Thursday, January 23, 2014

Comparing Yourself = Disaster

There are some women who can't spend time on pinterest because seeing all of the fun projects, yummy foods, stylish outfits, and beautifully decorated homes reminds them of all of the things they aren't doing and all of the ways they don't measure up.

I'm not one of those women.  Generally speaking, I don't look at other people and see all of the ways I'm not measuring up to them.  I prefer to compare myself to the perfect version of myself that exists in my brain.  Also unhealthy.  

Also not what I'm talking about :)

I tend to compare my difficulties to the difficulties of others and end up feeling ridiculous for having a hard time.

For example, Aaron worked all day Sunday and Monday, and the big girls had off school on Monday.  Plus, they've all been coughing nonstop.  

About the coughing: primarily I feel bad for them, because nobody wants to be coughing that much.  Very secondarily, I'm tired of listening to coughing.  

I am under no illusions that the second sentiment qualifies me for a mother of the year award.

It also bears mentioning that Gracie has been pestering her sisters

And if it was her job, she would be getting a raise, because she's so darn good at it.  

That girl is effective.

I feel like I should tell you that they are nice to each other, too, and that Gracie mostly keeps her pestering to between the hours of 3 pm and 5 know, when I'm making dinner.

Aaaaaaanyway, I was feeling slightly overwhelmed with the thought of Aaron being gone that extra time (which really isn't even that much; I just like being around him).

So, I think to myself, it's not that bad.  Single moms do this day in and day out.  Military wives deal with their husbands being gone and in harms way.  My husband is training college students how to talk to their friends about Jesus.  Pull yourself together!

There's an element of truth in there.  I'm huge on choosing my attitude and choosing thankfulness, so that's a good thing.

I am thankful that Aaron is at church and not in combat.  

But, when I decide to just Mom UP (you know, like Man Up, except I'm a Mom and not a man...I made that up myself :)) and put on a happy face, put my head down and push through the hard time, I'm not relying on Jesus.

Just like the times when I think to myself, how dare I internally complain about my girls talking nonstop when they've never needed speech therapy.  

How dare I become irritated by them saying my name over and over and over and over and over again when there are mommies who have never heard their 4 year old child say "mama" even once.

Dealing with a (dramatic) child with a lingering cough is nothing compared to loving a son or daughter who is going through chemotherapy or facing multiple (or even one) surgeries.

I have no business being frustrated by their little sibling spats because they have siblings. I've never dealt with infant loss, miscarriage, or infertility.  I've had all of the blessing and none of the heartache in that department.

Really?  Is it reasonable to be so very annoyed by hitting my head on the cupboard door that I left open?  I should just be thankful that we have a nice, warm, safe house.

Being irritated by them constantly asking for snacks after school is so silly when we have all of the food we need.

I could go on and on about all of the ways I rationalize with myself.  

Here's the problem though: Just Momming Up Doesn't Work.

When I parent or rationalize or, you know, just live life in my own strength, I fail every single time.

And while Jesus wants me to have a good attitude and He wants me to be thankful, He really wants me to be depending on Him to do it.

Just because other people have more difficult difficulties than I do, doesn't mean that I need to shoulder the burden alone.

Instead of rationalizing myself with a heavy dose of guilt, what I really need to do is see Jesus in the mix.

Instead of making myself feel guilty because I'm impatient over something little compared to someone else, I need to invite Jesus in. are patient with me when I am stubborn.  Please forgive my impatience and fill me with the patience that You have.

Jesus...I'm sorry that I want to give up and not be consistent when disciplining my daughter.  You persevered through unfathomable agony up to and through being on the cross.  I need You to carry me as I persevere.  I can't do this on my own.

Jesus...I worry about things with and for my girls.  Please remind me that my daughters are worth more than the tiny little birds that You care for and that you have a good plan for them.

Or, what it lacks in being articulate, it makes up for in heartfelt sincerity:  Help!  I need You!

Obligatory cute picture that has nothing to do with the content :)
And about Aaron being gone on Sunday and Monday:  we were fine!  I may have been begging God for help when I was in the shower on Sunday morning :)  

Steph came over on Sunday afternoon and hung out with us until Aaron came home.  I was grateful to have her help and company!  Plus, we even organized a messy closet!  

Bri came running errands out of town with me and the girls on Monday.  She did all of the reaching and behavior managing in the car, and lots of hand holding in the parking lots and stores.  I was so thankful to have her help and company, too!

Additionally, I thought Aaron wasn't going to be home on Monday until after the girls went to bed, but he was home at 6:15.

Today instead of rationalizing, I say we Jesus.

Instead of Momming Up, I vote we look up and keep our eyes on Jesus.

Instead of living in guilt, let's remember that we're infinitely better walking in grace

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