There are a few things in life I know for sure:
1. Regardless of what happens today, the sun will set in the west tonight and will rise in the east tomorrow morning
2. Gravity is real and is a force to be reckoned with every single day
3. Miss Vickies and her irresistible Salt and Vinegar Kettle Cooked Chips are in cahoots with the hail-damaged-thighs-devil ~ gotta be ~ there's no other excuse for those chips' existence
But most of all, I know without a doubt that God speaks to me in multiple ways every single day.
Full disclosure here - I fail at many things in my relationship with God. I'm not at church as often as I should be. I don't read the bible as often as I should. I have a genuine love for some rather colorful words (sometimes they are the only things that make me feel better!). I love to treat myself with completely unnecessary extravagances ~ a daily Starbucks, the occasional splurge on clothing, not-so-cheap vacations. And I'm probably not as modest, selfless, or humble as I should be. But at the end of the day, I know God is walking along side me everywhere I go. I laugh at His humor when He blatantly slaps me in the face for being a shmuck. I smile when He shows Himself to me during a challenging moment.
Sometimes it's in a song.
Other times it's in a perfectly poetic message from a friend.
Or maybe He does it with a heavenly sunrise casting across the sky.
Regardless of how He does it, sometimes when I'm not even listening for it, I hear Him say "I'm here. I've been walking along side you this whole time."
Two different ways God spoke to me this week were:
1. This picture
I've seen it hundreds of times before … But this week, it flashed on my computer screen and the 3 seconds that it displayed seemed to last about 10 minutes. It just spoke to me. I could hear my baby saying "Mommy, look in my eyes. I'm doing the best I can. Just love me"
I've had a very challenging two weeks with Charlie. Actually, it's not just Charlie. It has been a combination of several things… our schedule has been very complicated. I've consumed a lot of energy trying to make it all work. I've had to skip out of work way more often than I should, which adds this heavy guilt on me. Richie has been busy from early morning until late night which adds extra stress. Finances are tricky and will be until PA school is done. Then, on top of all of it, Charlie has been going through separation anxiety for some reason. His response to it is many tears, followed by a day of complete non-cooperation. It's a Charlie-style temper tantrum which is a little more like turrets syndrome than a temper tantrum.
I'll be honest with you, all of this stuff makes me completely not enjoy being a mom. There. I said it. Shock! Awe! Horrifying I know.
I have to believe every one of us has felt this at some time or another… or even some time or another every single day. This all leads me to the second message God sent to me this week.
She spoke to me.
She is as honest as one can be.
Way more open and vulnerable than I've ever considered allowing myself to be. In the few days I've gotten to know her, I've been more in touch with my real self than I have in a long time.
Okay, so I didn't actually meet her… but she's here, in these words.
I encourage you to meet her too. She's amazing. Here are a few of the things I've been either taught (or reminded of) this week…
It's almost impossible to really enjoy the process of raising kids, but without a doubt, in the future, we will all will cherish having done so.
She has reminded me that it's okay if I don't love every minute of it.
It's okay if I get grumpy specifically because of them sometimes (or even a lot of the time).
It's okay if Charlie spends a yong yong time in Ms. Ann's office ~ it happens ~ it's not necessarily because I'm doing poorly.
We need to all quit making this so much harder than it already is by trying to make it look like it's not hard.
It is hard!
Raising kids is hard.
It's even okay to feel sorry for myself once in a while… but rest assured God will be there to cast a gorgeous sunrise across the sky to remind me "Honey, it's not so bad. You're doing a great job. Quit trying to control the journey. I've got this one. Just jump in and enjoy the ride."
So that's it. That's what goes on in my life and in my mind. Not that the happy faces I capture and show on my blog week after week are misrepresentative of my life… they just happen to be the 1% of the time that I really embrace. They are what I'll take with me year after year when I look back and remember how much I loved raising my kids.
That's the simple truth.