i'd like to write a book titled Keeping Up With the Joneses for Dummies. there would be only one page, with one simple word ..."Don't!"
i have never told you why the title of this blog is "Keeping Up With the Joneses." i'm sure you think it is because my last name is Jones, but that is not the reason. in fact i can think of a few other blog titles i would use which don't have my last name in them. Blog titles i have been mulling over for some time, because i would like a more original, inspiring title.
To be honest, when i started this blog in the spring of 07, i was having a hard time fitting into my Jones skin and my God skin.
First, you need a little history on me. i had spent (wasted) many years trying to "Keep Up" with a Jones. i had made her an idol, and something to aspire to. After years of "Keeping Up" i realized i couldn't, and i became bitter. i soon realized that "Keeping Up With the Joneses" had become a handicap for me ( i even wrote a paper about it for a college class).
I use to pray, "God, i NEVER want to be a Jones, because i never want people to feel like they have to "Keep Up" with me."
But then love happened...
i met him, Michael Jones. The most handsome, considerate, loving, give-yourself-up- for-this-girl-guy. He was (is) perfect. And in Sept. of 96 we were married, and i became Denise Jones.
Don't you think God had a good laugh at my "i NEVER want to be a Jones."
Still, i had no idea though that i would have such a hard time fitting into this Jones skin. in time i discovered there were still Jones idols in my closet. i had created an image of what a Jones should look like. i believed the Jones' around me to fit that image, and i believed i didn't measure up. i wanted to be enough for a family whose name i now bare. I wanted the acceptance, affections, praise, and love of a family. I believed (as i had my entire childhood) that if i was enough, i would gain these things. i never did gain these things. The truth is i didn't have to, they were there the moment i became a Jones (their "daughter-in-love" as they refer to me). i was so busy though trying to fit, that i completely missed that i did.
At the same time i was having a hard time fitting into my God skin. The same way i had made Jones idols, i had made an idol of Christianity. i was working overtime to live up to an image. Believing again that if i was enough i would gain the acceptance, affections, praise, and love of a church family... and even more, that i would prove myself worthy to be God's daughter.
i learned the hard way (as i often do) that you can't earn worthiness. You just are.
The same way i was a Jones the moment i married Michael, i was made worthy the moment my life belonged to Christ.
The Jones skin and God skin had fit all along.
And the journey i have been on for almost 2 years, is to live like someone who fits in her God given life.
So as you can see, we're not the kind of Jones' you have to keep up with...
unless "Keeping Up" equals seeking humility, weakness, vulnerability, less of me, and all of God.