Friday, January 9, 2015

The Real, Sweetly-Broken, Messy-Beautiful, Me

{Five of my favorites drinking smoothies on the front porch.}

These days...
__I like color, and warmth, and sunshine... these winter days are dark and cold.

__Every-single-day my children make me laugh__AND __Every-single-day my children make cry.

__I like photographs that capture the real us in each of our days.

__There are so many things going on in my mothering life at this very moment that I have absolutely no idea what to do about.

__I long for a sense of control. My children are not robots. They do not do everything I tell them to do the moment I tell them to do it. And something insanely unrealistic inside of me gets all bent out of shape because I have to repeat myself a hundred times a day and my mouth is tired and my mind is tired and I know I am okay, but I don't always feel okay. These kids need my time, my patience, my listening ear... all things I am not naturally good at in my flesh.

__I long to listen to my children, but truth be told, most of my day, all my mind is really absorbing is the sound of mumbling... which might have to do with my reality that all five like to talk at the same time, most of the time... we are working on this... we are far from mastering this.

__Little things bother me. Things like one sock left on the floor... there being only one sock means that the other sock is most likely missing... which means that I will more than likely be buying yet another pack of socks the next time I'm at Walmart. In our budget, socks are under the category of "consumables."

__The Lord has been talking to me about letting these little things go... I'm listening... I'm trying... but my insides still get all bunchy when I see that lone sock on the bathroom floor.

__Most of our days go as follows...
5 minutes of good, encouraging, joy-filled...
Followed by...
5 minutes of bickering, instruction, yelling, making it right, praying, starting over...
Followed by...
5 minutes of, "I can do this, I'm thankful for this, I LOVE this...
Followed by...
5 minutes of "What were you thinking Lord, giving me all these children?? I'm inadequate, unable... crying, breathing, praying...

I have no idea how these children of ours are going to turn out. Some days it feels as if the constant back and forth of our moments couldn't possibly produce quality adults who might grow to love God and love their neighbor.

{A favorite winter spot.}

{Baby, it's COLD outside...}

For me... this mothering gig is like a t-shirt getting tossed and turned in the wash... you know in the end you'll shine, but that doesn't mean the process wasn't a bit brutal.

For me... there's a battle that I chose to fight all day long because I believe that the molding of a Mama is beautiful, even when it doesn't feel beautiful.

For me... the joy moments might far outweigh the yucky moments but if I'm honest, my mind stays stuck on the yucky moments more than it dwells on the joy.

For me... I have to be willing to journey through things... to face my day knowing that I won't have all the answers for all the things that I'm going face... knowing that my struggles will not magically disappear just because I know Jesus... knowing that when I sin against one of my little ones, I am not destroyed, nor am I defeated, I merely have an opportunity to confess my wrong, make it right, and try again. There are no quick solutions, no formulas, only trust in a mighty God.

I keep thinking that because I asked Jesus into my heart nearly 20 years ago that somehow I would be a Mama that delights perfectly in her children and never does their little souls any harm with her words.

Instead I'm a Mama who asks for forgiveness a minimum of a dozen times a day.

Instead I'm a Mama who has to fight for her joy. 

Instead I'm a Mama who has to literally put a HUGE sign in her living room that says, "only speak words that make souls STRONGER", because I am continually spewing selfish frustrations out of this mouth of mine.

{Helping Mom.}

{A Lego City.}

I might know the surface of other Mama's struggles, but I only really know the depths of my own.

I do not know why the Lord sees fit for me to be seemingly so in over my head these days, but here I am.

I cannot please man, but I know that to please Jesus I simply have to be willing to walk forward in trust that He who began a good work in me will complete it... to believe even when I don't feel.

My battle for joy is so intense these days that I get tempted to hide out here in our cozy abode. It's easy to isolate ones self when life seems more ugly than beautiful.

But if you find yourself at the farm house anytime soon, just know that what you're going to get is the real...

You might find me in my kitchen with tears quietly streaming down my face because I feel at a total loss in the moment.
You might hear me speak a harsh word.
You might witness the Spirit softening my heart and you might have to watch me apologize to one of children for the hundredth time in a day.
You might catch us all laughing at the kitchen table because Mama and Papa keep tooting all throughout the meal.
Or, you might see the lone sock on the floor in our tiny bathroom and know that this Mama is in the process of choosing joy over meaningless frustration.

Just know that I'm thinking about His tender, powerful Word in the midst of all the crazy...

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5

Just know that you're welcome here...

You are welcome even as I muddle.

This is me right now.

I read all these books about mothering by women who write so eloquently and seem to have found the secret to mothering bliss.

Maybe one day when the kids are all out of the house and I have a walked several more years of this humbling journey, I will be able to write more eloquently.

But for today, you simply get the real, sweetly-broken, messy-beautiful, me.