Monday, May 16, 2011

What's my motivation?

I think I might stop washing my hair when we move. Well, let me rephrase that. I've been thinking about not using shampoo and conditioner to wash my hair. I've read a few things on line about using vinegar or other natural cleansers and I kind of think I might like to give it a try. There are a few reasons that a person might decide to not use shampoo. Maybe the person has health concerns and is trying to eliminate products with a lot of additives in them. Or maybe the person has an economical reason for trying this out. I mean, we all know that without a coupon, shampoo can be expensive and vinegar, well it's cheap! Perhaps the person has an environmental reason for going Au naturale. Shampoo and conditioner usually comes in plastic bottles, which end up in landfills, and I am certain there are other environmental concerns from the making and using of shampoo.

So, what's my motivation? Anyone have a guess? I'd like to say it's because I care about the world around me, or I'm concerned about the bottom line, but the reality is, I just want shiny, bouncy hair and from what I've read, once my hair gets back to its "natural" state it will be beautiful. So, I'm thinking I might try this whole no shampoo thing out for a while. Maybe I'll convert my whole family and we'll have the shiniest, bounciest hair in South Africa. However, I know myself. I know that I have a hard time sticking with things that don't produce fast results. I wanted to have toned arms and abs, so I started working out, but then around day 5, my arms and abs hurt and I decided that reading a book would be a much more enjoyable way to spend my time. I have had great intentions to cook better meals for my family, but the cans of cream of chicken soup sitting in my cupboard call out to me and beg to be used in a fast, easy, fatty recipe. I am pretty sure that if I, or someone in my family, were facing a health crisis and needed to make radical changes in our eating habits or activity level, I'd be able to make changes that would stick. A health crisis seems like much stronger motivation to diet and exercise than just wanting tight abs or a firm behind. So while I dream about having shiny, lovely hair, the reality is that I might give up on the whole process while my hair goes through the greasy stage that I've read about. In order for the whole "natural" thing to work, my hair has to find it's own balance and the natural oils need to take over.

So, obviously having the right motivation is a key when making decisions that last. Yet there are so many times that I come at things with the wrong motivation, and not just in trivial matters like my hair care routine. Lately, I have been far from God. Very far. Yes, I know God has not gone anywhere. I know this in my head and in my heart. It's me who has done the drifting. I've talked about it in Bible study and with our small group. I even emailed our pastor about it. Months have passed by since I've opened up my Bible and really dug into God's word. The most I've done is search through my concordance to try and find a verse to put on one of these necklaces. My prayer life has also been lacking. Ok, it's been more than lacking, it's basically dead. I mean, I do shoot up quite a few "God help me's" and "Jesus I need You's", but the kind of intimate prayer where I pour my heart out to God and seek His will and ask for His guidance...not so much. 

Now, I am not making excuses for myself and I know that sometimes a person just has to start somewhere, but I think that I have been making this whole thing about me, when it is supposed to be all about Him. I think to myself "Jonna, if you'd be talking to God right now, you'd feel so much better" and "Jonna, you are so stressed out, just get in His Word and you'll find comfort and peace". These things are true, but should my main motivation for following Jesus be to make myself feel better?

Lately I've been realizing just how selfish I am and how self-centered a life I lead. I don't need people saying otherwise, because I know my heart. I know how much ugliness is in there. It's funny how I've lived as a Christian for so many years, and now as we prepare to move in less than 4 weeks, I've come face to face with just how fragile and frail my faith is. I am almost 100% sure that this is because I have spent so much of my life seeing God as a part of my life instead of seeing myself as a part of His. Not necessarily His life, but a part of His plan. In church we sing "To God alone be the glory. To God alone be the praise. Everything I say and do, let it be all for you. The glory, is Yours alone". Have these words rung true in my life? Have I been living my life to bring God glory or to make myself happy?

The thing is, I know I have to start somewhere. I know that if I wait too long to find the "right" motivation for spending time with God, it's just not going to happen. I may as well pack up my Bible right now because I won't be opening up. Sometimes you need to just need to dive in. I think that right now I am kind of holding myself back from getting down to the nitty gritty with God because I know it is going to be painful and I know I'll cry and right now I just don't want another thing to cry about. Silly, I know, because while the relationships I am preparing to say goodbye to are beautiful things, they should not be anywhere near as important to me as my relationship with God is. I do find myself whispering "God, please go easy on me. Give me time. I will come back to you."

That's enough deep introspection for one day. I had big plans to tie this all together neatly-wanting shiny hair and wanting a shiny life, yet not really wanting to go through the process to get either of these things, but my brain just honestly can't do it. I'm pretty sure you all were able to draw some connections through this whole post, but then again, the whole thing might only make sense to me.

Tune in tomorrow for more of my deep and messy thoughts...


Sarah said...

I love you, my honest friend. I can't wait to see you on Friday night. And Lia and I will tell you how jealous we are that you're moving to South Africa and you'll want to slug us in the gut. :)

Alyssa said...

So you had me thinking deep, laughing and enjoying this post. I could be into trying it. After you do. ;) I love your honesty. It's a rare gift. Keep us posted on your hair. (WIll it smell like vinegar after you rinse?)

(Oh yeah, Kelsey told me her cousin was there too. She is a total hoot and so much fun. You will have to ask her if she liked her counselors and what goofy "shadows" she was making.) ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, my friend, for your honesty! But don't forget that Satan also tells us things about ourselves, hoping we'll believe we aren't shiny people or that we've gone too far in the other direction. I'm not arguing with you about how you feel, but rather pointing out that God still sees you as beloved and that will never change, no matter how you feel about yourself.
That is also not to say that you wouldn't feel better if you spent more time in prayer or in His Word, because that's pretty great, too :) Just know I love you and am praying for you and definitely not lecturing you!

Lia Leenstra said...

oh I can post if I am not reading your blog post through face book. Not sure why.

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