I can't seem to get these thoughts out of my head today. After reading various comments on Facebook on how moms are fed up with their kids I finally said something. For the record, I am sure I have put up the same kind of message up for the world to see so I am not coming out and preaching to everyone something that I haven't preached to myself many times. I am no better than you, however, the Lord has convicted my heart on this area many times.
I think I am a huge complainer...or used to be...or sinfully, want to be. It is allergy season for me and if your my friend you know that in the fall I can be a hermit, not going outside to sniff the pollen. The other day, my allergy attack was in full force and you did not want to get in my way! If I don't feel good...I'll alter the saying, "If mama don't feel good we all will suffer". I think Matt was running out the door for work just to get away from me. All that to say, I can be a complainer too.
I think the Lord has made me go through some experiences to teach me how grateful I should be. I remember struggling with infertility issues and I would go places (sadly, church was the worst) and everybody was complaining about their kids. I wanted to be a mom so bad and these women had what I wanted and were so ungrateful for it. I'm not talking the occasional outburst to get out your frustration before your top blows (although we do need to be careful, we are only human) but there are alot of women who complain about their kids so much that they don't even know they do it. Or they think it's funny. Their kids are the butt of their jokes. Sadly, I would have given almost anything to have what they had. I also thought that I would have been just like them if the Lord did not have me wait so long.
I have one child, that we are like oil and water many times. She can set me off fast. I HATE that about myself! I HATE it! I pray about it all the time. I often think, what if something would happen to her and I look back on our relationship and all I can think of is all the times that I bossed her around, lost my temper, gave out orders, and "gave it to her" when she disobeyed. I would never forgive myself.
This is also the first time in my life where I haven't been a working mom. I remember having to leave Ivy to go to work and I longed to be home with her. I would read comments where moms would write, "get me out of here!" Again, God showed me that if that day ever came where I was a stay at home mom, I needed to get my attitude in order. I have a working friend who longs to be a stay at home mommy and I wouldn't DARE complain to her, she would trade me in a heartbeat!
The funny thing is, as I am writing this post and ALL morning, Lucy has been hanging on me. I can't get very much done. She loves to be by my side. I got out toys for her and everything and she just wants to hang on me. As she was starting to hang on me and I was getting frustrated, I was saying all of these things to myself.
I know it is different when kids are older, I have a first grader who is just starting to pick things up she has learned at school, making me what to wave my finger " Oh no you didn't!" I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. But this is exactly why we need to remind ourselves what a precious gift our children are! They are a blessing. They could be gone in an instant! Psalm 127 says, " Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them."
I am not trying to be holier than thou. This is such a struggle for me, but let's encourage each other and remind each other of the blessings we have. This will convict my own heart. Even today. Probably at 3:55pm to be exact when the bus rolls in. Haha. I'm thankful that the Lord has placed this on my heart today so that I can remind myself all day. Philippians 2:14-15 " Do all things without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."
Well, it finally happened. I turned 40 this weekend. Mixed emotions. For the first time I was actually feeling...."old". The night before I laid in bed and thanked the Lord for so many things as I thought about my life.
I thought about growing up in a Christian home, my talks with dad and shopping with mom. Always having a great fun youth group to go to. Church and youth group were some of the best moments I had growing up. My closest friends came from there.
Working at Hidden Acres as a summer camp counselor. My first taste of independence. I loved those summers.
Life changing experience. Moving to California to go to the Master's College. I became a different person there. I grew so much and loved every minute of it. I was so thankful that the Lord provided a way for me to go. I think I never would have left Iowa if it were not for college. I think of leaving for California as one of the most pivotal times in my life. I knew one person when I started and God gave me so much more.
Meeting and marrying Matt. I don't even think I really knew who I was marrying. He has proved to be so much more than I could have ever hoped for. He is the man that you want to go through trials with. He shows me more mercy and love than I have ever been given by any person. He is steady and quietly strong. I love him and he has changed me for the better.
After college and marriage, meeting the best girlfriends I could have ever asked for. They have changed my life. I love them so much. They have been through many trials with me and have been so faithful. I am not always an easy friend to stand by and they have done it. They will be in my life forever. I don't even have to name them. They know who they are and I'm sure most of you know them too.
Having Hollie live by us. I loved living by my sister. She was such an encouragement to me. In my wants, hard times, and victories. I'm still thanking the Lord for the ways that He has provided for her deepest desires. ( Holla Mrs. Jackson!)
The birth and adoption of my baby girls. A path I would have never chosen to go on. So much waiting, disappointment and hurt. But I really don't think there is a week that goes by that I don't thank the Lord for the life changing path he put Matt and I on. I love adoption! I'm blessed to be apart of it. I am more thoughtful to others because of it. The whole experience made me a better mom. Those two girls have changed my life. I'm more in love with Matt, watching him be a dad to those two beauties.
Music. I have so many wonderful memories, singing at different places. God gives everyone gifts to use for Him. I am humbled and thankful that He gave me so many opportunities to do something for Him that I love doing. Do people still want 40 year olds to sing in church? I hope so. haha
Church. I have grown so much at the different churches God put me in. I know there are people around the country and world who are growing on their own and don't have a good bible teaching church and good Christian fellowship. I have had some great experiences. I hope and pray I haven't wasted those experiences or taken them for granted.
Legacy Christian Academy. I worked as a music teacher for almost 15 years. I don't think I really appreciated it until the last few years. I always had fun there and will always be thankful that I had Christian bosses. Any discussion we had always ended in prayer. When I was hurting in my personal life, what boss would sit and pray with me as I cried? I still have encouraging notes from him. I'll always have many memories where he showed me grace in tough situations.
Now moving to Tennessee. I still can't believe he gave me the desire of our hearts and moved us here. AND I am a stay at home mom.
My girls are young, Matt has a new job, I am just getting to know people. I'm wondering what is coming next? I'm praying that I'll be more faithful and obedient to Him. That I'll grow more in love with Jesus. That I'll have really good relationships with my girls. The kind where they want to come to their mom about everything! The kind that grows into a good friendship in later years. I pray that Matt and I will continue to be best friends. That I will die to self and serve Him more. He works so hard for His girls. I pray I'll be used more in the church. Build deep relationships here in Nashville.
Maybe 40 isn't so bad. You have lived long enough to reflect over your life so far but hopefully I'll have many more years to go. Here's to the next 40!