Thursday, June 6, 2013

Desperate: Chapter Eight (Yes - I'm Back!)

It's been a bit over two months since I've posted.  It's been an insanely busy two months with our church's mission's conference, two weddings (one of which I was in), finishing up homeschool co-op with a big night to commemorate it, house guests, various ministries, my fortieth birthday, and other crisis and celebrations.  This week, I have finally had time to relax and catch up on bills, laundry, and sleep.  Now, I am hoping to catch up on this blog, as well.

Are any of you still reading Desperate?  Are any of you done with the book?  Maybe some of you are still hoping to find the book and/or begin it.  After a long absence from this blog, I have had to re-read the chapter I will be posting about and it blessed me all over again.

Chapter 8 is entitled, Escaping.  Sarah Mae is, once again, painfully honest about her own escape method - internet addiction.  While not into anything evil, per-se, she was addicted to the internet via blogs, research, possibly even social-media.  Like Sarah Mae, I will not hammer the Internet.  The point is she used the Internet as a way of escape.

Our age is full of stay-at-home moms addicted to FaceBook, blogging, and Google.  A decade or two ago, moms were addicted to soap-operas.  Moms of all generations are found having adulterous relationships.  Why?  They are trying to fill their need of real relationships with virtual relationships.

"I really believe that because we do not have the community support families used to have, young mothers with little children are more and more drawn into alternate realities, to places that are big escapes from the mundane life." - Sarah Mae

  Cleaning up peanut butter and jelly messes, wiping noses, helping with math problems may be a wonderful calling as we nurture our children towards adulthood, but most of the time, we see it as just more messes, gross noses, and boring math that we never got when we were students years ago and now we have to try to explain it so our 11 year old will get through 5th grade.

We need to support one another with REAL relationships.  Relationships that offer support, encouragement, love, and prayer.  Without a real person reminding us from time to time what our real purpose is, answering our questions when we feel inept, giving us encouragement when we've hit the proverbial wall, we moms will seek a relationship in a virtual sense just to have something to hold onto.

"It is during the times when we are most overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy and depression that we are most vulnerable to a snare." - Sally Clarkson

Motherhood is stressful.  It is challenging.  It is wearisome.  It is boring.  All of these things will make us feel inadequate and worthless. We begin to look for a way to make life better,  more exciting, or more worthwhile.  We just want to take our minds off of all the areas in which we are failing.  Some mothers get a career.  Some get a blog.  Some get 1,000 friends on FaceBook. Some get a boyfriend.  All of these are ways of escaping.

Sarah Mae encourages readers that have fallen into the sin of addiction to be honest before God.  He already knows what we're doing...we just need to be truthful and repent.  He is compassionate and merciful.  He will give us the grace and strength to conquer that thing that has a hold on us....our imagination, a wrong relationship, the Internet, the telephone...whatever it may be.

"If we are feeling lonely, then we need to figure out ways to find like-minded friends with whom we can cultivate healthy relationships.  If we are weary, we need to build rest into our schedule." - Sally Clarkson

We have a very real need for relationships.  Not just conversations with our precious two-year old or struggling 15-year old.  We need relationships that will give us fuel for the next leg of our journey rather than draining our tank, as our children so often do in their neediness.

Our first and foremost relationship must be with the Lord.  We must be addicted to Him.  Spend time with Him every day.  Talk to Him.  Listen to His voice.  Cry out to Him and seek His wisdom.

Our next relationship needs to be with our spouse.  Get on the same page or else life will be even more of a trial. Talk with him.  Dream with him.  Laugh with him.  Snuggle with him.  Make your romance REAL and you will prevent destructive fantasies and affairs.

Finally, you need a relationship with a like-minded woman.  A friend you can feel safe with that will not judge you, but will be honest with you.  A friend who may not have all the answers, but has an ear to listen and a heart to pray.  A friend that has shoulders big enough to bear your burdens.  Just check out your shoulders to make sure you can bear hers, as well.

"I don't want an escape; I want to trust Jesus with the life He has given me." - Sarah Mae

When you quit trying to escape your reality, look your life square in the face.  Live the life God has given you - a life full of blessings to out-weigh the trials, a life full of beauty, a life full of purpose.  No computer screen, imagination, book, or man will give you such a life.  Only our real God will give you  real grace, strength, and joy.  Be blessed in each day of your reality with Him.

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