A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Mamahood

I’m pretty awesome for how often I don’t blog (what I really wanted to title this post). Can I even say I’m a blogger? Not sure what qualifies a person as a true blogger. And if I’ve dropped off that list all together. Whatevs.

Julia’s graduating from preschool on Wednesday.  I don’t even want to talk about it. (*silent sobs*)

JuliaGraduationJack really is a horse dog.

HannahAndJackThis kid cracks me up.

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Jonathan, Fletcher, John and I went to see The Lumineers at the end of April. It was awesome. But not nearly as awesome as us.

TheLumineers

This guy. Love him.

JonathanSummer starts in 6 days. Crazy.

The kids and I have already started working on our tans. Hannah has us all beat.

The guys and I have two more kick butt concerts planned (Of Monsters and MenMumford and Sons. Don’t worry, you can be jealous.)

Then heading to Annapolis to visit Jesse and Shelly (and their not-so-little-bambinas!).

Jonathan and I will celebrate 8 crazy, beautiful years of marriage July 30th.

I leave for a 8-day mission trip to London August 2nd.

And finally, Julia starts kindergarten in late August. (*loud sobs*)

 

What are your summer plans? Traveling anywhere fun?

Confession :: I didn’t do one single Easter/Resurrection craft with my kids. 

Late Saturday night, I was perusing Facebook seeing pictures of all these clever crafts that other people had done and I thought “Oh crap. I should have done that with the girls! I totally missed the chance to share the Gospel.” Immediately I felt guilty. And even as we were going to church on Sunday, I was struggling with the guilt of not doing enough, not talking about Christ enough.

Then when Hannah announced that she was so excited it was Easter because then she could wear her pretty dress {the same she wore for Halloween and Christmas} I knew, just knew, I had failed to make them understand the deep meaning of Easter.

And it’s true, I did fail. If it were my job to save my children, to “talk them into the Gospel” then I am a failure. I will never succeed at that. There are no words within me that are powerful enough to lead my children to salvation.

Thank God for that.

Thank God that my children’s salvation is not in my hands. Thank God that my own salvation is not in my hands. Because if it were, I’d fail. We all would fall short of God’s glory. We would be condemned.

But, Easter is proof that God is in charge of my salvation. That I am not capable of saving myself, saving my children, and therefore Christ did it for me.

Thank God for that.

So I missed a Gospel centered craft. So Hannah liked Easter because of her dress. So I failed to make my children understand the overwhelming power of Christ’s resurrection. Thank God for that. Because it shows me all the more how dependent I am for Him to move in my children’s lives, in my life, in order to move us closer to Him.

And while I know, and treasure, that it is my job as their mom to share the Gospel with them, to speak of God and His amazing works, I rejoice that it is not in my ability or words or power to save them, but in Christ only.

Thank God for that.

Monday was my birthday.

I had my day planned out. I was going to sleep in and start my day off refreshed. The girls had school, so while Joseph napped, I’d relax and enjoy the silence of my house. Maybe watch a show. Crochet a bit. Eat some cake. Then Joseph and I would meet Jonathan for a birthday lunch date. I’d go shopping before picking up the girls. Then dinner and maybe another date once the kids were in bed. Perfect.

But, the night before Julia got sick. Then that morning Jonathan had to be at work early, foiling my plans to sleep in. Once mid-morning rolled around, Hannah got sick. And my well planned day crumbled down.

Not gonna lie, I was disappointed.

My quiet birthday celebration while the kids napped {unaware that it was actually my birthday}

My quiet birthday celebration while the kids napped {unaware that it was actually my birthday}

At one point, I almost wanted to selfishly remind Julia that today was my birthday. But, God pricked my heart and reminded me of something –

My life is about His plan, not my plan.

That reminder didn’t make me jump for joy at cleaning up throw up or feeling glad that my plans had so drastically changed. But it did make me soften my heart toward my children and see that this mess was the plan for my birthday. It wasn’t my plan {and I wasn’t loving it}, but it was God’s plan.

