5/23/13

when you feel bad that you aren't amazing

I'm not an amazing mom.  That's something I don't say out loud very often; just typing it makes me tear up.

When I have said it in the past, when the moment and the courage and the question have all collided, people usually try to assure me that I'm fine. Great. Doing a good job.  Which is probably true- I am fine. But that's not what I said.

I don't want to be a good mom- I want to be awesome.

I realize that several things are wrong about that aspiration; it raises all kinds of questions. What is an awesome mom, anyways? And how would I know if I was (or wasn't) one? And why do I want it- for me or for my kids or for Jesus? 

But it's not just in mothering- there's an internal pressure to be good at everything. Maybe you feel that. Maybe you feel like the dish you bring to a potluck or the richness of your friendships or the state of your backyard or the dust on your mantel are all on display for the world to see- and to judge. And to find wanting. 

I know that mindset is ridiculous, but I can't help feeling, at times, that it's not. 

These thoughts have been floating in my head, partially due to a first manuscript that people are reading and partially due to the fact that my upstairs always looks just a few weeks away from earning me a guest spot on Hoarders. I feel the lack, that despite my best efforts, this is what it is. And it makes me a little tender on the inside.

But... my kids have been memorizing 1 Corinthians 13. And as we wrap that up this week, I am reminded afresh of why memorizing scripture is life to your soul. 

Why, you ask?

Because the truth in your head will fight the lies for you- when you feel like you can't, when you start to get the two confused, when you don't know if you want to really fight it anymore. The battle wages on- with truth breathing life right into you in ways you never could have expected. 

These verses have been reminding me that what I do has no bearing on how I am loved. 

I am loved.  I just am. Period.

I am fully known by Christ, and still loved. 

I was created in His love, redeemed by His love, and am growing in the shadow of His love.

And the craziest thing of all is that I can stop trying so hard to convince mortals that I am something special when my Creator has never doubted that, not since the moment I drew breath. 

And you...?

You are loved. You just are. Period.

You are fully known by Christ, and still loved.

You were created in love, have the sweet chance to be redeemed by love, and the opportunity to live in the shadow of His love. 

So what's that mean? I guess it means, for me, that I can stop working so hard. Stop seeing my worth in the pile of my laundry. Stop wondering if this book is going to be the worst idea I have ever had.  Stop fearing rejection and success and failure and attention. Stop measuring my kids, weighing them on scales in my head. Stop praying that nobody goes upstairs in my house and just recognize that I am who I am. 

And Jesus is OK with that. So maybe, I should stop working so hard and put that energy toward aligning myself with him. 

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Just writing all of that was so freeing for me. I hope you'll consider how you can fill your mind with truth, and I hope today you will walk the bold steps of one who knows they are loved. 

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