This series isn't going to be pretty.
I'm not writing it for you.
I'm writing it for me, as I stand in front of the mirror, a slap in my own face. I need a renewed reality check. I need a swift kick in the pants...
If your face stings, turn the other cheek.
(Remember, I am saying this to myself in the mirror, hence "you" and "I"...don't accuse me of accusing you, please.)
"Adrienne, you have #FirstWorldProblems. Seriously. Let's take the obvious: You are looking in the mirror at yourself in what Westerners call a 'master bathroom' which is conveniently located next to your 'walk-in closet' where you own 7 pair of jeans of which you complain do not fit on your chubby thighs which are that way because you live in America where you have access to more processed food than any country in the world. Actually, living in America doesn't make you chubby. Stop making excuses. Your choices to eat processed foods, especially your known allergens, make you chubby. Stop blaming it on America. America has her own problems. In Cambodia your place of residence would easily house 75 people. That could be 75 young girls, Emily's age, who have been sold into sex slavery because their parents can't afford to feed and keep them, let alone send them to school. Em's 9 and 3/4. The world is a sick place. You are sad Em's turning 10. Be thankful you have a daughter who is healthy and doesn't even know what sex really is except for roosters, chickens and eggs. You have a pantry near your kitchen. A pantry is a closet or cupboard which houses abundance and resources. You have 18 drawers in your kitchen, 21 cupboards. Cold water. Water that comes out of a tap or fridge. You have options. Water you didn't have to walk 6 miles to get for your family. You went to college for four years and your loans are paid off. You got to choose where you attended school (well, sorta...that's another story...) Your daughter goes to a highly sought after Outward Bound school. Yes, your husband is having an "affair" with his stupid iPhone, but only because he's always been a nerd when it comes to technology. Be thankful you have a husband who loves you and has always been faithful. Yes, there is laundry everywhere. Be thankful you aren't naked. You have clothes. Too many clothes. Give some away...then you will not have as much laundry. Yes, there are toys everywhere. You have a toddler. Be grateful he is alive and healthy and makes messes. Get rid of some of his toys...he doesn't need them all...certainly there are kids out there who could use some. Forget about the broccoli ground into the bottom of your tennis shoe. Be grateful he has a good arm and is strong enough to throw food. Be grateful you have food to give to your children each day. The reason you have dirty dishes piled up is because you have food to feed your family...or you have too many dishes...give some dishes away. And all that stuff on your desk. What about all that? Will you really read all those books or is it simply a good intention? Give some away. Stop feeling overwhelmed that you don't have enough time to do whatever it is you think you need to do and prioritize. Get some perspective, Adrienne! Stop standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open, wondering WHAT ON EARTH you're going to make for dinner. Stop whining because you have to run to the grocery store for the third time this week...because by "run" I mean you have a car...and by "grocery store" I mean one of 5 within a 5 mile radius...and by "third time this week" I mean maybe you should start meal planning. Be grateful you have food...in a refrigerator...at all. And back to this mirror. What do you see? How long, Adrienne? How long will you sing this song of not loving yourself? He made you who you are on purpose. Stop squeezing the backs of your arms, your thighs, your belly, and just make the healthy choices you already know how to make. #FirstWorldProblems. Maybe one of your #FirstWorldProblems is that you have too many choices? In Uganda or Kenya or Bangladesh or Guatemala or Haiti or Sudan or Papau New Guinea the moms aren't asking, "What will we have for dinner?" with the same voice inflection you are asking it. You are wondering, "Hmmmm....should we have salmon or chicken on the grill...with grilled or sauteed or oven roasted veggies and olive oil and garlic." They are wondering, "WHAT, if anything, will we have for dinner?" Get over yourself. Seriously, Adrienne, get over yourself. You have #FirstWorldProblems. Be thankful. Be generous. Nothing you call "your own" is yours. Nothing. Not even your own life. It's His. You gave it to Him long ago. I'm pretty sure in your own insecurity and struggle for control, you have taken yourself back. You are not your own. You were bought with a price. Close your eyes. Put out your hands. Surrender. Ask Him to lead the way. Stop trying to drag God around on a leash. Slip your hand into His and walk with Him. He is faithful. He will lead you. He sees the bigger picture. Remember? Why do you forget to remember sometimes?! He sees the bigger picture. He sees the #FirstWorldProblems and the #ThirdWorldProblems. He died for me so I would know freedom from this world...not that I wouldn't face problems, but so I would know Who to run to with my problems...and so I'd know what are actual "problems" and which things are problems I create for myself because I live in the First World."