Man ... I sure do love (and hate sometimes) when God lays something on my heart so heavily that He just lays it and lays it and lays it. I'm guessing I hate it in the same way that I hate it when my stubborn child requires me to say the same thing forty-two times before it sinks it. But, with God, I am that stubborn child. How grateful that I have a Heavenly Father with immeasurable patience that He continues to try to crack this stubborn heart/head/soul of mine.
I think back to the days when I had a newborn - wow, those were hard, right? WRONG! This will get easier when they can start walking and talking and stuff, right? WRONG! Surely it will get easier when I have this second baby because I won't be so exhausted from, you know, growing another human, right? WRONG! I look at my friends that have three kids. Wow, just wow. They amaze me! Here I am, seven months into being a parent of two, and for the most part, I suck! I mean I am terrible - bad mom, bad keeper of the home, bad friend, and worse wife. I live in a state of constant disappointment in what I view as a mediocre at best job. You know what, SIN SIN SIN!
Satan is finding us exhausted and vulnerable and it is time for us to kick it!!!
I really wanted to be napping right now, but God really laid it on my heart to compile all of His attempts to tell me "I AM ENOUGH" so that when days get rough (or rougher) or when I need a link to send to a friend who needs talked off the ledge, I have a handy place to look! So here goes!
Dr. Cindy is Krista's midwife. She made me a midwife believer. I heart her! I saw her love and pray over one of my forever friends like she was her sister and not just a patient. Definitely something to be said about a caregiver that their first advice for treatment is prayer! In the madness that was our super-blessed but uber-busy Christmas season, she posted this blog post. I've probably read it 10 times (at least) and emailed it or posted it twice that many. She says "In the valley, the Lord is really working on me. 'Find your joy in Me! I’m all you need! Let Me define you!' " I read it, I loved it, I even thanked God for the reminder that day, and I almost immediately fell back into my same old rut of thinking about all of my failures. Wow, my kids are still in their pajamas and it is time to give baths in order to put them in different pajamas, my son just ate his third PB&J for the day (like as in one at each meal) and hasn't touched a vegetable in I don't know how many days, my daughter is teething on my Toms I left in the floor, and I can't remember saying 5 nice things to my husband all evening. Wow, I suck.
A new friend (Bre) that we made when we did our Quiet Book page swap (via Laura) posted this link on Wednesday. The author says "Have you heard that quote about our children being mirrors? They reflect back our attitudes and behavior. Big 'uh-oh'!" Travis has a couple specific behavior issues right now that are driving.me.nuts, and I cannot get it under control. Screaming. Sure, two year olds scream, but Travis SCREAMS! I understand the occasional "wow, I'm having so much fun or I'm figuring out the acoustics" scream, but the SCREAMS were killing me. Literally, driving me batty. I really bought into it and think it absolutely makes sense - It's tough being the big brother and having to share - lap time, attention, and now that little sister is mobile, material things too. I needed something catchy to help me remember (mommy brain fog is real, ya'll!) so I came up with Present. Patient. Peaceful. Those are my goals - I want to be fully engaged with him when he wants me to be. I've started putting my phone up on the counter and keeping it on silent so that I check it less frequently. I want to show patience to him so that he hopefully will show it to her. I want to keep my voice calm and "inside voice" appropriate at all times. Three little things, but a constant struggle. Wow, Present. Patient. Peaceful. sounds a lot like our Heavenly Father - the perfect parent. Maybe, I should lean a little more on Him when I struggle with these things. After this post, one would think I'm seeing a pattern here, huh??? Nah ... too easy!
Yesterday a dear friend posted about her struggles on our Sunday School girls' facebook page .... She wrote "
Oh man, did I mention that I love these ladies? Seriously, isn't it amazing how He can work in a body when one of His struggling children has the guts to speak up?
Krista texted me this yesterday afternoon (just more proof that He wanted us all to hear this message today and always)! "Little magnify moment: Woke up for the first time all week before the kids to do my quiet time. Sat down, and as I was praying, felt like the Lord was telling me to wait until this afternoon to do it. Seriously? So I closed my bible and moved on to some chores. Then our friend's facebook message came through. Struggled to find a verse for her. Then sat down to do my study and found this: 2 Corinthians 12:9 New International Version (NIV) 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Wow - Love that Jesus. "
In the middle of yesterday's discourse, this link got circulated. She says "Dear mother, don’t worry about enjoying your life. Your life is hard; your life will be hard. That doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong—it means you’re doing it right."
Although I think He has been trying to tell me something personally, I think He is trying to tell us as moms something much bigger! After all, He loves our kiddos more than we do or can or can compreshend and He entrusted them to us! If that isn't a vote of confidence, I don't know what is. He has given Brandon and I our most precious gifts to take care of - if He believes in my parenting skills, then who am I to second-guess him? He is ENOUGH!
I've always been a bit of a perfectionist. It has served me well. I have always done well in school. I excelled in Law School and landed a great job at a great firm with a GREAT salary. I took pretty good pictures so I turned it into a profitable business. But, perfection in parenting is useless and exhausting and did I mention useless ... He is enough! His grace is enough for us. On a good day, I get the laundry done, a semi-healthy, semi-homemade dinner on the table, a few sweet snuggles for my husband when he walks in the door, and two babies who are happy, fed, alive, and loved. On a bad day, survival - food, water, and love. When you think about it, that's not so bad!
After all, tomorrow is another day and another journey!