Friday, June 26, 2009

Making Some Changes

I have had a great week of reflecting and figuring out where I stand on many things. I started to be really convicted about a lot of things, but I wasn't sure what to do about it, so I just kept on my merry way.
It's hard to explain how I ended up with all of these thoughts because there are SOOOO many reasons for them, but I thought I would try to explain what my thoughts and convictions are :). Bear with me.

First, I had been spending WAY too much time online... between researching, blogging, and reading other blogs, I was putting way to much effort into "natural living." Yes, living that way does take some time because it's important to know why, but I was making it my focus. I have done so much research over the past 6 months... I shouldn't really need to do anymore. So, why was I doing more? Because it has become an obsession of mine. Natural living is a good thing, but too much of anything is bad because it becomes an idol. If anything is before spending time with Jesus or taking care of my family, I need to stop.
I was also taking others' opinions and feeling bad if I didn't do things the way everyone else does them... like I was being a bad parent if I don't do everything the way other bloggers (who seem to be perfect, but really aren't) do them (if that makes any sense)...

Next, I have been spending WAY too much money on "natural living." Instead of being balanced and picking and choosing, I had to have it all. The natural personal care products, natural cleaners and detergents, organic/grass fed/cage free foods, etc. Again, all of those things are good, but I was putting SO much money into it... which is never a good thing. Instead of giving and saving, I have been spending way too much on food and natural products. I am TRYING to come to a balance in this. Is it going to kill us if I buy shampoo from Sam's because it is SOOOO much cheaper? No. Sometimes I want to buy natural stuff, and if we have the money, then I will. But, it's just SOOOO expensive, and we don't have the money to spend. I will just learn to choose the items that are the lowest on the cosmetic database and live with my decision. I'm learning that it's okay if I can't afford grass fed meat that month, as long as I buy hormone/antibiotic free. It's okay if I buy the cage free eggs from HEB instead of the Farmer's Market. I just need to learn balance.
I have been going to so many different places everytime I grocery shop, and it is exhausting. I have to figure out a better way... I'm about to have 3 kids. I can't drag them to 5 different stores!! HEB in Beecave has plenty of items to choose from... that needs to be good enough most of the time. I will still going to the farmer's market some, but I have to be okay if I can't!

It's also okay to eat in the dining hall when I can. This gives me the opportunity to spend time with Robert (even if it's just 5 minutes!), eat free food that I don't have to cook, and a way to get out of doing dishes :).

The biggest issue that I've had is that if I write about it on here, I feel like I have to follow it to a "T" because I don't want to be a hypocrite. I had been feeling guilty even going to the dining hall because of all the research I have done and all that I say that I do...

Another issue I found that I had (which it took me a while to realize this) is that with my high expectations for myself, I put those expectations on others... most people don't care about "natural living," and I can't expect them to. I found myself getting worked up about decisions that other people made, and I am learning that IT DOESN'T MATTER what other people do... I am just responsible for my own actions.

Instead of my identity being in Christ, I was making my identity be that I am "natural." Who really cares?

Again, I am NOT saying that natural living is bad. In fact, I will continue living this way for the most part (just with more balance). I'm not saying that I am just going to stop trying because it's too expensive, etc. I am saying that I am trying to learn balance and not make it a focus at all. I want to just live my life, glorify God, and serve my family. At the end of a previous post that I wrote about my journey to natural living, I wrote that this is "who we are". No, that's not who I am. It is something that I'm passionate about, but it's not who I am. My identity isn't in the choice of food/products that I make. My identity is in Christ.

I have been carrying a lot of guilt around for a long time because of not being able to do everything that I want all the time... and about trying too hard to do things that we really can't do. I just can't live guilty anymore. There's freedom in Christ, not burden. The issue is that I have made this an idol, and I had become legalistic in a lot of ways, so I need to let go.

Here it is. I'm letting go. No longer do I want to be seen as someone who puts all of their time and energy into "natural living," but as someone who loves Jesus and loves her family, and it's obvious. Jesus didn't call us to "natural living." He called us to love Him and love others.

So... the future of my blog is uncertain right now. I am going to work a little harder on the home management side and a little less on researching natural living... so at this point I'm not really sure what I'll be writing about (or if I'll write much at all). I'm trying to get to a place in which I'm not online that much... but the internet is something that I've had balance issues with for YEARS (since high school)... so it'll take me a while :). I'm not neglecting my family by any means, I just spend more time on here than I should. I think a lot of people spend too much time online these days...

I hope this makes sense, but if it doesn't, oh well :). Again, I'm not going to stop living naturally, but it's just going to be what I do now and not my focus. I'm happy about the burden being lifted to do things a certain way... I realize I put that burden on myself, and now I'm lifting it :).


ohthesweetpromise said...

Wow you are such a good example for all women, especially me. Thank you for sharing I am sure it was it not easy. I will keep you in prayer.

It is always hard trying to find balance in life, but at least you know that you have to find a blanace, that is usually the first step to making change.

The Man Crew said...

Courtney, I am so proud of you...I know it's something you've been struggling with for a while and I'm glad that you are finding balance. Balance is something that I'm working on in other areas of my life and so I know a bit of how you feel. Keep fighting the good fight, you're doing great! Your family is so blessed to have you! I'll keep praying!