Thursday, July 24, 2008

Forgive me for I have sinned

I have not been able to post with a clear conscience lately. I have written, but not posted because to post on my convictions and accomplishments while having failed so badly seems so fraudulent.

I keep having a conversation with myself that says that others too must stumble and fall - that all the folks working hard to live sustainable, simple lives must surely make some bad judgments. And I remind myself that I forgive others; and in doing so, I only ask of others that when they fall into sin (sin being a loaded word but here meaning recognizing ones action as against God, people, and deeply held beliefs of what is "right" in the world)that they make amends as best as possible and then turn anew in the direction they should be going and continue on. The word origin of the word "repent" means to turn around. It is therefore in my spiritual and religious tradition to confess and seek forgiveness or otherwise remain stuck in mire. Here, stuck in mire means not blogging because I'm not able to get over my errors.

Forgive me for I have sinned:

I have argued with my husband and been angry with my mother and out of my anger caused my youngest to cry. (What really sucks is that I lost the argument). In attempting to stick to my guns on my ideals I have been brittle. Specifically, family wants a summer vacation to San Francisco - it will cost everything we have saved and about twice that and we are still going. We have a big blow up when my parents were here and they took the other side and I lost the battle. I'm still mad and I'm going on vacation. Go figure.

In my bull headedness I purchased a small 1974 camp trailer (thinking local vacation and a traveling retreat or something to tow for bug-out). I have spent money at IKEA outfitting said trailer rather than finding things at yard sales and thrift stores.

I used Sevin on the squash bugs.

In my attempts at voluntary simplicity and making from scratch I have succumbed to despair, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. I have sulked.

I have not been faithful in prayer.

I and am heartily sorry for these my misdoings, the remembrance of them is grievous, the burden weighs heavily. I earnestly intend to turn anew, to live a life of simplicity and sustainability, to be frugal to hold to my beliefs to live in grace with my family, to be prayerful and be a right example to those with eyes to see.

And how do you deal with failure in your own lives? What is sin for you? Where do you experience forgiveness?


Matriarchy said...

Well, *I* forgive you, if that helps.

I would also be angry if my DH trod over my ideals to plan a vacation, and my parents took his side. Certainly you are forgiven for IKEA - that's like a drug addiction. Who can help IKEA? The trailer is still good for short trips and bug-out. Or even as your own little meditation retreat in the yard.

I will be silent on the Sevin, as I am grieving over my own zuke plant, which succumbed to SVB this week.

I am sure your loved ones forgive you, too. What I try to model is the practice of getting back UP after I get knocked down (especially if I tripped myself).

The real question is: what do you need to do to forgive yourself for not being a superhero?

Anonymous said...

I do understand that it must be really hard for you, as a minister, to realize your failures count for double (or that more people are watching). I am not trying to assuage your conscience when I say the next thing as a little guilt has always been a good motivator with me, but feeling overwhelmed by all you have taken on is always an indicator that you've taken on more than you can. The best case in point is losing the argument about taking a vacation. If your family is not up on the whole save money/live simply issue, you've got a lot more work ahead of you and might need to move more slowly. (Ditto the Sevin and all the purchases.)

I have been really impressed by all the changes you have made in your life, so quickly, but...maybe the chickens are coming home to roost and it's time to assess!

will smama said...

Oh love! Please stop being so hard on my friend.

Verde said...

Thanks ya'll. Actually, I think the whole post thing is a way of forgiving myself. Confession and repentance and forgiveness....they're all sort of links in the process.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you feel some sense of forgiveness...i'm sure you know that we all forgive you (I don't even want to think about my most recent shopping spree or my recent lack of homemade meals!). You can't do it all and these moments are important reminders. Your church will love you for being human, as they all are.

Songbird said...

Aw, Verde. I've felt this way, about other things. How can I blame you for IKEA when I get a Starbucks almost every day, think about it when I don't, etc?
Love you and your efforts. I think for all of us it's about looking for balance, in the end.

Robj98168 said...

Guilt sucks. Quit being so hard on yourself.I think that we get so wrapped in our own ideas and beliefs that sometimes we forget that we wrew merely human, that we hold ourselves to a higher level than we need to.
So you argued with your husband, what wife hasn't? And you got angry at your parents for taking someone elses side- been there done that!
IKEA- not a sin. I go there at least once a week- they have a cafe and we don't at work. You used Sevin? have you looked at the size of your garden space? I would probably have used 8,9,and 10 by now. THe tent trailer is a practicle investment for the future. You guys will use it and it will pay for itself!
I think matriarchy hit it on the head - what do you need to do to forgive yourself for not being a superhero?

Verde said...

OK, now I'm worried. Rob is not giving me a hard time but being genuinely kind and helpful. Someone bring me a hot water bottle and an asprin ;-)

IKEA has quite a spell on a small town girl.

Tara said...

Sounds like everyone has pretty well covered it, but I'll add my two cents anyway. None of us are perfect. All we can do is try to do our best with what we have to work with. We don't get it right ALL the time, so I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it. As for the vacation thing - as much as it may pain you, sometimes you must meet reluctance halfway back, in order to bring it further forward.

Caroline Freedom said...

Sweetie, I'll bet you have a grand vacation. Your family knows you opposed the whole deal so your willing attendance will be a testament to them of your love. AND I bet you could find a neat sustainable place to visit on vacation, somewhere that might help your family to see living simply as an ideal.

Verde said...

Thank you Caroline. I have asked my oldest who appointed herself as director of the whole vacation that I would like to visit those things in San Francisco that are of sustainable and green.

Since gaining the vacation, family is now asking about ways to do it well... we are packing fruit and vegies in the car rather than junk food for a road trip... we are looking into seeing about the permaculture exibit at the S.F. Botanical gardens as a sightseeing. We are looking into the most green transportation....more to come.

mid-life rookie said...

I'm stealing this from a pastor friend who stole it from someone else. We fall into the cycle of negativity when we get our glances and gazes mixed up. We glance at the problems and gaze at the promises of God. In our churches and in our lives sometimes we find ourselves gazing at the problems and glancing at the positives and promise. Glad you hear you are getting your glances and gazes turned back around. Hope you find a way to enjoy the trip and see what God is doing in it and in your family. They may surprise you in some of their choices. I hope you hear their need for a break and they hear your need to continue to live as a good steward.