to tell you that we will make sure and get all the dog hair from under your furniture too.
Me: Under the furniture?
Linda: Yes, except for things the ladies can't move themselves. Is that ok?
Me: Um, yes. (Cuss word, now I have to vacuum under the furniture before they come)
Linda: The ladies will mop the tile and they will use Bona on the hardwoods. Is that ok?
Me: That is great.
Linda: They will wipe down and polish all your appliances.
Me: (lump forming in my throat)
Linda: They will disinfect all bathrooms, and wash with soap and water all your counter tops. (Hears sniffling on the other end of the line) Are you there, Mrs. Griffith?
Me: (small) Yes
Linda: Ok, great. Well I wanted to let you know that they will also change your sheets for you if you leave the clean ones out on in your rooms. They will also dust and clean all the ceiling fans and light..........(hears sobbing) Ma'am are you ok?
Me: I-I-I'm fine. (sob-sob) I-I'm so sorry Linda. (sob-sob) I have just been so stressed out about this. (sob-sob) Just to know that it will get done and I don't have to do it, (sob-sob) is just so great.
Linda: Um, ok. So do you want to set up the in home estimate?
Me: Yes, absolutely, when can you come. (sniff, sniff)
Linda: We could have our estimator come tomorrow (pauses, talking to someone with the phone receiver covered) Actually Mrs. Griffith, my manager says he could come right now if you really need someone so urgently.
Me: (Laughing) Oh, no Linda, tomorrow is fine, I'm ok, I promise. I swear I am not a crazy person. I promise I am not weird, I'm just so relieved.
Linda: Ok, I will schedule you for tomorrow. I'm glad you called, sounds like you need some help.
Me: Yes, Linda I need help. (Girl, you have no idea how much help I need!)