“Oh, June. With your pearls and your 19 inch waist, in your polished beige heals, fryin’ it up in a pan to have on the table when Ward, Wally and the Beave get home. How did you do it, June?! How did you hold it all together? (Is that a pill bottle I see by the cookie jar? Or maybe the pill bottle IS the cookie jar. Nice cover!)”
Being a wife and mother is
hard difficult virtually impossible left to my own devices. Thankfully God knew this and makes it clear that I am not alone when that affirmation is needed the most. For the record, I’m not feeling any affirmations from June. I bet she was drinking straight gin from the freezer between takes! And who can blame her?!
I step over a growing mound of laundry to sit in my “writing chair” and purge my day of mental processing, I stare at the laundry and remember the fact that I need to vacuum….thank you notes need to be written…emails need responses…Bella is leaving again tomorrow…the lump comes up in my throat and that old familiar feeling of being overwhelmed attempts to settle in. Why does this happen?
I don’t think men have the incessant thought pattern that we women have. From the time I get up in the morning, the thoughts come pouring in. Hot off the presses from my unconscious mind to the conscious mind, continuing throughout every moment of every day.
It is imperative to start my day with 3 things; God, Quiet, and Coffee. If I miss anyone of those I’m setting myself up for failure, but especially the first one. It must look something like this for me…breathe in God, breathe out God (repeat), dwell on God and his promises (without ceasing), speak God into every circumstance…all God all the time. If not, my ego will sneak in and screw everything up.
For those of you who are parents, maybe you can relate, for those who aren’t, consider this mental preparation for the day you might someday become one. By nature, we are selfish creatures. Some of us more than others. I have to make a conscious effort to invite God into my day or I tend to leave him at home, waving good-bye as I speed away in the minivan with my praise music blaring. (It’s hard to yell at your children with praise music on. Yay for preemptive steps.)
What I’ve learned is that God does not force himself on me. He’s a gentleman. Sure he can be intense and fierce, but in my day-to-day he tends to wait for me to approach the throne of grace. “Why?” you ask. Because there is just something in the effort of me taking the initiative. When I don’t approach the throne of grace, opening my hands to survey those things thought to be of the utmost importance, I will keep my fingers tightly closed, missing all of the things that are waiting to be poured into them. I don’t want to do that! And yet, I still do it. Do you see my dilemma?
It’s me!!! I am my own dilemma!!! “Why not just fix it then?” you ask. Because I’m stubborn and doubtful and slow to change. The world screams at me in every way that if I’m not doing this, wearing that, volunteering there, eating these, I’m doing it all wrong.
I have a couple of different choices in this situation, I can continue to beat myself up with how I’m never going to
win be nominated for “Mother of the Year” or I can turn to the voices of truth that refresh my soul and renew my mind. Like these gals…
I opened a recent post from my friend Courtney over at Lil Light O’ Mine where she was writing about her precious Ella not wanting to wear glasses because no one else her age does and everyone asks her about them. Courtney’s answer was beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear today. (Sometimes it helps to talk to me like I’m a Kindergartener, especially when I’m acting like one!)
Another awesome chick whose every word I hang on is Joy Phenix. Not just because she has an awesome name, but because she doesn’t pretend to have it all together, even though I think she’s one of the most stellar women on the planet. She writes over at Joy: Defined and one of my favorite posts is her take on the unattainable “balance” in life. She recommends working on your life “blend.” You can read all about it by clicking here.
My mentor is another irreplaceable gift in my life. Pam started a blog recently though she has been writing, speaking and coaching for years. I look forward to her posts as I can hear her beautiful southern accent through the page. It leaves me with a hankerin’ for sweet tea every time.
Who is that person for you? Do you have a person? If not, you can borrow mine until you find one or forever. These ladies have more wisdom and insight than they will ever be able to give away. They continue to grow and stretch themselves everyday in new ways. That’s what I want to be doing…growing and stretching. So when I have days filled with “mommy time-outs” I will rejoice in the gifts that are my children and I will thank God for the blessing of strong beautiful women who remind me that I’m not alone on this journey and that “perfect” may as well be a four letter word.
Awesome Resource at your fingertips! The one and only, Andy Stanley is in the middle of the series, Future Family. It is so great. Click here to watch the messages and print discussion questions. (You can thank me later, cause you’ll want to!)
Love this, I think my favorite part is “What I’ve learned is that God does not force himself on me. He’s a gentleman.”
Sometimes I think it would be easier if he were a little bit pushier.
Haha! So do I, friend. So do I!
Reading this post during my morning devo time in the quiet of my room with my coffee by my side. :). Over the past few months I’ve made it a priority to spend my first moments in quiet time with God. And coffee. It has made a HUGE difference in the “midst of the maelstrom” I am in. Borrowed that from “Jesus Calling” and it so perfectly describes where I am emotionally and mentally right now. But spending time with Him – especially meditating on that book and Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word devo have served to calm my racing mind and heart and anchor me spiritually more than I have ever experienced in my life. It truly does make ALL the difference in the world. I have seen what happens when God is not given a place in one’s life, let alone priority. I don’t want to miss out on His blessings for me because I am pursuing my own desires.
There are a couple of ladies I have in my life thar have helped to mentor me. There are also several blogs I have discovered this summer that seem to always have the exact word I need to hear. Grit and Glory (Alece Ronzino’s blog) is one. Yours is the other. Thank you for being open and transparent, and for caring. That you’ve taken the time to respond to my comments and email encouragement when some “friends and family” haven’t even shown any care or concern means more than you know.
Good Morning Beautiful,
It makes me sad to think that some friends and family have not circled around you in support 😦 I know that hurts. I too have felt specific pain. I have found out years later that they didn’t know what to do or how to respond. I took that opportunity to tell them that all they needed to do was say that they were there for me and sorry that I was experiencing the pain of brokenness. Some people don’t know what to do so they retreat out of fear that they will say the right thing.
I’m so glad that you have encouragement through these blogs. Truly, Nancy, I am so honored that my blog is one of them.
You’re going to be okay. You know that. But sometimes it’s helpful to hear it. You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His.
Love and Light, friend.
thanks joy! this is a wonderful post and i relate to every word. you are awesome.
Thank you for inspiring and challenging me! Most of all, thank you for keepin’ it real.
I know I am and have always been my enemy number 1. I appreciate how you challenge my thinking. I would bet there are 4 people that think you make “mother of the year” every year. No one wants a perfect mom just a real one.
Thank you Mark.
I am absolutely my worst critic.
I’m striving to do better. I think that counts for something 🙂