Reality Check

I am the mother of an incredibly independent child. She rarely needs help with things. She will just move them if they are in her way, clean them if they are dirty, fly around the stores in a mad rush, hmmming over the things she thinks she might need. I forget that she’s just a toddler, just 2 almost 3, because usually she’s 2 going on 16.

This week has been a bit over the top in the whining department. (Probably for both mother human and daughter human) Mornings are nightmares, and it usually goes down hill from there, by the time Clint comes home in the evening I am ready to hand him the child and run for the hills. I have been ready to pull my hair out or break into uncontrollable sobs all week. The stress level at the little house on the green has been way up there. It hasn’t exactly been pretty either.

Last night, we came home from the ball field, she was having one of her melt down whining parties. I threw her in the bath tub and went out to water my parched flowers. She was under the supervision of her daddy and I was under the supervision of my Creator. (ahem) He showed me some vital things I was forgetting.

1, My child needs me even if she’s Little Miss Independent. She needs me to sit with her and snuggle on the couch. She needs stories read to her and my undivided attention. She needs kisses and hugs. She needs me to play with her. I haven’t been doing a good job of that. She acts so grown up, I expect her to not need me or even want me to hang out with her. But she’s two. She needs me.

2, I need her. I need to snuggle with her. I need to hear her giggle. I need to stop what I am doing and watch her dance in the kitchen. I need to dance with her occasionally even though it makes me feel like a dork. Sometimes, in all honesty,  I need her more than she needs me.

3, My two most important jobs are —> pursuing my relationship with Christ, and loving the two people I live with well. If I reach the end of the day and those are the only two things I got done, that’s ok. In fact, that’s perfect. Gourmet suppers and spotless houses, shoot, even getting dressed, none of those matter in the end. Loving well, that matters throughout all eternity.

4, Someday I will look back at this time and wish I could live it again. I will miss this stage. So it’s time to stop throwing a fit and be grateful for everything, even the whining.

5, These are not just MY days, they’re her days too. I need to focus on doing something fun/profitable for HER not the loads of work {I} need to get done.

So I came in, bathed my child, who once again had a major meltdown. Breathed deep, asked her if she wanted to put her jammies on and drink some milk. (ultimate comfort for my emotional 2 year old girl) Told her I was sorry she was so sad. She sniffed a bit and excitedly ran out to get her milk. We snuggled on the couch with stuffed animals for a while. It was amazing how much different she acted. . . or maybe it was just my perspective shifting. Instead of a whining toddler, I could see a little soul that needed some love. I am not sure what really changed in that moment her or me. I do know this –> I am so grateful for a God who gives me reality checks. I cannot imagine trying to do life, especially motherhood, without His hand guiding me.

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Of Marriage and Motherhood. . . and some other things.

Last week I listened/watched a YouTube video of a talk on marriage by Francis Chan. It kinda turned my world upside down. I have been thinking about it ever since. I have been trying to get my thoughts together as well and you will see that hasn’t worked out so hot. But I am forging ahead just the same.

You see I feel like for so long I have viewed marriage as ‘the ultimate goal’ of all humanity. Of course, my culture probably helps support that  whole mindset. We’re bred to be wives and mothers. Ok maybe not. But sort of.

I have also struggled with the idea that I am single for x amount of years trying to figure out who I am supposed to be, then blam, married and spend the rest of my days working for my husbands and childrens goals/callings. I realize that sounds selfish and like I am an incredible feminist. Bear with me here. The breeding program didn’t work out so well on me, eh? Tehee. 🙂 Sorry. I will try to behave now.

In those thoughts there has been the idea that my relationship with God gets put on hold. That if God asks me to do something, He has to ask my husband to do it too for me to actually do it. (you might want to read that a couple times until it makes sense. goodness it’s confusing.) That anything else would be me not being submissive. Hmm. . .

I have also thought that in order to be a good Christian wife and mother I need to do EVERYTHING right. I need to meet every need of my husbands and every need of my childs. And that cleanliness was next to Godliness so that meant my house had to be perfectly cleaned up all the time as well as gourmet meals every night.  I really thought that was what my calling was once I got married. If you know me at all you giggle at the thought of me being a housewife because, uhh, really do you know this girl?? Someone told me one time that they had such a hard time picturing me taking care of a house and preparing a meal, etc. I grinned and said, “I know, right?” I am far from the picture perfect little housekeeper. I also get exhausted trying to meet all the needs of my child and husband. I love them both dearly, I do NOT want to let them down, the very last thing I want to do is hurt them. But I do know that I’m just me. I’m imperfect and flawed and I will do the things that those Pinterest articles say to NEVER do. I will do things that will harm my children emotionally and most likely mess them up for the rest of their lives. Not intentionally of course.

This may feel like me rambling. While that might be partially true, a point is coming soon that will hopefully make it all make sense and it will tie it all together and voila, you will discover she really does have a method to her madness. At least I hope it will lead you to that discovery.

Back to the YouTube video now, it challenged pretty much every single one of those points. It showed me I was being idolatrous and lazy. Ouch. Yeah it didn’t feel so good but the correction of the Lord rarely does feel good. However, it has brought me great joy and freedom so I say that pain was worth it. 🙂

So here are some of the thoughts that have been stirring in my mind–

What if marriage is simply marriage? Not some huge thing to fall down and worship. What if it is not the greatest, the best thing? What if being a parent is simply being a parent? What if it’s actually ok to fail your spouse and child (you are NOT GOD)?

What if the Bible is true and the very best thing is being a child of God’s? What if the noblest thing we can possibly pursue is being a disciple of Christ (not a fan, a dedicated true disciple)? What if we live our lives out of that truth?? What would change??

For me personally that means that thinking I can meet all the needs of my little family is idolatrous. They need God, not me. Where I fail them, is an opportunity for them to see that Christ is the only perfect one and the only one that can meet every one of their needs. I will never be perfect. Only God can be that.

It means that me putting aside my relationship with God to help them fulfill His calling on their lives is laziness pure and simple. It takes the pressure off of my pursuit of Christ and what He wants for me. It’s more comfortable and it sounds good. But I don’t see that in the Bible. I see much more emphasis put on me pursuing Christ and doing what He asks of me.

I kinda think we’ve complicated this whole thing of motherhood and wifehood. I think we’ve lost the simplicity of both of those. . . I think it’s a direct result of taking the simplicity of the Gospel and trying to make it into something complex. But that’s another topic for another time. Yes, yes I hear your sigh of relief. 😀

I am a little afraid to post this. Because I know there are so many things in it that people could take and run with and totally misconstrue what I mean. That’s the scary thing about these blog things. But oh well, it’s what’s on my heart right now. If you think I am completely off my nut please talk to me about it. 🙂 I will listen to what you have to say with respect. I hope that you can hear what’s in my heart in this post and not just see a bunch of words lumped together.

Click here to watch the video

-b