As I finally have a moment to sit down and write, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with emotion. This has truly been a wonderful Christmas. I have so much to be thankful for. I enjoyed watching my kids with excitement and glee and all the time we had with family.
Last year was quite a different story. You see my mother in law passed away last year, and Christmas was hard on every front. There were so many emotions and everyone trying to be happy for the kids sake, but even the kid’s were grieving in their own ways. They say the first year is the hardest, and while we managed through the other holidays, Christmas was just not the same. Add to that other family tension and strain, it was probably the worst Christmas I’ve experienced.
I’ve done a lot of changing in a year. I have done a lot of praying in a year. God has torn my heart right out at times. Molding and mending the pieces back together. I am not the same person I once was. Life can be tough, people can hurt you, those closest to you die, people misuse and abuse your kindness, talk about you behind your back, and no matter how hard you try, you will NEVER be able to please everyone.
While God did not answer my prayers how I wanted, He did answer. It took over a year of constant, on my knees daily, begging and pleading for God to work in a situation, for me to see a light at the end of the tunnel. During the storm I was weathering, God spoke to me in other ways. I felt one area God was working was to tell me to quit trying to please everyone.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
One of my favorite to meditate on. If Jesus, who was perfect, faced persecution and trouble, why should we not also have to face troubled times?
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
This scripture does not mean you will not have burdens, rather, God will ALWAYS be with you.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” –Romans 12:17-19
You see, most women I know, struggle with this. We like to please others. I have always been one to be a bit strong-willed. It served me well in high school, you see I didn’t care what others were getting into, if I didn’t believe in it, you weren’t convincing me to do it. However, I wish I could react to motherhood the same way. I have had trouble with constantly comparing myself to other moms. This has caused a ton of self-doubt.
While I would love to be the Pinterest Mom, who lets their children bake, does all these beautiful crafts, and enjoys every moment of motherhood, it is just not the case. Just this past week, I decided to give baking with the kids another try. I went to make a tried and true cookie recipe. You know the kind, that you can make with your eyes closed because you’ve made it so many times.
Well, a few minutes in and I had my 4-year old on a stool looking in the bowl, wanting to crack the eggs, my 7-year old on the other side of the counter pulling ingredients, my 10-year old under my feet… ALL wanting to help…All calling, pulling, grabbing, and causing chaos. Cocoa spilled on the counter, milk spilled over the measuring cup, and all eating the chocolate chips faster than I could add them to the batter.
Needless to say, this perfectionist, OCD mother was trying to embrace the chaos but not so secretly dying inside wanting to say STOP…. “Sit over there and watch…let me do this.” So, we finally get the first batch in the oven cooking. I’m trying to clean up all the MESS overflowing on the countertop. I noticed the cookies weren’t baking quite right. Start looking over my list, checking off everything only to realize we forgot the most important ingredient…. FLOUR.
How the heck do you forget the flour? Oh, I know…. I have 3 little munchkins under my feet, calling and pulling me in different directions while I’m screaming inside my head to STOP being the MEAN mommy.
Luckily, I was able to salvage the remainder of the batch after I went back and added some flour. After telling the kids they were done helping mommy bake for the day, we would try another day when I didn’t have SO much baking to do. This is just one of MANY real life struggles I face.
I have come a long ways, every time my mind goes to comparing myself, I try to STOP and say a silent prayer for God to give me the strength and remember that while I may not be as good as ___________ fill in the blank, God gave me the kids I have for a reason. He obviously thought I was the right mother for them. I can’t be someone else….all I can do is try harder each day to be the best mom and wife I can be.
As I reflect over the last year, I still don’t understand why certain things happened, why I had to endure pain and heartache, why friendships were ruined, why this or that didn’t happen, I do see that He has been working on me. I hope that through this blog people can see the real me, not some fake person. I’m not perfect, I don’t claim to be. I want my kids to one day look back and read this and know more than anything, that mommy loves them. Even when I fail miserably, I keep trying and ultimately I do want whats best for them.
I hope each of you reading have had a wonderful Christmas! I pray that as you head into a New Year, that you remember to cherish the time you have with family, friends, and even that evil co-worker or neighbor you do not like. God does not promise us tomorrow.
Here is a slideshow of some of our Christmas. Be sure to follow my Instagram for more photos. I usually post there daily.