Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Free To Be Me

We had a huge bash for Thomas' 5th birthday a few weeks ago. I think the final count came up to around 40 people, give or take a munchkin or two. I went into this wild cleaning spree in the days that lead up to the party, not wanting people to see the common messes of our home.

Why? I have no idea. It's just part of the genetic make-up of being a woman, I think.

Once people started arriving, the kids took off tearing around in a pack and the parents sorted themselves into comfortable groups in different places. At one point, Joshua and I both managed to wander downstairs together for a few moments to visit with a group of folks. I forget the exact conversation that brought about the following phrase from my beloved husband's mouth.

'It usually doesn't look like this down here. The ladies spent the last two days working down here.'

Every woman on the planet (or at least the ones who read this blog) just gasped and thought some nasty thought about my husband.

Stop thinking bad things about him. He didn't say it to be mean. There was no censure in his voice. He was just simply stating a fact. I'll admit, my first thought was betrayal, but it was quickly replaced by thoughts of agreement.

'Yeah, the toys usually live all over the floor, but today they are visiting the toy box.' As soon as I said that one little sentence, every mother in the room relaxed.

I am beginning to see it more and more, this facet of motherhood. This constant comparison. She has a bigger house. Her husband has a more prestigious job. Her kids keep their clothes cleaner. Her car is nicer. She is a whiz in the kitchen. Look how nicely her house is decorated. Her children never misbehave. She always looks fresh and happy, never dowdy or tired.

And the list goes on. And on. And on...

But I have yet to meet a lady that really has it as together as she appears to on the surface. We each have our struggles, our frustrations, our triumphs, and our agonies.

Besides, if you look closely, I bet there are stale french fries under all of our car seats!


Just a few minutes of insight into a person can give you a whole new perspective. Example: I sat in the midst of folks I have known for years just this past Sunday when a gentleman, who had been listening to a group of us ladies chatter about the ins and outs of life, made the comment that I was nothing like he's always thought I was.

We tend to walk around in public with our game face and mask the little idiosyncrasies that make up who we are. It is all too easy to look at others and see nothing but the good and wonderful things in their life. That's when that nasty little voice of discontentment makes it's first whisper in our ear and we start the comparison game. It eats and eats and eats at the heart until soon, we can find nothing in our lives to be joyful about. Nothing to be thankful for.

If we will just focus on the blessings that the Lord has sent to us each, take the time to be truly thankful for the very life we have in Him, praising Him even through our trials, we will be freer to live this life as abundantly as He intended. We will see more clearly the opportunities that present themselves in His perfect timing.

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As I approach my 31st birthday, these are the things that I find myself reflecting on. It has been a particularly hard lesson for me to learn. And I haven't arrived, but I am thankful for the growing and shaping that has been so obviously taking place in my heart and my head.

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. When you call upon me, when you come to me and pray to me, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. -Jer. 21:11 (roughly)

5 comments:

The Farmer Files said...

LOL on a cleaning spree here. When I go to the hospital to have this baby I do not want anyone cleaning while I am gone...or thinking...how come she doesn't have it all cleaned up? And the mommy stuff...I think it is going to be with us well into when the kids hit the teens, and the young marrieds, careers, etc. Some parents tend to wear the kids like external badges, you know? But what does that say about what is going on inside of these moms?

The Bouldins said...

Amen.

As a friend of mine said just last week to me, "You never know what other people are struggling with, but everyone seems to be struggling with something."

Why is this such a difficult lesson? And my envy/covetousness/discontent(?) seems to have increased exponentially since I've had children!

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

Well, you'll always do your laundry in a far superior way to me so let that be a comfort to you, oh wise one.

Bobbie said...

I think about having a cleaning spree everyday, but never seem to get around to it, I've just decided that stepping on toys is going to be part of life for the next few years!

Amy said...

I love reading your blog. What you said was very encouraging and real. Such a great reminder to be thankful for what God has given us. You are a dear friend :)