Monday, November 11, 2013

The Upside of Exhaustion

I have a habit. It's so natural to me that until recently I wasn't aware of it, not really. Not in a way that could recognize it and choose to do something differently.

My habit? Keeping it together. As in, this even-keeled, somewhat stoic expression of myself.

It's not that I'm one-dimensional or emotionless, by any stretch.

But - no cracking or crumbling allowed. At least not where anyone can see it. Calmness is key. No flare of anger when mistreated; rarely tears of weariness when tired; and even a holding back of joyful, carefree feelings, because, eek, vulnerability! They'll see the real me!

Oh, will I ever stop fearing this?

So, the upside of exhaustion?

I no longer have the energy to keep it together anymore. Too weary to put on a brave face, give myself a pep talk, or hide my tears. Worn out enough to not care how I look or what people might think.

It's for-real a positive thing, because this is authenticity. This is the beginning of intentional vulnerability. It's growing brave enough to be the real me...not the me I think I should be or wish I was, or the Beth that I think others need or want me to be.

Lately, it's been me choosing to let others see my hurting heart or hear words from me that reveal my thin faith and tired mind.

I cried openly in front of my children the other day after a situation that deeply hurt me. I could not stop and did not try. Pretty soon several of them were crying, too. And that's okay, because there's nothing wrong with being not-okay for a time.

Right now, I see that I'm improving at being real about hurt, disappointment, pain, and difficult emotions. I'm thinking my next challenge is to let my inner little girl out: show the giddy, happy, silly without apology and without slamming on the even-keeled brakes. Something in me instinctively wants to keep all those sweet, light emotions a secret, for fear of....what? Maybe it's about control - I'll feel like I'm not in control and that I'll look like I'm not in control.

Ah, the fearless letting go, and the being okay with the person God's made me to be. Scary and exciting.

And I praise Jesus for all this - for the learning, for the opening up, for the pain, for the freedom and power from Him to make good changes.

And on a very different note, I had the three youngest home with me from church yesterday, as BH had such a nasty cough. It was a true delight when I took them outside and just watched them run around. BH is still so fascinated by the outdoors and loves the freedom to toddle about and pick up grass and squeal at his sisters running by. CA brought a Playmobil Jeep outside and let it roll down the driveway repeatedly, equally thrilled by it every time.  She talks to herself, narrating the adventure, and intermittently brings others (me, little sister CJ) into her imaginary play. CJ bounced back and forth between giving attention to the Jeep action and following BH around, concerned when he wandered too far for her taste...

Sweet mental snapshot of my littles.


  1. I am thankful for your vulnerability!!! I admire you more than you will ever know and thank God you are in my life, though many miles apart! Love you!!

  2. Theres nothing wrong with bringing the little girl out ! Hope you have a fun time doing it no matter how challenging it might be ! You have inspired me to do the same !