Today was the day that I brought in treats for the kiddos at MDO to celebrate Grace's birthday. Again, a moment of freedom. I didn't spend hours on Pinterest or google...or even call my own mother. I just know that in the very deepest part of my soul...I don't bake. I never have. I don't even really like baked goods. Id rather have a steak and a baked potato smothered in cheese and butter.
But I have a very dear friend...who shall remain nameless...Jill in NC ;) She is an amazing woman. I actually met her on sitter city. She was the first babysitter I ever hired. I called her pretty much in panic mode because I never like to leave my kids with anyone. She came to my house with her son and calmed me down. I was gone for an hour and never felt more comfortable. She was there for me during an entire deployment and was always ready and willing to meet any of my needs. We actually hit it off and never had to hire her again to babysit. She just became a friend. Actually she was a Godsend. I was meant to know her. All of us military wives stationed at Camp Lejeune would get together for brunches at her house, the oven on, smells of cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole filled her home.
On a good day, when you walk into her house, there are toys everywhere, art projects going and things her sons have built. There are stacks of blocks, towers of leggos and piles of crayons. Her oven is about a million years old and I used to joke with her about that. She doesn't particularly enjoy putting her laundry away either . There are crumbs on the floor from breakfast and maybe a baked good on the counter with plastic wrap over it ready to go to a deploying marine and his family. There is always a list on her fridge of what she needs and coupons for pretty much everything. Her garage is full of Rubbermaid bins. I always want to know whats in those bins but I can imagine she has saved every single thing from her kids so she can be ready and able to bless a new young mother who is in need. She also has many babysitting jobs always lined up and trips around town to pick up free clothes and toys from our local yard sale website. Never once has she ever apologized when a bunch of women come into her home for toys being everywhere or dishes in the sink. I have never once heard her panic on the phone because there is just so much to do all the time...I actually don't even think I have ever heard her complain.
She is hands down the most tangible example of a living, breathing Proverbs woman. Shes it. She works hard at home, she loves her children and is always finding ways to save and be a blessing to others. Her oven is dirty because she cooks meals from scratch almost nightly for her boys and her husband. There are crumbs everywhere because she is too busy helping other people to obsess about her floor. Her heart is in her home and in her family and she works hard.
I guess if you know one of these amazing women, you know what it means to be a little jealous of her. How does she do all of it? But really its not about what she does, its her heart. I am a little jealous that she has the desire to do all of that,mostly in the kitchen. How does she muster up the energy everyday to make things with actual ingredients?
Something that God has been laying on my heart lately is that we are all made for our own families. Our own lives. I have been trying to be a rockstar in the kitchen for many years, obsessing over meals and thinking that the only way to my husbands heart was through his stomach.I picture women in aprons, full makeup on shaking their heads and waving their fingers at me. We have had many arguments over me not feeling good enough because I don't make enough homemade meals. And one day, I think he had just had about enough and told me that he didn't care. He didn't care! He wasn't making me feel that way. I was. Putting my own unrealistic expectations on myself and trying to be something I am clearly not.
But does that make me any less valuable?
Slowly, I have been starting to look at our own family, our own marriage and realize that my strengths are the things my husband actually enjoys. The ways I am a blessing and an asset to my family is not necessarily the way you are to yours. Some women can sew, some woman can cook...but I am not one of those. But I am a gift to my own husband in different ways. I am an entrepreneur. I am able to take risks. I can see the big picture. I am highly organized and methodical and take care of all the bills. I am the one who coordinates all of our moves...every two to three years, sometimes every six months! I am able to adapt very easy to new environments and can set up a home like nobody's business. My husband is a very neat and also methodical person, he likes everything to be in its place, and I am very OCD and a clean freak...nice pair. We work well together. What I am good at, he is not and what he is good at, I lack. I am always antsy and need inspiration and creativity therefore cant stay at a job for very long...but my husband thrives on routine and his job. He is a slow and steady and I am not. We are a good pair.
God made me on purpose, with purpose.
So here's to you Jill... because I am so inspired by you. You are everything I am not. But that's okay. Because I am a different kinda wife and I have a different kinda husband. I am constantly inspired by you and motivated to be better. Not with what I do around my house, but in my heart. You inspire me to always be on the lookout for someone to bless. You have this way about you, you never think twice whether its with money or watching kids. You just do what the Lord prompts you to do and you live each day grateful and obedient to that.
I have put together an omage of some things that have recently come out of your oven. I am now just choosing to be inspired and not feel guilty. I cant eat 99% percent of them anyways. But they all look so good. And I have had your beer can chicken and it is fabulous. Thanks for being such an amazing woman!