Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt/ envy is one thing that I think all moms deal with. There are no perfect moms. There is always going to be someone who is more _________ than you are. Mommy guilt/envy comes in many forms and many faces.

Yesterday I had an attack of mommy guilt. In the mail we got the cutest invitation for a birthday party from some friends for their son. As soon as I saw it all kind of thoughts ran through my mind. After the initial, "That is one of the cutest invitations I've ever seen!" thought all kinds of self deprecating thoughts came after me, "I'm a horrible mom because... I never organize fun birthday parties for my kids, I never make fun invitations, I'm totally not organized enough to get invitations to people three weeks before an event, etc, etc, etc." This was all magnified because I really don't do birthdays well which always makes me feel guilty and because my baby turns 8 next week and she and her sisters were planning her birthday party and making invitations with crayons and pencils to hand out at church on Sunday afternoon so people could be informed a few days before her "party" (AKA hopefully have a couple friends over and probably paint nails and eat cake). "Oh, why am I not together enough to throw my own kid a birthday party so she has to plan it herself??"

Glenn had just gotten home and he saw the direction of my thoughts and my wonderful husband asked me a simple question, "Did you ever just have a two year old?"

That caused me to pause and reflect. I have just had a 2 year old. For one month. The party we threw when that little guy turned 2 was a big event- we stayed up late several nights before it making fish out of Starbursts and Laffy Taffy for his amazing aquarium cake and creating fun Veggie Tale themed carnival games to play. We had made cute invitations and I made homemade pizza for the 30+ people of all ages that came to help us celebrate that wonderful occasion. I did just have a 2 year old back then. His sister came a month later. I've not thrown a party like that since.

I'm thankful for my dear husband helping me with my perspective yesterday. I'm not a big party person. I feel mommy guilt/ envy often when I see pictures of the spectacular birthday extravaganzas from people who are that they have for their kids and think that I really should do all of that but I don't. I don't have big parties for my kids. They get homemade cinnamon rolls and a favorite meal for their birthday - usually Hawaiian Haystacks. They sometimes have a friend or two over if we've met people where we are living at the time or are not homeless. One child didn't have a cake until a couple of months after the birthday had passed because of the sickness and chaos in our lives that was going on at the time, another child got to celebrate while living in someone else's house two years in a row. As a general rule birthdays are simple events in our home but the kids still feel loved and special and they've never complained they don't get extravaganzas every year.

It is enough. I am enough. God didn't give my kids a great party planning mom but He knew what He was doing and for some reason in His infinite plan He gave them me. Imperfect, disorganized, not a party planner me.

I surrender my mommy guilt and envy to God once again. I can't live anyone else's life. I get to live mine. I am not anyone else. I am me. The me that God created perfectly for His plan and purpose and to glorify Him.

For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10 AMP)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Tree

About 4 years ago I drove to the grocery store quick to pick up some food after Glenn got home from school and the kids were put to bed. On the way there I noticed a big Christmas tree box on the side of the road a few blocks away. When I got home I told Glenn about it and asked him if he wanted to go check it out with me. We went and grabbed it figuring we could put in on our curb if it didn't work. It was a 7.5 foot prelit tree that was in great condition except the prelit part didn't work. That was OK with us. We had lights. We had thought about buying a tree after Christmas that year when they went on clearance but God gave us one before Christmas for free (very helpful on a medical student outgo).
 The previous Christmas we had covered a pile of boxes we'd stacked in our living room to look like a tree with a green sheet and put lights on it. 
 It looked nice in the dark and it was fun to make. There wouldn't have been room in that little 600sq ft house for a 3D tree anyway.
The year before that we had to throw out our old hand me down fake tree from my aunt and uncle because it was all falling apart.

Every time I see advertisements for prelit trees I smile and thank God again for our tree. A friend wondered yesterday what to do with her tree that the prelits didn't work anymore. My suggestions: put your own lights on it or give it away and bless someone with it. I know our tree was a huge blessing to us through our med school years and it moved with us to TX so we'll get to use it again here.

Linking up with LisaJo for Five Minute Friday. 
Five Minute Friday

Friday, November 01, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Grace


That's what I have been given a lot of. Grace. So amazing. So free to me. So costly to the One who has given it to me. God has given me so much that I don't deserve.

3 things have come to mind with the word "grace." 5 Minutes doesn't give me much time but there they are:

1. The Youngest Pilgrim by J.G. Green. A great little book I found at the church library that we've read aloud in the past couple of weeks about a boy in Korea who meets Jesus through his visits with the shopkeeper who owns the corner store. The first Christian song he heard was "Amazing Grace" and it made a great impact throughout his life. I loved hearing my kids sing it whenever it was mentioned in the story.

2. A woman named Grace that I am so grateful for. She has been a kind of mother figure to me (and Glenn and my brother). When I was growing up her family would faithfully visit my dad whenever he was in the hospital for some complication with his diabetes (which was often!) on Sunday afternoons. It didn't matter which hospital it was they would make their way there on Sunday afternoons and spend time with us. Almost every Sunday of the year and a half that mom lived in the nursing home they were there. Loving us, encouraging us, making us laugh. I really don't know what we would have done without her dear family over the years. They have the dearest servant hearts of any people I have ever met. Always giving, always loving, always serving, always caring. I am so grateful for the grace God has given me in Grace.

3. The grace that God has given me in parenting. I am far from a perfect parent but God's grace is producing some amazing kids that I have the privilege of living life with. They challenge me with their faith and their questions. They cause me to grow and to be more and more grateful for the grace that God gives me on a moment by moment basis as my Father.

Grace, grace, God's grace. 
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within. 
Grace, grace, God's grace. 
Grace that is greater than all my sin.

Five Minute Friday