"You're not who you used to be."
The words hit hard. I didn't want to be different. I had gotten used to who I was and I liked it.
Those words hurt. They came laden with insecurities that they dropped off in my heart as they danced through my head.
Any girl who's went from single to married, from free to being a parent, knows that it doesn't come without an identity crisis.
So the words hit hard.
And then they made me angry. Like, of course I'm not who I was. I'm a Mom now, hello.
The changes range from a humorous changes in conversation to soul searching, gut wrenching discoveries and the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Now, instead of asking my husband if he'd rather play Monopoly or Rummikub we look at each other and say "do you want diaper duty or bathroom duty?"
Instead of a world where I can spend the morning sleeping in if I want I have to come to grips with the reality that I am a selfish person and sometimes I resent a lot more than losing sleep.
Instead of making a decision that will effect my future I'm making dozens of decisions a day that will shape who our children become.
I liked who I was as a young adult. The teen years came with their own struggles, but by the time I hit my 20s I felt secure. I knew who I was. I was good at what I did.
Back then an evening of fun consisted of coaxing my friends up to the ambulance barn so I could practice getting IVs and then going to the local grocery store to buy a cake that looked like a hamburger and jamming out with the windows down all the way home.
Time spent with friends was full of giggles, crazy dares and heartfelt talks. My opinions were strong and freely shared. I had lots of time to think them through and I knew what I believed and I reveled in what I felt.
And now...I've changed.
My soul can feel restless and I don't know who I am anymore.
Deep thoughts and feelings run through my heart and I don't know how to deal with them anymore. I feel small and inadequate.
Just another Mom.
Just another lady cruising through the grocery store with a cart full of lovely little people, trying to decide if I should buy Kraft or Annie's Macaroni and Cheese.
I look deep into my daughter's eyes and wonder if I'll be able to show her how to be a woman of worth. How to be brave and true and feminine and strong.
I kiss my little boy's hair and revel in the smell of the outside air. And I wonder if I'll be able to instill the importance of being bold and standing up for truth, the need to fight for those who need a champion infused with the strength of God.
I feed my baby girl at night and the atrocities of abortion run through my mind. And I want to cry out against it, but there's not many ways to fight, as a mom, with 3 kids in tow. So I hug her a little tighter and ask God to protect her always and thank Him for putting her in our care.
I want to go out and do something fun with my friends but I feel like my mind might not have enough energy or the capacity to carry on an intelligent conversation at times.
And even as my mind kicks against it, my heart is starting to embrace it.
Because I'm starting to realize that embracing the hard, the everyday and the mundane all together is what makes life real.
Learning to love bigger, pray harder and fall deeper in my Savior as I realize how very inadequate I am.
Sometimes I wonder where all my big 20-year-old dreams have gone.
And then I realize I'm living them. Each and every one.
God has been so gracious to me.
Yes, I've changed. I'm not who I used to be. And it's actually a good thing.
So dear lady. If you're struggling with your identity, and don't like who you are anymore?
Stop a minute. Think about what's changed. If it's bad, then change it back again.
But, if you look carefully you might just realize - you're living exactly the life you were meant to be living. And you are becoming the person God has called you to be.
It's ok to not be who you used to be.
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Our family has in transition mode the last few months, adjusting to life as a family of 5! I had several friends offer to write guest posts for me during this time, so my blog doesn't get completely neglected. :) This is the final of those guest posts, and I'm so excited to introduce you to Ruthie! She's written a guest post for me before, so you might remember her. Anyway, she is known as the young Moms greatest cheer-leader and encourager and I think you're going to love her!
We moms get the feeling we're all alone in the trenches.
We wake at the crack of dawn (due to the natives) without one moment's peace to ourselves.
We slurp down that mug of (now cold) coffee in between refereeing squabbles and wiping sticky floors. We quickly dash into the bathroom--bladder on red alert because HELLO--diaper changes, and mom comes last in the "basic needs" department.
We quickly dash into the bathroom--bladder on red alert because HELLO--diaper changes, and mom comes last in the "basic needs" department.
And we gaze into infinity called, The Rest Of The Day and wonder,
How will I ever make it 'til bedtime?
Which is an absurd thought, because bedtime is also a joke. Sleep? Who sleeps? It's like Zombie-land 24/7--nursing babies, scared toddlers, or worse, vomit-laden sheets at 3:00AM.
Are you depressed yet?
No wonder we yell. No wonder we flip out when a kid hollers, "MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM!" Seventy-five times in the span of five minutes.
God is nearLet me encourage you that it does pass. The haze of the early years sweeps by, and you finally get to sleep (somewhat). Phases change like the tide, some gentler than others.You're in survival mode much of the time. But while you're surviving, remember this:
Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In Him we live and move and have our being' ~Acts 17:27b-28a, ESV
God has appointed your days. And not as One Who is far off.
But as One who is near. He is here with you, even in the middle of your laundry pile (of possibly chunky bed sheets).
You can call on a God who is near anytime. This is what He desires of you.
And He hears.
I realize this now, as a mom of four who went through all the above and more.
Having reached the other side of motherhood (the one where kids leave home), I look back now and realize He heard every one of my desperate prayers.
And He answered every one.
If you hear silence, please don't give up. Faith is believing, even in the dark.
God has hope for you! He wants you to call out to Him, but He also wants you to recognize His gifts and His presence.
Your children are His gifts, and their very presence is reason enough to know that He has placed them in your life for this season, right now, not only for nurturing, but also for your growing pains.
I know what it's like to feel guilty about not spending time with the Lord. And I also know what it's like to be dissatisfied and become short with my people.
Every mom seeks the elusive Golden Key to Balance. Daily, inner battles wage as we second-guess discipline, housework, and meal selections. We juggle careers, interpersonal relationships, and self-care. The frequent question, “How to get it all done?” lurks in the back of our minds.
In our quest for balance, we often lose sight of God’s perspective.
Jesus’ words to frazzled Martha apply to the modern-day wife and mother:
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”(Luke 10:41, ESV)
But what if you could spend just 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day, developing responses for when your day goes south?
What if you could deepen your walk with Christ while taming your frustration levels?
Dear young mama, YOU CAN! And it's not hard.
Motherhood: A Balanced Perspective devotional series Motherhood: A Balanced Perspective is designed to help you learn how to choose the good portion. This is a short, 7-day devotional series for busy moms.
This important series includes Scripture, inspiration, and Mama Mantras to keep you balanced throughout your day! It also includes a beautiful printable of the Mama Mantras for you to use as a visual reminder.
Sign up here for this free series and learn God's perspective on balance in motherhood.
And when you get to feeling like God doesn't hear your prayers, remember this comforting passage of Scripture:
Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. ~Psalm 139:1-4
Take heart, dear mom! God sees, He knows, and He provides exactly what we need when we rely on Him. Especially when we're in the trenches!
Do you struggle to find time with God? What is your plan of action for devotions/stress diffusion?
Sign up for Motherhood, a Balanced Perspective 7-day email series.
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I am on a journey to know Jesus better, and be the wife, mommy and friend that God created me to be, all within the walls of my own little home. <3