And when I was brought to tears at just how hard the day was going {how hard the last two ten months have gone}, my sweet sister-in-law spoke these words to me ::

Blessed be the Lord! For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults and with my song I give thanks to Him. Psalm 28:6-7

My situation never changed on Monday. The girls didn’t feel better. In fact, Jonathan and I both got sick too. I’m still struggling with feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. But God is reminding me that He’s heard my pleas, that He is my strength and shield; He is my help. And that’s all I can hold on to.

Two very dear friends are having their first babies this spring. I am so thrilled for both of them. I have no doubt that they will embrace motherhood like the wonderful women that they are. But today, I wondered – “Will motherhood embrace them?”

You see, too often as mothers we can feel like we are competing against each other. We inadvertently {or intentionally for some} measure our children against other women’s children. Who had the longest labor? Who had the biggest baby? Who rolled over first? Who crawled first? Who walked first?

And those are just comparisons in the first year. It seems like the stakes get higher as the children get older.

We mothers use our children as measuring sticks for how well we are doing. “Julia might not be reading independently, but she can make her own lunch. At least she is doing better than Susie Q down the street. See, I’m excelling over Susie Q’s mom as a mother.”

That is an obviously ridiculous thing to think or say. But we do it. Maybe not about Julia’s mad lunch making skills, but about other things. We see what our child can or cannot do, compare it against other children and then against their moms.

And we are damaging a special bond when we compare each other. Motherhood is not a competition, it is a sisterhood. And we moms would do well to remember that. When we compare {for good or bad} our mothering skills against others, we are focusing on the wrong motives. I didn’t teach Julia how to make her own lunch so that I could somehow be a better mom in comparison to someone. I did it because she showed interest and I wanted her to learn. Motherhood is about training and loving your children. It’s about encouraging other moms in the same quest. How they train and love isn’t dictated by you. And how you train and love isn’t dictated by them.

But what is dictated by you is how you help encourage and strengthen your fellow mom. Are you genuine in your advice {and even more importantly, is your advice necessary or wanted}? Are you speaking words of encouragement? Are you standing beside the moms in your life and fighting for them or against them?

If 5+ years of motherhood have taught me anything, it’s that I don’t always know what is best for my own children let alone another person’s children. And that when I tear other moms down, it hurts me just as much as it hurts them. But when I build them up, they build me up. Then we all win.

And if you were to ever ask Julia, she’d tell you everyone likes a win-win.

Funny how you can find yourself shying away from who you truly are sometimes.

I told all y’all {yes, I did just type all y’all} in September that life was too busy to blog. That was true. But there is more to it than that.

You see, about six months ago I wrote a post that is very dear to me. It caused some outrage and it caused some good discussion. Both of which I am totally ok with. What I didn’t realize {or rather didn’t want to admit to myself} was that with some of the backlash came a shying away. I didn’t want to write for fear of it causing another riot. And while I am not one to back down from my beliefs, I am also not one to keep arguing just to argue.

It felt good to walk away from blogging. To defriend some Facebook “friends”. To take a break. However, I’ve wanted to write again for a few weeks now. Yet, I keep getting gun shy, keep worrying about riots. I went so far as to make an alias blog. But what good is an alias, when what I really want is for people to know me?

Who am I?

I’m a girl who loves spontaneity, but can’t live without structure.

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I love my Savior beyond words. But I’m not always great at acting out my Christian faith.

Learning more about Christ brings me to my knees. Knowing how depraved I am without Him makes me need Him even more. The closer I grow to God, the bigger He gets. That might seem terrifying, but it brings me comfort more than anything else.

I talk too much. Yet I don’t always speak up when I should.

I start arguments when I don’t feel accepted and loved.

I’ve fought dirty before. It’s not a good thing.

I married up. I am so happy for that.

I work for two princesses.

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Before kids I never knew what it meant to love people so deeply beyond myself.

I do now.

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I like beer. Shiner, specifically.

And red wine.

I drink often. But not excessively.

Running is a passion.

Then again, so is eating. Which is why running happens.

