Thursday, March 3, 2016

Stepford- Why It's More Than I Thought

Greetings, Chaotics!
Since my last "Stepford" entry, I had sort of...exited Stepford. For the last month, the law of Craptastic happened.

What is the Law of Craptastic, you ask?

The Law of Craptastic reads as this- anything and everything bad that can happen, will happen...all in a very short time span with barely a moment for you to catch your breath.

I had seen it going around since maybe the end of last had started to make its rounds between people I cared about. I had tried to continually pray for and encourage those that it was affecting. I had made myself available to anyone who needed a sympathetic ear, a person to jump in and do something, anything to make their lives a little easier and not so overwhelming.

But then...Feburary came.
After attempting to do the Stepford Wife Challenge, I won't lie...Although I enjoyed the structure and order it gave me, I wasn't seeing this radical change in myself or my husband as I expected. Yes, some tiny changes had occurred, but they were mostly small and not in the areas I had hoped would change within me. I tried for a few days to maintain the Stepford image, but then The Law of Craptastic came and that all sort of went to pieces.

I won't go into all the what happened's and how's. The point is, the Law doesn't discriminate. The Law came in, did its job, and left a very weary woman and a very frustrated man, along with three very confused and sad children. I spent a good deal of February in my bed, curled up in fetal position, crying. It sucked rocks and I hated every single day of it.

But, as I said before...not only did this affect me, it affected my whole family as well. Because I was not up to my standard of Stepford, I was not cheery and optimistic. I was miserable. And because I tend to share without realizing it, I decided to dump on my husband and children how miserable I was. My husband in turn retreated/backed away, and I was left with not only the daily to-do's while being miserable, but also attempting to lead our family and being angry at God the whole time. I blamed God for the Law and the destruction in its wake. I told God many days in February, "If you want me back, then you're going to have to do a miracle, because this is TOO MUCH and I quit!!"

He didn't leave me or divorce me...he just, kept his distance emotionally.

In the same fashion as one who keeps their distance from a tornado that has the potential to kill.

Not only that, but I had a very close gal friend who The Law was wrecking havoc on and had been since the end of last year. So, here we were together, two emotional tornadoes just crying and wallowing as The Law did its destruction all around us.

I had tried very hard to say "NO MORE!", but my heart wasn't in it. I wasn't done wallowing, I had several years of unknown crap to dump on anyone that came within shouting distance. Suddenly, every awful thing I thought was over...suddenly resurfaced and gave me the notion that, I, no matter how tired and weary, was sucking so bad at life and nothing I did mattered. I had not only lost faith in myself...I lost faith in those around me, lost hope that good things can happen, and that God wasn't fully to blame for all that was going on.

When March finally rolled around, I was move forward. Yes, I got one step forward only moments/days later to be two steps back. Everything I touched, because I no longer sought God, became tarnished, dirty, broken. I was broken and trying very hard to put myself back together...all alone.

Then last night...I got part one of my miracle.

As some of you know, I started the Stepford Challenge because I needed to know what full-on, total submission to my husband looked like and try to find a happy medium. Yes, in the back of my head, I had hoped...prayed, even, that if I tried to be totally and completely submissive and feminine, that my husband would man up and lead. That if I stepped back and stopped trying to play Indiana giver-taker with his leadership...that he might, dare I say...LEAD. And, as the challenge came to an end, I had thought that this just wasn't going to be. That, as the website said...maybe I was one of the few that maybe Stepford wasn't for. That maybe, because of society's new norm and ideas of what a woman should be...maybe my man didn't want to or desire to lead in the Stepford way.

As a result, come February, between crying in fetal position and trying to just keep up with all that needs to be done around the house, I also said "Screw you!" to Stepford, to God, and I guess in a sense, to my husband without really meaning to.

But yesterday....yesterday was the beginning of miracles. After almost two years of praying and one month of total(well, mostly total) submission, we had a breakthrough.

God had convicted my husband's heart and he said he was ready to start leading. He was ready to be the man God(and I) had hoped he would at least strive to be.

Great, I thought as he texted me these words. You have my husband on board at a time when I'm not fully done wallowing. Thanks a lot, God.

But without meaning to, I cried. Regardless of the timing, it was an answered prayer, and I knew it was the miracle I needed.

