thursday afternoon

My boys are entertaining themselves and my girls are sleeping. The sun is shining through my open kitchen window. Dinner under control; my household staff hard at work (that's what I say when the washing machine or dishwasher are running), and a slow afternoon ahead.

There's been a thought buzzing in the back of my mind lately, bothering me as I try to articulate it to myself so that I can articulate it to you. It's like a theme that's running through my life, and through the lives of others as I hear their stories, read blogs, zip through facebook. Of all the words to characterize the mission of a wife/saint/mom, why is it this word? Striving. Not striving like "taking good strides to push towards a goal"; striving as in "squeezing everything in me to try, try, try."

Sometimes I think that the internet is our own worst enemy. Suddenly, we are overloaded with a surplus of information about how we should eat, live, decorate, discipline, homeschool, clean, shop, budget, blog, and behave in general. Information can be empowering or enslaving. 

I feel like so many great ladies I know have blogs that don't celebrate who God made them but lament all the things they are not. It just pains me. Not that my daily life is a constant celebration of who God made me, but in the clarity of today I feel the burden of striving to be something that God hasn't even asked of me. And I am laying it down.

I'm just me. I don't eat organic or exercise like I want or have a well-run house. I feel shy around people I don't know and I don't know why. I am struggling to homeschool my firstborn and my greatest obstacle is the strong will of my 2-year old and the equally short attention span of her business partner, my 4-year old. We struggle to give our house it's needed attention. I'm not a great friend but I want to be and I'm working on it. I'm tired of being tired. Tired of feeling defeated before the day starts. Tired of having expectations that are so ridiculously high.

Tired of striving.

I want to be free. Not free of responsibility, free of pressure to bear up under it all and be amazing. Cause I'm not.

But I am loved by my Father. I am given all that I need to do His will for each day. I am learning new things about how He has made me and I am learning to leave behind the things He has not asked of me. Like perfection. And having-it-all-together. And exercise (oh wait- He probably would have me do that. Darn.)

So in the midst of your crazy life, of little people that don't sleep or co-workers that don't appreciate you or a house that stands in judgment of your neglect, here's something to celebrate: celebrate you. Celebrate the fact that Christ has made you new and free of the world's standards. Celebrate that He has started something unique and brilliant in your soul and He is committed to seeing it through. Celebrate your freedom to love without conditions and be loved in return. Celebrate the Rest that is coming; when you will finally rest from your striving.

Celebrate grace and hope and truth. Celebrate the little souls in your care, friends in your corner, the ones who are ahead of you in the journey who turn back to point out the tough spots.

Celebrate life, and the life that Christ has brought you.

Celebrate today. And tomorrow. And the tomorrows to come.

Celebrate that you once were lost but have been found.

Celebrate you, and in doing so, help others to celebrate who God made them.

That's all for now. Girls are up and boys are on the move. The day charges ahead and I guess I'll leave this thought for now.


Victoria said...

Hmm. Thoroughly rebuked, completely repentant and challenged. Thanks, Beck.

Becky said...

You, my friend Tori, are awesome and worth celebrating. Love you.

Mark Collier said...

Wow! What a great encouragement to live with joy, when I thought death to self was all I had to look forward to. Thanks, for real.

Tawnya said...

Always a refreshing perspective to read Becky...thank you, thank you, thank you!

Christy said...

Amen. I have been having snippets of similar thoughts floating around in my head, but never could have written them so concisely and appropriately. Thank you for bringing clarity to the random chaos of my thought-life. : ) Always appreciate and value your perspective!

Jenni said...

Thanks Becky. These words are SO timely as I've been feeling discouraged and rather inadequate in my job as mom lately. I'm challenged and encouraged.