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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Remembering who I am

I’m a pretty typical introvert. It’s not that I don’t like or enjoy being around people; I just require time to myself to recharge. I know this about myself. I’ve known this for a while. But when it comes to my children, I seem to forget this aspect of my personality. So I give and give and give some more. Then I wonder why I’m short-tempered and frayed around edges.

I never wanted to be that mom. You know, the one who sacrifices herself on the altar of her children. But sometimes I feel like that’s who I’ve become. My mom was not that mom. And I never felt less cared for or valued because she cared for and valued herself.

Recently, I’ve been doing little things to “reclaim” myself, like finally losing the baby weight and making an effort with my appearance before leaving the house. It’s amazing what you have the energy to do once you start sleeping again. And although those are wonderful, even necessary things, I can’t help feeling that they are superficial. Those things are not going to refill me when I’m empty.

We are often defined by the roles we play. It’s true, I am a wife and a mother. But is that my true identity? Is it what defines me and who I am? Until I know that, I will always get lost in my roles. It’s not about wanting more out of life. I’m fulfilled as a wife and mother–I’m where I’m supposed to be. But I can’t let it be what defines me.

There is only one place I can find my true identity. Who I am has to be rooted in Christ: “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Galatians 3:26-27 NLT).

But I need to be constantly reminded of who I am in Christ, otherwise I’ll get bogged down in the minutiae of my everyday life. For me, spending time reading the Bible and in prayer not only remind me of who I am, they recharge and restore me. But I’m not very good at carving out that time. So I’m going to make it a priority. That may mean that sometimes Faith and Journey will have to play in their room, while I take time to refuel and remember who I am. In the end, my prayer is that as I take time to fill up again, I will fulfill my role as wife and mother with more purpose and focus.

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Christian beliefs, Faith, Parenting

 

First-time obedience and other things I don’t do

I’m very big on first-time obedience when it comes to my kids. It’s kind of my thing. “Delayed obedience is disobedience!” (That’s a quote from my dad.)

But if I’m being honest with myself, I don’t exactly practice what I preach. I have a list of things God has told me to do that I still haven’t gotten around to yet–all for various and often well-thought-out reasons. But how is that any different from my children? When I tell Journey to clean up his toys, in his mind, continuing to play with his car is far more important than doing what mommy says. Or if I call Faith to come to me, going in the opposite direction not only seems like a better idea, it’s more fun–especially when mommy chases after her.

So why do I expect things of my kids that I don’t do myself? And why do I get so frustrated when they don’t do it? I wonder if God feels that same frustration with me.

This topic has been a particular source of frustration recently. And I’m beginning to wonder if God is trying to show me something in my children’s obedience–or lack of it, in this case.

I think he’s teaching me about perseverance. Galatians 6:9 says, “So let us not grow tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (NLT). I was reading to Journey earlier today–after a particularly challenging morning–and in his little innocent book on colors, there was this scripture. I knew right then that God was answering my earlier plea for guidance. No, it’ wasn’t “do this and this will happen.” But it was telling me to continue to do what I’m doing with Journey (and Faith)…because I will see a “harvest of blessing” if I don’t give up.

I also believe God is trying to get me out of my own complacency with delayed obedience. When Journey doesn’t obey right away, he misses opportunities–No, we’re not going to the park today, because you didn’t obey mommy. I think it’s the same with God–though he’s much more gracious to me than I am to Journey. It reminds me of the children of Israel. Because of their disobedience, they wandered the wilderness for 40 years and many of them missed the opportunity to see the land God had promised (Numbers 14). I don’t want to miss God’s promises and opportunities anymore. So now I’m going through my “list.”

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Christian beliefs, Faith, Parenting

 

Mirror, mirror…

I’m learning that Journey is my little mirror. No, he can’t show me if my hair is mussed or my makeup needs a touch-up. But he definitely reflects what’s really going on.

Sometimes I’m proud of what I see. Like when I hurt myself and he comes up to me, lays hands on me and says “Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus [mumble, mumble, mumble] … in Jesus name, AMEN!” Or he walks up to his sister and says “I love you so very much!” You can imagine the quiet smile that washes over my face in those moments.

But there are other times that I don’t like what I see. When he looks at me with all seriousness, after I’ve fussed at him, and says “Don’t yell, Mommy!” Ouch! Or when he bangs his hand down, in frustration. Where did he learn that? In those moments, I wish it were simply a matter of a smudge on my face that needs to be wiped.

That’s when the self-doubt starts: I’m failing him! I’m not cut out for this!

But then I’m reminded that “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV). This scripture has two points of comfort for me. First, God’s grace is sufficient for me. I’m not enough. On my own, I am failing my children. But in my weakness, God’s strength is perfected. Secondly, His grace is sufficient for Journey. I have to believe that God is covering my shortcomings. I will always do my best with my children. That doesn’t change. But when my best is insufficient, God’s grace is sufficient. I hold on to that. I hold on to the belief that God loves my kids so much more than I do.

My little mirror will not always reflect the best in me. But my prayer is that, in time, it will reflect the best in him and God.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in Christian beliefs, Faith, Parenting

 

Welcome to my journey…

Well it looks like I’ve started a blog! This is an unexpected turn of events for me. Afterall, what do I have to say that hasn’t already been said on the subject of parenting? But as I began to reflect on all the things I’ve learned since becoming a parent—nearly three years ago—I wanted to chronicle it…for my children and any others who may be able to learn from my experiences.

So here we are, My Incredible Faith Journey! No, it’s not a terribly creative or original name. But it’s fitting. I have been blessed with two amazing children, Faith and Journey. And their names definitely describe my experience as a mom, so far.

I’m still learning a lot about myself as a parent. But I hope you can come along with me on this journey.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized