The Authentic Me

You know when you read something and then for the rest of the week, things keep popping up that relate? Or maybe, you make them relate. It all started with this article about Authenticity and Holiness that has been circulating the blogosphere lately. It's a good article and something I, as a blogger and a mother, think about a lot, because I don't want this to be all a highlight reel, but I also don't want to be negative and whiny because that's no fun.

Once I got thinking, everything seemed to relate - the other blog post that I won't be linking to about how someone who I don't know and don't care about looks down on me, someone she doesn't know and doesn't care about but who happens to be a mother with small children (if you really must know, it's this one Matt Walsh mentions), to blog posts about not being afraid to help fold laundry when you visit another mom and how you don't need to have a perfect house. Even the silly buzzfeed parenting style quiz I took that labeled me as "An Overwhelmed Parent." I am? Nobody told me? Just because I put down that I think kids are "cheaper by the dozen" and that I plan to sleep when my kids are grown? (To be fair, when I went back and did it again changing only one answer I was torn about, I got something about healthy eating which is probably pretty accurate). And of course, my birthday was last Friday and birthdays are the perfect occasion to sit back and think about your life, where you are compared to where you thought you would be.

Now, before I lose you, these all had me thinking about how others might see me just based on my titles of mom, Christian, wife, etc. And overall, it's not a pretty picture. But I also don't think it's very accurate.  Are we all really frazzled and unfulfilled, living in a pile of dirty laundry all the time and unable to shower or change out of yoga pants? I'm not. And neither are most of the moms I know. Yes, we all have our moments. And in some seasons, those moments are more frequent than others so please don't feel like your failing if you are feeling that way. But don't think it has to be that way or that you'll necessarily feel that way for the next 18 years.

So here is me, being "authentic"

I love being a mom. It's hands down the best job I've ever had. I feel like I was made to do this. And well, I was.

I think my kids are brilliant. Yours are probably brilliant too because the human mind is pretty awesome. But mine are just a bit more brilliant than yours. They are also cuter :-) They are also works in progress, just as I am. Which means they mess up a lot and are learning lots of lessons and that takes a lot of work and discipline and teaching on my part - and a lot of learning on theirs. That's to be expected. But I can see them growing up before my very eyes, and I'm not only referring to their physical selves.

I love my home and being in it. And about 90% of the time, it's "clean enough" which means I can feel comfortable when Jonah eats a Cheerio off the floor and everyone has enough underwear and socks to get through the day. If it isn't clean enough, there is probably a reason. It could be a bad reason (stomach flu) or a good reason (kids and I are having a ton of fun and will clean afterwards). It takes a lot of work and a good portion of my day to keep it all together but I make my children help me and since they are too little to know better, then like to help me and together we manage to get it done.

I love my husband and I know he loves me. We don't get date nights very often but we try to have good conversations before we fall asleep every night and I know we are in it for the long haul.

I don't have as much time to read or do crafts or bake as I'd like. I can't do it all. So some weeks I read. Other times I sew. If I try to read and sew than someone normally ends up hungry so I've learned to pick one or the other.

Overall, I find my days mentally, physically and creatively challenging - in a good way.

I don't cherish every moment. Some moments stink - literally and figuratively. Some days, I'm just trying to make it to bedtime. But those aren't most days. Most days are full of stories and tickles and art projects and time-outs and tantrums but at the end of the day, the good outweighs the bad and the bad provides some good stories to tell Craig in those pre-bed conversations.

As a mom and a person, I don't feel broken or damaged or like my life is a wreck or a mess. I feel like I live in a broken world, but me - I'm healthy. I know the Healer and he has made me well.

Most of the time, I don't even feel overwhelmed. I feel equipped. Because I know that I'm doing those good works He called me to. I don't live for the days the kids will be in school or that I will be able to sleep. I live for the day when God will bless us with another.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I have amazing friendships with women both in real life and online. They support me and my faith and aren't afraid to call me on things if they need to but I know I can turn to them for help when I need that as well. When we get together, we talk and laugh and trade ideas and struggles. We don't sit around drinking coffee and talking about the neighbors.

I don't like drama in my life and luckily, I don't have a lot of it either. I don't feel like I'm in bondage to my sins. In fact, I'm not a sinner! I was a sinner and I still sin but God sees me as a saint and who am I to disagree.

Now I have gone through hard periods in my life. I've walked through valleys and shadows and I'm sure more will come in the future. But I've got a light on my path. I know I'll make it through those too.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

I can see God working in me, day by day, to refine me. I have daily sins I'm working on. I struggle not to yell at my kids sometimes. I don't always have the patience I want to have. But on those days, I ask my family for forgiveness and they grant it. Then after bedtime, I cry to Craig and he gives me love and chocolate. I cry to God and he gives me love and grace. And with love, chocolate and grace, I can go to sleep and wake up ready to take one another day. Because God is good, and with his grace, I am a conqueror.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

And that's me. Being real and authentic.

PS ~ And lest you think I've just got my rose colored glasses on today, I will let you know that in the past week I have had to leave my stack of books at the library to walk a child out to the car while she screamed "I can behave! Give me another chance! Don't touch me. I'm thirsty! Why won't you let me have a drink of water!" and we are currently battling a almost family wide stomach bug. So generally speaking, not the best week. But still, I wouldn't change it - well, maybe the stomach bug part. Those things are not fun for any party involved.

1 comment :

  1. Great post! (All except that part where you forgot that MY kids are actually the cutest and smartest. ;) Every mother has the sweetest and the best children. I think Marilla said that in one of the Anne movies and she was right.