Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thoughts on my own evolution

Now that this is my last year in my “20’s,” I was pondering about how I’ve evolved over the last few decades and how differently I see things.

I used to think I was only pretty when my hair was straight and I had my make-up on just right with not a blemish on my face. I had to be wearing the latest fashion with just the right amount of accessories. Not too over done and not too simple. It was a fine line that I debated over on a regular basis. I needed confirmation from others almost all the time. I would feel on top of the world if someone told me how beautiful I was or how fashion forward I was. I used to think that was the greatest compliment.

Now I know I’m beautiful. Even right when I wake up and my curls are sticking out in every direction. When my pregnancy glow is really just oily skin on top of zits. Even when my latest fashion is an old pair of gray sweatpants that have more holes than I care to count. I’m beautiful when I go the whole day without one stitch of makeup and to my surprise no one can tell the difference. To not have happiness correlate to the scale is quite the accomplishment. If someone mentions how pretty I am I don’t talk about my cellulite or my stretch marks. It just doesn’t effect me the same way. The best compliments are now, “I love the way you think,” “I admire the way you love your kids,” and “You are so accepting.” Long gone are the days of superficiality. If I even vaguely smell ingenuousness I run full speed ahead in the opposite direction. I remember the days when I used to engage in it and think I was more popular because I knew “x” amount of people. Now I have a few good friends and I’m happy as a clam.

I used to think money was always readily available and not that hard to come by. Now I know what it feels like to live paycheck to paycheck and get that horrible feeling in my stomach in the check out line figuring out if what I have in my cart will cost more than what’s in my bank account.

I used to be so judgmental over stupid things, like people who would buy their shoes at Payless and buy generic brand cereal and hair products. Now I’m the one walking around with a broken shoe strap and running down people to get to Payless and still look for the clearance rack while I’m there.

I used to think that going to church every Sunday impressed God, now I know it only impresses other Christians.

I used to have a lot of fear over dying and the afterlife. Now I have peace because I know Jesus took care of it all and He is not the author of fear.

I used to be shy because I was afraid of being rejected. Now I’m quiet because I like to listen more and hear people’s stories.

I used to write to get a response. Now I write for myself and also to encourage others regardless if they respond or not.

I used to not accept compliments and make an excuse for any good thing people saw in me. Now I accept it because I already know whatever good anyone sees in me is just God.

I used to think having kids was not that difficult. Now I know how hard it is.

I used to not let people in my lane in traffic. Now I let anyone in, whether they deserve it or not.

I used to take everything so personally. Now I let a lot slide off my back knowing that it rarely has something to do with me.

I used to want to change my husband. Now I try to understand him.

I used to think I knew what love was. Now I know for sure.

I used to think 30 was old. Now I know I’m only as old as I feel. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For This Child I Prayed...

Maybe not specifically and maybe not directly, but I did. Every time I prayed God's will over my life, every time I prayed for my family and for our future, God had His perfect plan in place. Our children were always part of that plan in His eyes.

You see, I believe in God's sovereignty. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that before the world began, God knew my children by name. He gave them their personalities and gifts to share with the world. He knew Silas would have the sweetest spirit. That he would be incredibly curious, forgiving, and cautious. He knew he'd love to high-5, could never have enough fruit and that music and dance would ooze out of his soul. He knew how smart, funny and expressive he would be, and how much he would love doing crafts. When God dreamt up Cannon, he knew how affectionate, passionate and adventure seeking he would be. He knew he'd be demanding and assertive and as strong as an ox. He knew all his doctor visits and procedures would set him up to be stronger and braver than he ever could be otherwise. He knew how animated and excited he would be with life and nature and all things 'boy'. He knew how uncompromising he would be and how that would direct him to one day be an incredible leader. God not only knew, but he molded and crafted every last detail of their person-hood. He ordained and thought it perfect for me to be their mom. For me to teach, discipline and love them and for them to teach, love and reveal my heart- the good, the bad and the ugly.

God knew that there was absolutely no way for me to know the level of love I was capable of or the amount of patience required without being a mom. There was just no way to keep my sanity in the chaos- learned only after losing it (on more than one occasion). I've learned day after day how fast time flies and how very crucial it is to not sweat the small stuff. So... Silas wrote all over the walls and furniture with permanent marker. So... Cannon flushed my favorite necklace down the toilet- that doesn't change the fact that they are my treasures. I would give up my life in a heartbeat for theirs- and I do everyday. Just like countless other moms who sacrifice and lay down their lives daily for their kids. The hope and the perspective is to see it not as an unbearable never-ending burden, but as a gift and a privilege to love them like no one else can or will. That unconditional love is what we are given so that we are able to love that way for our children, even the children we've yet to have.

I am so excited to see first hand the gifts and talents of this little one growing within. I can't wait to see how they will use what God gave them. I am blessed, honored and overwhelmed that God would see fit to bring another child into the world through me. His perfect will resounds in my imperfect family and seemingly imperfect timing, but who are we to argue with the King? So, as Mary said to the angel after finding out she would be pregnant at the most inopportune time, "I am the Lord's servant, let it be to me as you have said."