Today, I woke up saying "No More." God had answered my prayer, he had provided me the miracle. I had no right to ask him for a miracle, but he gave me one. And now, it was my turn to do my part. I took off the emotional sackcloth of mouring over the Law's destruction and instead washed my face and put on new clothes(figuratively speaking...if we're being honest, I sat in bed two hours. But I did wash my face and get dressed once I got out of bed :P).

I started to read the second day of a new devotional, while picking up my old one(Created to Be His Helpmeet). Suddenly, as either the Holy Spirit or the SToK coffee hit my veins, a spark started(again...figuratively. I don't go around lighting things on fire when I'm excited.). I started to see that my attitude, my cheeriness or lack thereof, my submitting to my husband, my thoughts, my response...THAT is what made last month so awful. Yes, the events themselves were pretty crappy, but it was my overall attitude and response to it all(as well as the company I chose) that made it too much to bear, over the edge yucky.

As my close gal pal was texting her daily "woe is me!" 's, I finally said, enough is enough! I told her, as kindly but boldly as I could that, look, I'm going back to Stepford. If being optimistic, and cheery, and not down talking my husband, my kids, that's wrong, then I don't want to be right! That we both need to stop wallowing and do what God called us to do...submit to our husbands in all things and in all ways, no matter if they suck at it, no matter if we think they're doing it wrong. That we are both going to be miserable if we continue this path, and I'm tired of feeling that way. That our husbands ARE ON OUR TEAM, and we need to stop seeing them as the opposing team. That I am shaking the dust of February, of despair, of not submitting and wondering why nothing is going right, off my feet and I am READY to move forward, with my husband, with my kids, with God! And then I asked her...was she ready to do the same?
I would love to say she did. But she outright said no, she wasn't going to submit to her husband, she wasn't done fighting, she wasn't done doing whatever it was with her child that caused her and her husband to argue and she wasn't going to even try to be cheery when she is feeling injustice on...whatever was done.

It broke my heart. But I had to respond back that I'm sorry, I cannot continue to support her in her current path. I cannot listen to her "vent"(which, looking venting just giving yourself the freedom to have an unashamed "woe is me" moment or seven? Or am I the only one that does it for that reason??) about the shortcomings in her marriage, the injustice of her family, etc.etc. any longer. I blocked her number, told my husband of my decision, and ended the friendship. And then I cried.

And as I cried, I texted my husband. He told me last night he was ready to lead. Well, today, I am passionately, totally and completely submitting. I am no longer going to allow my swaying emotions and feeling about how(or how friends are telling me how) he is leading to affect how I am going to submit. I am not going to let other people's opinion of my husband affect my ability to be on his team. I am not going to think, do, watch, speak anything that may sway me from striving to be the best wife I can be towards my husband.

So, yes...I am packing my bags and going back to Stepford.

And I am leaving the people, the world beyond Stepford....behind.

It's funny. Although when I started the Stepford Wife Challenge, I thought...that's too extreme, it's too perfect, no one should try and live out everything...
Now, I see. I understand now.
They made some pretty bold claims on their website. They do some extreme things in most modern women's eyes.

But they are fighting for the biggest relationship a woman can ever have with a man.

They don't want to be a statistic. They don't have divorce.

You know...Jesus wanted God to have a relationship with us so bad, he died for it. He cared so much about our connection to God that he did the extreme, he became a servant, he did what God asked him to do, even to the point of death in the most embarrassing of ways.

So, why is it so extreme that we(I'm not an official member or anything, I don't think there is a membership to begin with) want nothing more than our best for our marriages? Why is so extreme to put our very best out for the man we are to spend the rest of our lives with? Why is it so extreme to make our men as happy as we can, by doing the best that we can? So what if he wants us to parade around in heels and a dress(or barefoot and a potato sack or whatever tickles his fancy) as we go about our day? So, who cares if he wants a certain thing for dinner even though we already have the meal planned and cooking? So what if they want us to read a certain book or do a certain curriculum with the children?

Most(not all!) of our men are out in the work field, taking demands from someone higher up than them all day long. He is constantly fighting and pushing himself to his physical and emotional limits to make sure that there is dinner on the table. Does this sort of man not deserve to have his home a sanctuary, his recliner his throne, his wife treating him as a king?
I never once thought, when entering, I would want to fully embrace and stay in Stepford. I never thought I would consider putting honey in my mouth, or wear make up daily, or be asking myself "How can I make our home, our kids...myself, better for Papa?"

But now I see.

Stepford is so much more than robotic like perfection. 

It truly is a way of life.

Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

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