But that isn't my point. My main point is that in this Bible study we are working through the book "Having a Mary Spirit" by Joanna Weaver. To be honest the first couple chapters didn't captivate me. But this last week the study started talking to me. Convicting me. We were asked to identify which "false belief" we relate to the most. The false beliefs are: 1) the performance trap 2) approval addiction 3) the blame game and 4) shame. I knew without a doubt that I struggle with 1 and 2. Approval addiction more than performance trap. Um hello Facebook addiction and my love of getting "likes" and comments on everything I posted! Yep, my approval addiction was being fed by social media. So glad I stepped away from that. (It really has been a great experience. I highly recommend it!)
At the weekly Bible study we were asked to share which false belief we struggle with and I openly admitted to approval addiction (with a dash of performance trap). Immediately two of the ladies seemed shocked. They both said they never would have guessed that about me because I appear confident in who I am. (I of course was flattered). One woman even went so far as to say she admires me for being so content with my life and where we are at right now. She said she felt I had a lot I could complain about (being married to a student and staying at home with three kids) but don't. (She must not read the blog. Ha! It might tell a different story.) Again I was flattered.
The next morning I took our van in to get an estimate for fixing some rusty areas. We are getting a small tax refund this year and I thought it would be a good way to spend the money. Fifteen minutes later I had the estimate in my hands and the estimator's words ringing in my ears, "For that price you should probably replace the vehicle as it isn't worth that much".
I thanked her for her time and quickly loaded the girls up to leave. I knew that we would not be fixing the rust. Nor would we be replacing the van. We just don't have that kind of money. And we won't anytime soon. I am embarrassed to admit it, but as I drove away I cried. I cried because I don't want to drive a rusty old van. It's ugly. And I feel ugly in an ugly van. And as my big fat tears flowed freely I knew that I was being petty. That I was falling into the approval trap once again, but I couldn't help it. I was sad (and honestly a little mad) that I will be driving this ugly van around for the next four to five years (and it will just keep getting uglier)! Sometimes I am just so tired of constantly living as poor students. It's not so bad at 18, but at 30 (nearly 31) it can be tiresome. It gets old. Sometimes I just want to live like a real grown up!
To be perfectly clear, mechanically speaking my van is great. I have put A LOT of miles on it and it keeps on going. And for that I am very thankful. I also realize that if I was working we could possibly do something about the ugly van situation. But for now I am choosing to stay home to raise my babies. So by default I am choosing to drive an ugly van. Lastly I realize it won't always be this way. I know when my husband is done with training we will be able to afford a pretty van. This is just part of the process. But knowing these things did nothing to soften the blow to my ego I was handed with that estimate.
I wish the ladies at my Bible study were right. I wish I were confident in who I am. I wish I were content with where I am. But the honest truth is I am not there (yet). God is working on me and my heart. I am learning to be confident in who I am (a child of God, loved deeply by Him, and saved by grace) and where I am (wife, mother, ugly van owner living far away from family). Hopefully I will be there some day. Until then I am glad I have a God that is big enough and kind enough to accept me and my tears shed over my ugly van.