Sunday, July 24, 2016

She Knows Love Grows

One of my biggest insecurities when writing or even speaking to other adults is struggling with the idea that I don't have much to offer.  I spend my days with little people and I sometimes have d5 yearifficulty coming up with material or even focusing on an adult conversation without being pulled away by the call of a baby who wants to be changed or a kid who needs a snack.

I mean, I have a college degree, but I didn't use it (sorry mom and dad!).  Most of the education I spent pouring myself into has been pushed back, waaaay back in my brain, behind the now more relevant knowledge of potty training, teething, and Frozen lyrics.  I used to read for entertainment or even to better myself, but the last book I read had more pictures than words.

I'm a housewife, but in the battle of me vs. laundry, I'm losing.  Sometimes I "smell check" our clothes.  Karrick's little socks are practically disposable. My house may as well be labeled as "spot clean only".

Parenting is my full time job now.  I'm so blessed to stay home with my kids.  It's my actual dream job. I try SO hard to be the picture of the peaceful parent they deserve, but I lose my patience on the daily, and some days- on the hour.  I stomp around picking up pretzels and toys, and I have mastered the "mean mama look".  In some of my most humbling moments, Lyla has tearfully called me out when I have spoken to her in anger, and asked me to "talk nice".

I'm a lifelong Christian, but my faith and actual relationship with Jesus can sometimes seem shallow and immature.  I used to be in constant conversation with God, but my children are much louder than He is, and I find myself shooting up prayers only when I am desperate for divine intervention.

I'm a devoted wife, but my marriage isn't perfect, and I'm almost certain my husband isn't entirely to blame.  I am disrespectful.  I am rude.  By the time he gets home in the evening, my temper is short, and some days he doesn't stand a chance.

So what do can I offer you?  What do I know?  I know that my insufficiency doesn't make me a bad housewife, mom, Christian, or wife.  It just makes me a human one.  I know that I love my family more than anything, and I know that love is what grows everything that is beautiful and good.  I have never had more self awareness than I do now. It's probably something that comes with age (ew).  But. Thankfully, along with the awareness of my shortcomings, comes the awareness of my outrageous blessings.

I know that, for now, I can unapologetically tell you that I may have to think REALLY hard to remember what I learned in college. But. I have become well educated in birth, breastfeeding, car seat safety, and all things motherhood.

I know that, for now, I can celebrate the fact that my children are clothed (most of the time anyway), and I can rejoice in the fact that they don't need matching socks in the summer time. I can accept that Karrick's crib makes the BEST clean clothes hamper and it ain't no thang because he's snuggled up in our bed every night.  Where's the fun in knowing exactly where your favorite shirt is anyway?  There may be toys all around, but it's because I was home playing with my kids, and we didn't stop having fun.

I know that I am sometimes going to fall short of the mother I want my children to have.  I will not obtain perfection in parenting.  However, when I make mistakes, I can ask my little people for forgiveness.  Through my slip ups, I can model humility, and they inspire me every time they freely offer the same grace and compassion I extend to them.  I look at them and know that my love must be bigger than my failures, because they. are. amazing.

I know that I need a heart change.  A priority change when it comes to my standing with God, but the good news is, I do stand with Him, and He hasn't given up on me. He knows my heart.  He knows my thoughts.  He knows my desire to raise my children in a home that speaks of Him often, and I'm not on my own to figure out how to accomplish this.  Now, more than any other time, I am surrounded by such Godly sources of encouragement and inspiration, and I am thankful.

My marriage.  It isn't perfect, but I know that it is the one God has planned for me.  I know that we are both changing, but its change that comes from growing.  I'm not married to the boy I met at band camp.  I'm married to a loving father.   I'm married to an excellent therapist.  And he's forgiving.  And he's faithful.  And we will continue to grow.  Because love grows.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

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