Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stepping Back As I Move Forward.

I've been at a bit of a loss when it comes to finding interesting blog topics. There was something that was discussed at the retreat this past weekend, called the "51% Principle" (from the book, Stickman Theology). It basically asserts that when it comes to our emotional stock, God holds 51% while the other 49% goes to a selective group of friends and family. While one could argue that God should hold ALL of our emotional stock, we have to remember that Christ Himself was surrounded with twelve disciples. Relationships are integral to our existence here, really. And, if you are familiar with the corporate world, you know that when someone owns 51% of a company, they are the primary shareholder. So, in the wake of our close relationships, God remains the majority owner of our emotional stock.


I realized that I allow others, some of whom I don't even know, to have way too much emotional stock in my life. I've spent the past couple days spending time evaluating my relationships and praying for guidance. It's been fantastic, really, because I don't feel like I'm on an emotional high, like coming home from summer camp or knowing I get to eat chocolate in the near future (that was a lame attempt at a joke, please laugh.). Instead I feel this settled peace for which I've been longing for quite a while. As we grow older and get married and have children, our bodies and minds and emotions experience changes and transitions that are unlike anything we've ever experienced before. And, to assume that we can simply cruise on like normal is untrue. We have to keep adjusting our lives and keep adjusting ourselves to fit into these new roles and these new experiences, or we find ourselves worn out and a bit lost.

I am a chronic people-pleaser and have always tried to fill that unnecessary role in my family and in my relationships. I will wear myself out in the desperate hope that I am earning someone's approval, all under the deceptive guise that this is how we, as followers of Christ, are supposed to act. After all, the call to love unconditionally is a high one.

But, there are different levels of love. I am not perfect so I doubt I will ever attain the ability to truly love unconditionally, but I at least recognize how to keep my own love in check so that I am loving those in my life at the appropriate level for which they should be loved. God receives the most of my love as much as I am capable of understanding how to love God. My family and friends receive the next biggest chunk of my love, based on the mutual investment each of us makes. I realize that it is in my nature to over-invest. And when the few that I over-invest in only give me a small return, I feel defeated and that I have done something wrong. When really, I've misunderstood by not loving them at the level for which they need to be loved. I need to take it down a notch. It doesn't mean I don't love them or even that I love them less, it's that the investment those relationships get needs to be at a lower level to keep our playing field even. Or I will continue to over-invest, not be nourished in return, and will find myself exhausted and empty.

And over-investing is nobody's fault but my own. That's a bit hard to swallow.

The speaker this weekend was a certified counselor and I was able to eat breakfast with her on the last day to discuss a plan of action for this stage of my life. Ironically, I had walked into the weekend thinking how great it was that I had no issues and that life was gloriously glorious, even though I was a bit tired. In the midst of my hurried schedule and over-expended exhaustion, I had been a bit blinded by my own well-intended ambition. There are things in my life that need a bit of readjusting. And now I feel that I know how to do that.

So. Where does that leave blogging? Well, I will, of course, continue to blog. You will hear stories about Cub smearing his face with yogurt or falling out of bed and I will continue to share with you the ups and downs of being a mom. Nothing will change in that respect. But what will change is what you do not see--the person beyond the screen. Nothing huge, but definitely necessary.

And now I look back at this massive expanse of words and wonder if any of it made sense. Or, if you made it to the end at all. If so, Bravo! If not, I don't blame you. It's long. With no pictures.

So, friends, have a lovely day. I mean that.

It is really a lovely day today.


  1. Wise speaker lady. Wise post.

  2. ditto to Erin's comment. :) I must say I'm jealous after hearing everyone talk about how amazing the retreat was! Why did I have to get sick the day before?!?

    thanks for sharing, friend.

  3. Through my Breaking Free study, I have come to many of the same realizations that you have mentioned and God has really been working on me in the area of "people pleasing" and "caring what others think". It has a way of creeping in and overtaking my thought process so many times and often leads to having a greater focus on what OTHERS think rather than what God thinks. What a dangerous thing to set myself up for. I just thought it was so crazy you wrote about this, because I have been working on similar things over the past few weeks. Praise God that He points these traps out to us so that we can guard ourselves and "break free" from that particular area of bondage. Though it may seem menial and minor compared to many struggles, it all leads to the same destruction.
    I'm glad you shared. And know you're not alone out there. I, for one, am on the other side of my computer facing the same battles. But we share the same God to help us fight them. Praise Him!!

    (Yup....I definitely wrote a novel.)

  4. God is moving in a similar way in my life! If you get a chance, I'd highly recommend listening to a sermon that JR Vassar gave at our church here: http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/resource_files/audio/201002281115FWC21ASAAA_JRVassar_FreedomFromTheFearOfMan.mp3

    Seriously good stuff!

  5. that post really spoke to my heart. thanks katie. reading your blog all these years after college makes me wish that we had spent more time together in university. you really are an amazing person. thanks for sharing your heart. :)