I have been struggling with some things lately and if you follow me at all, you know it all relates to failure and guilt over that failure. Not measuring up. All feelings that don't come from God. Most of my self proclaimed "failures" lately lie within motherhood. Sometimes I feel I am not enough for Grace. She is getting so big and she is so smart sometimes I just don't know what to do. I struggle with play for some reason. We bought some preschool materials and it was fun for Grace, she LOVES to learn and needs it so bad but I couldn't get into it. I have been keeping this inside for many months now and it has been building up and coming out in the form of self hatred and guilt and worry and everything bad.
Now here is the weird part. I LOVE being a mother. If I could have 10 more children I would. But...I struggle with THIS stage. I adore being pregnant. I love staying up all night rocking my babies. I love changing diapers and packing diaper bags! I love breastfeeding. I love everything about the baby stage. I think because it is easy for me. It comes naturally. I don't ever complain about a crying baby. I love to hold mine and nurture them and comfort them. I am a nurturer. I am a comforter. I am as a wife, and a mother.
It's THIS stage. The stage of pretend play and reading big girl stories and putting on plays...sometimes I dont know how.I always struggled in reading as a child. I am not a reader as an adult either.I hated school I couldn't wait to get out. Although as an adult, I love to learn.
The other day I just started a simple conversation with my husband which turned out to be such a moment of freedom I couldn't wait to tell you! We started out talking about Grace and I during the day and how I struggled to find the joy in teaching her some days. She has been suffering in following directions lately and I just didn't know what to do. We talked about maybe finding a place to send her. Maybe preschool. But we just cant afford it right now. And then He suggested that maybe its not teaching her that is my problem...maybe its the WAY I was doing it.
He reminded me that Grace and I have been doing alot of art together lately. And that maybe I should use THAT to teach her. Maybe instead of a "workbook" we can learn about adding and subtracting with shapes that we paint. Or drawing lines, counting etc...He reminded me that teaching her doesn't mean I need to wear a bun in my hair and shake a ruler at her.
I can just be myself. I can be the woman and mother God created me to be.
At this point, I was just sobbing tears of pain, release and freedom. He just kept reminding me of what a good mother I am and how this very struggle inside my soul is what makes me a good mom. A mother who cares and deeply wants to meet all my childrens needs.
I took some time to pray about it. And BAM!
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully (Romans 12:4-8).
God did not create all of us to be able to do everything. What a relief that is to me especially. My husband is actually such a kid. He LOVES to play. And everyday when Grace hears the keys turn in the door she runs to it, opens it with the most excitement I have ever seen and says "daddy do you want to play catch with me?" We used to be super anxious about this. I used to try and tell her to give daddy a minute etc...I tried to protect my husband from this! But then one day he just started smiling and saying yes. Even before his boots came off. I think he knew. I could play catch with Grace all day but it still isn't the "rough and tumble" way she and my husband play. She loves how he isn't afraid to pelt her with a ball and how much she giggles and loves being silly with him. The two of them laugh for hours some days just throwing blankets at each other or smacking balloons at each other. Tonight, after our trip to the rodeo, she was riding on my husbands back like she was a bull rider. And he loves it, and has fun.
Where I am weak, my husband is strong. What a beautiful testament to Gods perfect work in marriage.
We talked about things I could do with Grace to encourage some of the things she needs to be doing. She loves working outside with her garden tools so we are going to build a garden. I will be able to teach her so many things through this and its something I also enjoy. I also love to cook and she loves to help! We love to paint and color.
What a freeing moment for me to surrender to the fact that I am strong in some areas of motherhood and not in others. What a freeing moment to realize that all I am is a prayer away from Gods wisdom and strength in the areas where I need both. We decided to just keep going the way we are, being who we are and doing what we can with what we have. Its time for me to start releasing the burdens of perfection. I am constantly being reminded of what beautiful, well behaved, kind, loving children we have and THAT is what is most important to God. Not what preschool she does or does not go to or what curriculum she follows...All I have to do is pray. Pray that He uses the gifts He has given me to be everything I need to be for my family.
Its just that simple. I am not perfect. I am not good at everything. But I CAN do ALL things through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
I hope if you are still reading this and you feel that you are lacking in some aspect of your life weather it be in motherhood, or being a wife...you would know that your not alone. You don't have to feel ashamed that you are not that great of a cook or you don't like to draw or color with your children. What does matter is that you desire to be better at these things for the benefit of your family and the ability to serve God. You are never going to be a perfect wife or a perfect mother. If you are a blogger, you don't have to feel like you need to keep up with all the mom blogs and showcase everything that goes on in your day. You don't need to feel guilty that you didn't do an art project today or you didn't play outside. I used to be very intimidated by some blogs I saw. You know the ones with all the projects and photos of the projects and tutorials on how to do the projects! I have learned to just take inspiration from these amazing women and use them as inspiration. Because where I excel, maybe they fall short. I make a million amazing healthy smoothies that my whole family enjoys. It is a strength. My children eat very healthy. Maybe I should showcase my smoothies?
At the end of the day, both of my girls will be able to reflect back on our life and say, "mom, you were a great wife." and that will be good enough for me. If all they learn from me besides some artistic attempt at math, which I am horrible at, is to have a heart to love and serve God, then my job is done. If they look back and see that I loved them and took care of them and my priorities were right, then that will be good enough for me. When I stand before God one day and we account for my life, I want Him to say " Well done my child, you did the creative best you could with everything I gave you."And that has to be enough, for me, here.
If you are in need of resources to get you started on introducing your children to God AND advancing them academically, I found this woman! She has inspired me! Her website is great. Grace and I will be starting with the 7 days of creation projects! (we WILL be posting photos, watch out!)