Wow. It's been since October since my brain has been able to spit any words out on this. It's been a season of pulling back from Facebook and here for several months and quieting my voice. I realized that I didn't have a whole lot of wisdom to impart. In fact, I had gotten tired of my head spinning from the constant barrage of people who DID feel they had wisdom to impart. I am a constant learner and seeker, but I had overdone it. I tend to hear someone's advice and heap piles of guilt on myself if I don't do it their way. Every time I turned around, there was another blog about how to be the perfect wife and mother, how to love the Lord better, ten book referrals to achieving the previous goals, along with a mother with a dozen children writing so eloquently it would make C.S. Lewis feel threatened.
I decided to bail out of the competition...because that's what it became for me. In typical Annette fashion, it became that if we are being honest...which I totally intend to be today. :) I felt the Lord convicting me that it had become more about how funny or eloquent I could be, instead of about what HE had to say. With me, it always goes back to my idol of approval. I would LOVE for you to think I am hysterical, in shape, thin, smart, nice, wonderful to be around, etc. Most of us probably feel that way, but I can tell when it's getting out of hand and taking the place of what's sacred...my relationship with the Lord, my husband and my children.
So, I shut up for awhile...made it less about me and more about Him. It's been nice, but this social butterfly is back for now and loving it!
Which brings me to what inspired this blog today...I got outspoken on Facebook and people seemed to relate so I thought it would be fun to expand it here. :) I don't want anyone thinking I have it all together, no matter how much I fake that on the outside. The truth is, we are all normal, in need of grace and balance and laughter and refreshment as we pilgrimage this journey.
So, here's me keeping it real for you.
- When I meet a mom who uses cloth diapers, eats only organic, runs marathons, has all her children reciting several chapters of the Psalms and talks constantly in a gentle sing-song voice, I SHOULD be really happy for her and tell her she is doing a great job. Instead, I secretly think about stapling her head to the carpet just to see if she will raise her voice...just once.
- If I have been away from my children for any amount of time....let's say two minutes....when I return, they will all begin incessantly barraging me with how much they have been a victim from the ruthless hands of a sibling. This actually makes me want to rip my arm off and beat myself with it...that would be less painful.
- My children unload and load the dishwasher because I don't want to...but I disguise that by saying I am teaching them work ethic.
- One of my children brings me to Jesus about every 15 minutes. I used to think I had it all together. He was the child that brought me a nice, big slice of humble pie. I am very thankful for it.
- Whenever I wonder what is WRONG with said child, I realize he is just like me. :)
- No matter how many times someone tries to compliment me and say I am a good mother, I always doubt it anyway. That disappoints me because I know that the Lord doesn't want me to live that way, He wants me to feel free to be me and feel His never ending GRACE.
- I don't follow Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts very well, no matter how many people have told me her book is amazing and will change my life. I still plan to read it! I do!! I just have to get through the ten books before it on my list...
- My husband has come last for the past four months and that makes me really mad because I have fought for that not to be true. He came WAY before my children.
- One of my children just came by and tooted on me while I was sitting here.
- I just endured my child's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese last night. Yes, I said endured because being in a very loud room with masses of small children hocked up on sugar and life kinda gives me the twitches. In my elderly years, I want them to remember all of that if I need them to wipe MY behind or deal with my dementia.
- I am really starved for attention. I can't get enough. The fact that you are still reading this makes me really giddy.
- Sometimes if my children are being really loud and asking too many questions and whining too much in the car, I turn worship music up extremely loud so I can no longer hear them.
- Gentry just wore the same outfit for three days in a row. On day two, he went to his birthday party. He kept exclaiming that his outfit wasn't dirty and you know what? It didn't look like it to me yet either. By day three it just became about principle, he had to change.
- We planted a garden this year so that our kids could have a wonderful science project for school with Dad. I have yet to touch it. Plants usually die in my care.
- I am all for encouraging our children and praising them so that they will grow up to be secure, well-rounded adults one day...but sometimes if I have to "WATCH THIS!" one more time I may go mad.
- I used to cook more regularly, then summer happened. Bowls of cereal do it just fine right now...
- I have lost count of the number of times my butt has accidently slammed a child's head into the wall...pregnancy was REALLY bad.
- I pride myself on using great animated voices while reading to my kids out loud but it's really not my favorite thing to do...even though I homeschool.
- We go back and forth about getting a dog. The main reason we haven't yet is because we are really, really tired of poop.
There are all sorts of things that I am intentional about as a mother. I believe in having an orderly home, family meals, a good schedule for my kids, quiet time each day so we don't hurt one another, little to no electronics, etc.
But I also think this is important to. Let's be real together. What do you got? Would love to hear them!
Many blessings and laughs,