Ya know...one of those questions who's answer is something you really don't want to deal with...supposing you were to answer it honestly.
Ok...well, at this point, you're either with me.....or you're not, but this thought has been bugging me for days, so here goes:
"WHY do I do what I do?"
We have all heard the phrase, "keeping up with the Joneses", but I'm not even sure that's what I'm talking about.
I believe what has been nagging me has to do more with MY motives. The REASON behind the things that I do.
When I shop, do I buy clothing to impress my friends, the world, myself or my husband? How about God? (Basically, I buy what fits & what I don't think will cause myself public humiliation, but you get the point, I'll bet.)
When that AMAZING pair of turquoise heels SCREAMS, "Buy ME!!!" Why would I buy them? Because I NEED turquoise shoes (actually.....)? Because I can't wait for my teenagers to steal them from me, therefore I'm really buying them a gift? Because I want to be flashy? Because they are "hot" (BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA)?
While this may be a pretty good example of what I'm talking about, my thoughts are running a bit deeper.
Inner motivation. My secret thoughts. The ones I may not even realize I'm having until it's too late, then I have to unravel a whole nest of icky stuff.
I knew a lady once that had a bunch of kids (more than me, but not as many as the Duggars). When I first met her, I think I had 3 children, so I was VERY impressed by the number she rattled off to me. When I asked their ages, she spat them out with complete accuracy & not a little bit of pride. I was impressed (still am...I have to think about it everytime). We quickly discovered that she lived very close to me & we made plans to do things together as we had several common interests. As I began going to her home, I began to see that her whole identity was wrapped up in the number of children she had (she added 2 more during the course of our acquaintance). That number brought shock, amazement & even awe when she spoke it. Unfortunately, having babies doesn't actually make you a good parent. While she wasn't horrible, there was discord in the home, the children were unhappy & unruly. She was totally wrapped up in her newest baby, & the older ones were kind of pushed aside. Sad, really. What was even worse is that I heard later that she & her husband divorced.
I know I probably just painted the exact picture that people who look down their noses at large families expect to see, but I can assure you that we are not ALL like that. In fact, I know quite a few larger families, and she is very much in the minority where that type of behavior is concerned.
The point I am making is that the WHY behind having so many children for her was not necessarily because she felt a need to have them as much as it was her identity...she impressed people when she told them how large her family was. She received her self-worth through the appearance of her family.
Now, I can honestly say that I have not had this particular issue, but I cannot say that I have not chosen to do things because I knew it would impress others.
C'mon...who can say that?
We all have pride. (nasty stuff!)
We all like to appear wonderful to others.
I sew. I sew pretty good. I like compliments. I sew cute stuff & put it on my cute kids & like the compliments it brings. Hmmmm....is that wrong?
Yes & no.
If I dressed them like fashion plates everyday...it might be a problem (if you were here today, you would know THAT isn't the case! lol). Buuuuutttttttt, there might be an issue if there is some competition going on to have the cutest, best dressed kiddo around. I'll think on that.
This thought can go into every single area of our lives, and it is natural to want to please self & others. However, our main concern should be pleasing our Lord. I don't think He has a problem with me making cute clothes for my kids, or having a well-organized home (HA), or driving a nice car, or being a pretty good cook, or even having a rockin' house full of kids. As long as my focus still remains on Him & His will for me, and I am able to keep all of the little extras in perspective...then I'm ok....I think.
I once knew a lady that felt that she had to run EVERY. LITTLE. DETAIL. of her life by God first.
McDonald's or Arby's?
Peanut Butter or Cheese?
Blue or Black?
You think I'm kidding. I'm so not kidding.
Maybe she was closer to Him than I am...maybe He told her that Macky D's fries were da bomb & she should never stray from them...I don't know. But, my inclination is that He gave us a pretty good mind & instructions to pray without ceasing & to be near to Him morning, noon & night. In other words, LIVE IN HIM. If we do that, then there will be no room for prideful motives. The WHY behind our actions will only be:
>>>>Because it will please my Lord.<<<<
I have so much work to do.