Sunday, April 13, 2014

Present Over Perfect: A Mother's Confession

Present Over Perfect: A Mother's Confession

I have been trying to sit down and write for a couple days now but it seems the weekends have brought us such great weather that we have been taking full advantage of pool days and beach days lately so "alone" time to reflect has been sparse this weekend. I did get some time on Thursday to journal and spend a moment of solitude with the Lord & noticed myself praying and thinking about the mother i am and the mother i strive to be.  I noticed the burden that I choose to carry, I noticed the mound of bricks piling up on my back as my pen wrote down each prayer request that had been on my heart that morning.  I was so lost in asking Jesus questions about decisions I make daily in raising our son, in being a wife, in being a working mama and how my time is spent. I live with this voice in my head that is always asking me if I'm being enough or doing enough for Cash.. I have such a deep desire to be the mom he deserves, to love him every moment of every day, to show him Christs heart, to make him laugh and enjoy life, to protect him, to teach and guide him, & to help him along.. but when do I turn that voice off? When do I just trust that Jesus chose me? I know He did, and at times I am so confident in loving my son how he needs to be loved. When I see his face light up with a huge smile I know he is right where he is supposed to be.  But just because I know something doesn't mean I always believe it.  There are times when I question myself, "should I be cleaning or getting outside with this little guy on my day off?", "should I be going to the store or giving Cash a bath with daddy", "should I be heading to the gym for an hour or spending it with my guys"?  I hope I'm not the only mama who thinks about these silly thoughts.  I know I can't do it all, and I know its healthy for me to get things done around the house and have "me" time.  But that doesn't mean that mama guilt doesn't come creeping in once in a while.  I became aware of what I was doing the moment I opened up the book I've been reading, "Bread & Wine" by Shauna Niequist. I had put the book down for a several months while life had been too busy for leisure reading, and im so glad I picked it back up that morning right as I was in prayer and conversation with God. 

Here's what she had to say that spoke so wonderfully to my heart. In this chapter, Shauna is talking about Christmas time and the craziness that we subject ourselves to when we dive head first into overconsuming, overindulging, over doing everything.  I think it applies to different seasons in our lives, not just Christmas time... at least I can admit it does for me in this seasons of being a new mama:

"Either I can be here, fully here, my imperfect, messy, tired but wholly present self, or I can miss it--this moment, this conversation, this time around the table, whatever it is--because i'm trying, and failing, to be perfect, keep the house perfect, make the meal perfect, ensure the gift is perfect. But this season I'm not trying for perfect.  I'm just trying to show up, every time, with honesty and attentiveness...

...In our lowest, most fragmented moments, we feel out of conrol--controlled, in fact, by expectations and to-do lists and commitments and traditions. It's that time of year, we shrug, when things get a little crazy. No avoiding it.

But that's not true. And that's shifting the blame. We have, each one of us, been entrusted with one life, made up of days and hours and minutes. We're spending them according to our values whether or not we admit it.

..When things are too crazy, the only voices I hear are the voices of fear and shame. I stop being able to hear the voice of God, the voice of rest, the voice of hope and healing and restoration, the voice that gives new life to dry old bones. And instead I hear that old song I've heard all my life: You're not good enough. You're not good enough.

But that voice is a life. And its a terrible guide. When I listen to it, I burn the candle at both ends and try to light the middle while im at it. The voice of God invites us to full, whole living--to rest, to abundance, to enough.  To say no.  To say no more.  To say I'm going to choose to live wholly and completely in the present, even though this ragged, run-down person I am right now is so far from perfect.

Let's be courageous in these days. Let's choose love and rest and grace.  Let's use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand or shushing them while we accomplish one more seemingly necessary thing.

..I pray that we'll understand the transforming power that lies in saying no, because it's an act of faith, a tangible demonstration of the belief that you are so much more than what you do".  

Jesus knows just what we need. He speaks so clearly to my heart when I seek Him. I am so thankful for clarity, for rest, for the voice of hope and restoration.  I am so grateful for the reminder that again, I do not have to be perfect, or be super mom, but just to be me & know that I am enough, and me being present is all that is important. 

I don't know about you but I'm feeling refreshed!

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  1. I'm constantly trying to juggle everything. I also can feel conflicted and when I'm in that worried mind space I'm not present in the moment. I feel like I'm missing out on that family time.

    Beautiful blog post! Keep it up.

    1. You are so right! Thats one thing i didnt mention here.. when we are worried we really arent present even when we are physically present. SO glad you relate and love the post (: Happy to have a community of mamas that support one another