A tired mom looks to Him to power through

Tag Archives: hope

We had a case of little boy bangs in need of trimming.
And a bunch of cute baby boy blonde curls.

How did this end? Business in the front, party in the back. I’m not ready to part with the curls.

“What do you think?” the guy with the scissors asked me.
I half sighed, half laughed.

“I think you did just what I asked for and now our son has a mullet!”
“It’s okay, everybody can rock a mullet until their two, you’re good.” I’m not sure how convinced he was of his own advising, but I went with it.

Yes, our son, pretty much, kind of, has a developing mullet. He has a ‘do that makes you tilt your head to the side and wonder a little bit.
And I’m okay with it.

Because the truth is, when he looks back on the pictures capturing these priceless days, he may ask what is up with his hair, and I’ll have an answer. For this is the season where I am embracing the “tween-ness.”

For him – at 20 months, he isn’t quite a full blown little boy, and no longer a full blown baby. He is a tweener. Simultaneously, he grows both fiercely independent and attached. Tonight he ran through the house on his own, only to return just as quickly to plant kisses on my face.

For me – three and half decades in – I’m finding peace with concepts of progression in motherhood and finding my path as a writer. I am less likely to require absolutes. No longer do I feel a need to constantly categorize everything in life as either good or bad. There is gray. God helps us through the gray. God’s truths are absolute, but His creation seeking them are messy, complicated, emotional beings. We do best to cling to grace during the times of gray- the times of tween-ness when we don’t quite feel we’ve arrived….anywhere. We aren’t quite ready to fully forget the past, and we aren’t quite ready to fully embrace the future. So, we sit calmly right where we are and breathe deeply and simply be. We have a 20 month old with a short straight line up front and a sporadic, joyful grouping of curls in the back, because that is where we are, right now.

It is okay if some days, we appear to be business up front and party in the back. What’s important is to know why we do what we do, why we make the decisions we make. The older I get the less I feel an automatic need to provide explanations. Certainly, on all matters of life, I would love to know what to say if and when you ask. Surely, you are certainly entitled to your opinions and comments. I may or may not agree with them. But, I do purpose to, with grace, love and humility, live 1 Peter 3:15, to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I have no desire to shove my hope down your throat. But if/when you ask, I pray to serve it up as quickly as the hair cuttery guy served up our son’s mullet.

Hope is very powerful. Some days you may not have much, but if you can muster up some hope, you have some jingle in your pocket. Hope purposes through the gray. To be without hope is a sad and lonely place. If I could freely give any commodity, I would make hope tangible and hand it out.

Our little one has curls that sprout from the side of his head like wings. They tease you as little beings of themselves that tickle life and question whether they should really be there or not. I’m learning to extend those same kinds of wings each time I step out in my writing. Learning to fly is frightful. Perhaps we are not all meant to – perhaps, we will not know until we try.

Life will present situations where there is business up front and a party in the back. Some are easier to digest than others. You will be tempted to feel lonely and misunderstood in your mullet season. Press on, Beloved. Those curls can stay as long as you want them too.

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I picture, if John and the believers he addresses here were physically together, he rallying them in a big circle, arms over each others shoulders, having a major pep talk. Here are the bullets of that pep talk:

* Don’t be dissuaded, discouraged, disheartened by those trying to lead you astray.
* Remain in God’s teaching so you can identify, when others persuade you, whether it is a teaching from the anointed One or not.
* In the midst of dissention and factions, the sound of eternal unity sounds really good. Remain in God now, so that you may take claim to the promise of eternal unity with God later.
* Those born of God do what is right, and encourage others to do likewise, living in such a way that the promise of eternal life with God is active and worthy of a calling to live a godly life.
* We are designed to live godly lives so that we may live confidently and without shame when we consider Christ returning.

Then, maybe John ends this pep talk with a robust “GO TEAM!” 🙂
{Meditations on 1 John 2:23-29}


guilt
image credit: http://www.insideout-tees.com

I used to think I wasn’t guilt prone. After all, much of what society says I should feel guilt for, I don’t:

I work full time out of the house and hold deep gratitude for both the opportunity to do so and effective childcare.

For a few minutes, I considered feeling guilty that I didn’t feel guilty for being a working mom. But it didn’t stick.

I could feel guilty that my house is usually some variation of mess. But again, we are okay with the permanent lived in look.

I could feel guilty that I don’t typically “cook.” Instead, I hold deep gratitude for simple things, like eggs and veggies, and that a tasty omelet works for either breakfast or dinner.

But alas, I am not immune to guilt. I am finding, deeply, heartbreakingly, movingly, that raising a toddler turning pre-Ker turning big kid unleashes the flood gates of guilt.

Let me explain: I get it intellectually, that it is nearly impossible to never, ever once get annoyed, aggravated, or frustrated with your children. And while I believe it in my head, that concept doesn’t penetrate my heart so easily.

A misstep in tone, word choice, sigh, when I feel like I don’t respond to our 4 year old daughter as I should, and man the guilt piles. I feel like the worst mom ever. I’ll sit quietly condemning myself on how I have more than likely just damaged my offspring. This line of thinking is a really distracting, depressing downer.

It happened today and I had to find a way out. I had a choice, I could literally brood between 8:30 and lunchtime inwardly fighting to re-find my happy place, or I could fight for the change of mind. I went to one of the strongest tools in the arsenal: girlfriends.

We’ve known for a while that it takes a village to raise a child. Now more than ever, I think it takes a village to keep the moms sane. I never totally got the sorority scene in college. But a sorority for moms? I think I could get into that. I’m not sure what the Greek letters are for “You don’t suck as a parent, just keep going” but I would wear them on a sweatshirt.

After a chance of being open and totally encouraged, I had to adjust my thinking. In lieu of meditating on my mistake, what else could I think of? Could it be possible that I could focus more so on the loving moments that my daughter and I shared in the last 24 hours, and not the skirmish this morning? Could it be possible that I could instead expend energy on looking forward to how I could love her later this evening?

This was a novel approach to me. Instead of beating myself up, I could hope myself up. I could take gratitude in the chance to show love again. I could commit to enjoying the next opportunity to be the parent I want to be.

Give your mistakes just enough energy to motivate change. All remaining oomph should go towards how you will love next.


Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

If you get nothing else done today (not likely :)) then remember to look to the scriptures for both endurance and hope.