I screw up. A lot sometimes.

Other days I’m a freakin’ super hero.

I love music, but frankly don’t care for live music. You can call me weird for that one.

I day dream too much.

I try to act cooler than I really am. Which probably makes me less cool than I really am.

I’m more like a librarian that laughs at her own nonsensical jokes.

I am who I am. Yet I will change. I will mess up. I will offend. I will repair. But, I am staying put. I’m not shying away. This is who I am.

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Our family spent a few days on a ranch just after the New Year. My uncle organized the event, which included my parents, cousins, a couple of extra aunts and uncles and our Nana.

It was a blast. Well, that might be an overstatement – little sleep was had, kids were off schedule, we over ate sugar and sugary drinks, at least one argument happened, and perhaps compromises of parenting skills took place {I’ll meekly raise my hand to that}.

While we were there, I overheard someone mention coffee. Always one to jump at a cup of coffee, I asked if a pot was brewing. My cousins all laughed and one even joked “Every morning I get on facebook, I look to see how many miles Sarah has run and how much coffee she’s had. What’s that? She’s run 16 miles and had 4 cups of coffee.”

We all got a good laugh. And he’s right, if you looked at my facebook updates, they are almost always about running, coffee, or something mildly entertaining {actually, I really hope that people find my updates hilarious}.

Here’s the thing :

My facebook updates aren’t my real life. 

Sure, I ran 16 miles. Sure, I drank 4 cups of coffee. Sure, I might have said something witty.

But that’s the Best of Sarah. You don’t see the nitty gritty. You aren’t seeing the failures, the mess ups, the heartaches. After all, that doesn’t make for great social media {in my opinion}. What makes for great social media is triumph. Laughing in the face of obstacles. Victory.

As I’ve spent the last several months quietly sitting back, letting the blogging and social media world get a few steps ahead of me, I’ve realized something – I’m comparing my worse to everyone’s perfect.

I’ve heard people talk about this a lot. How you can’t compare your behind the scenes with other people’s highlight reels. It is so, so true. But I’ve been doing that a lot lately. And I’ve learned something from it.

1. I get really bitter over failing to meet “expectations”.

2. I will never meet “expectations”.

I’ve been threatening for some time to get rid of social media all together. To burn our computer to the ground and toss out my iPhone in an effort to get rid of those “expectations”. But those things aren’t my hang up. My hang up is that I forget the people behind the status updates are real. I forget that they, just like me, are showing their highlight reels. I forget that I’m comparing my worse to everyone’s perfect.

And when I remember that, that the people on my computer are real and fail just like me, I can sit back and enjoy the highlights.

I’m not even sure where to begin, it feels so long since I have last written.

Life is busy.

Jonathan is working and traveling. A lot. Then toss in his MBA program.

I’ve started an amazing theological/seminary class through our church. It is crazy, and awesome, and totally kicking my butt.

Plus, there’s the whole, training for three major races thing.

Oh, and the kids. Let’s not forget the 3 kids under 5.

I don’t say all this to somehow make my life seem harder, busier, or more stressful than yours.

It’s not really. 

In fact, it’s really good. Really crazy and challenging, but good.

I tell you all this, because, life is busy. And because of that I’ve been pretty silent.

Sadly, I don’t see that changing. As much as I love this little blog I’ve created, as much as I love the friendships I’ve made, the lives I’ve touched and the ways I’ve grown through it, something has to give. And for now, blogging is it.

I have realized – I could keep writing, keep cranking out content. But it wouldn’t be from the heart. It wouldn’t be what I really want to say. It wouldn’t be what you really want to read. It would just end up being words on a screen. And I don’t want that.

For a while, I carried some guilt for not writing. Like there was a level of expectation set and I was failing to meet it. But that’s not true. I know that. You know that.

So for now, my sweet, dear, friends, I’m saying good night. I’m going to put Loved Like the Church to sleep for a now. I’m going to focus on this new season our family is heading into. And hopefully, one day not too long from now, I’ll be back, sharing my life with all of you again.


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