I Am What I Am

Sometimes I get myself into a tizzy near holidays.

I can’t always tell you what I expect, but I know I want to do something…somewhere..at some point. That is about as close to specifics during planning as I can get. But since my children have come along with each passing year I find myself wanting to find new ways to mark the holidays to make them special. Today was different, for some reason.

First off, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to anyone reading who is a momma. Be your children little or grown, I hope that you find a great and personal way to mark the day for yourself. And to pat yourself on the back. My way of patting myself on the back??

Mine!!!!!!

It was worth it. It was delicious. Always is.

Today hasn’t felt much like Mother’s Day. But in a good way.

I still had to get up and make it to teach Sunday School – no sleeping in or breakfast in bed for me! Rob and I still made it to our Sunday service. Not that we normally wouldn’t go, but Rob graduated college yesterday (more on this in another post!) and we have literally run around all weekend. I’m glad that we at least found a way to wake up and be sure we were with our church family this morning – even if Rob was a touch late.

Then I headed over to my mom’s while Rob took his wonderful mommy out for lunch. I wanted to get out and get a bite to eat or bring something special back for lunch for my mom and sister. Or to plan something to do, like see a movie or go out in town. SOMETHING! ANYTHING!! We ended up with Jerry and his cousin Wes in the backyard in their own turtle swimming pools shooting one another with water guns and chasing the sprinkler. Clara was happy to watch – no getting soaked for her.

Now I’m home. Rob is preparing for his first day at his NEW job tomorrow morning, Clara is fighting taking a nap and I’m here writing to you good folks all while fighting a headache. It just wasn’t a “holiday” in these here parts. But thats OK. Our pastor so aptly hit the nail on head this morning and helped some things click for me that I kind of already sensed were in my heart today but he brought it full circle. Another reason I’m super glad that we were able to make it to church and that today wasn’t simply filled with hustle and bustle leaving little time for anything else.

I forget sometimes to prioritize the way that I should. I put the practical tasks in front of the spiritual ones. Which is funny because for me the spiritual ones are just as important and practical as folding the laundry or doing dishes. I don’t guard my heart. I despair over the things I cannot finish and I sweat the small stuff. The world will tell you that mom’s are super hero’s (and make no mistake, we practically are) but that really isn’t the case. We’re human. We’re flawed. And we easily forget such things. Sometimes I even, though inwardly, toot my own horn when dinner is a slam dunk, the kids are in bed on time and I put away more than one load of laundry. How quick, though, I am to anguish over what I miss or forget to do.

“How good of a mother am I,” I wonder, “Is this the right role for me?” or “Am I doing all that I can do?”

I short change myself. I beat myself up. I miss moments of joy and pleasure because I’m caught up in myself.

I’m approaching one year at home. This is a milestone for me. I never felt like I wanted to stay home once children came. I always felt like I would be someone who would need to feel like I’m doing more or who could do it all. I have tried it both ways – working various hours (both full and part time) once children came into the picture and I began to feel like I had nothing left over to give to them. I saw moms doing this all of the time and doing it seemingly well, so why was I different?? I set the bar so high for myself while forgetting to look to the standard and role that had already been authored long ago by my creator.

In vain I can try to live up to the standards of what the world or others will tell you is a mother. Or what the world will tell you makes a woman. Instead of uniting women, we look for a one-size-fits-all approach to everything. We put other moms down because they don’t do it our way or on our timing. We put women down because they don’t do it our way. We are divisive instead of being unified by the One who made us, created our roles and is acquainted with all of our ways. Whether you are a stay at home mom, a single woman, a mother who works, a single mom, a mother with grown children or a woman who is striving to have children, take heart. There is hope and we need not be discouraged.

Whether you feel like you’re getting it wrong, or you feel like your home is always in utter chaos. When you despair because you want to be at home with your babies and you cannot afford to be. When you’re still single, wondering when the time for babies and a husband will be (or not.) When you feel like you don’t have a great example to look to from your adolescent years. When you are lonely, your miss your children or are aching for the ones you never had. When you question how to forgive, let go, find peace or be satisfied. When you wonder if you’re the woman or mother that the world tells you that you should be stop. Cease and desist. Stop wondering – because you aren’t. And the kicker is that we were never meant to be. To pursue anything less than the Lord would be missing the point. And to limit ourselves to what we think that we should be would also be missing the point. Here is the truth: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him and a woman who looks to, trusts in, honors, loves and fears the Lord is to be praised and the Lord shall honor you in return.

So in a nutshell, ladies: Give yourself a break. Seek the things that will build into your eternity. Pursue your children. Walk with the Lord. Hope is found in Christ, not clean dishes. Fulfillment is found in Christ, not a paycheck. Worthiness is found in Christ, not independence.

Me? I’m a mother. And I’m honored to be raising my children. I may not feel like it when they’re squirting me with a squirt gun. When I’m changing a soiled diaper at 4:30 in the morning. When I’m stepping on pointy plastic toys. Or when I’m putting all of the Mr. Potato Head pieces back in the toy box for the fifth time that day (thank you for all of these, Jerry Landon.)

Super fly.

And I’m not always grateful when I’m doing 3 a.m. feedings. Or on the days that I can’t even sneak off to the bathroom by myself without someone noticing. I may not always been keen with the idea of spit up on my church clothes or sweet potatoes on my pants. Or with trying to find a way to fit two babies in a shopping cart (thank you very much, Clara Elizabeth)

Super cute.

And I do promise to be more intentional with where I store up my treasures and with what I choose to keep my heart in the next year. That it may be found in the Lord and that it will be filled with my children, my family and no “cobwebs.” I promise to try to embrace where I am, the role that I’m in at the time and the valley that I’m journeying through when I reach it. I will try – and I will at times most assuredly fail. But I hope to press on and I hope that you do the same, no matter where you are in life. I promise to try to embrace who I am, where I am and what I am….

I am what I am.

…and to try to get in bed earlier. Promising to get more sleep isn’t ever a bad thing.

And to drink less soda. Yea, that would probably be good…

…and it probably isn’t going to happen.

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