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He Bends Down

It had been a hard day, running too many errands with two small children. My three-year-old didn’t understand why we couldn’t buy every toy his tiny hands could touch. And he insisted on climbing in and out of the grocery cart, which led to whining when I stopped him.

I was not a happy mama and wondered how all the other moms in the store seemed to know what they were doing. Their children listened when they told them no, and they had on cute matching outfits too.

I wondered how in the world those women pulled it off with a smile. I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed, and get us out the door before lunch. When we got home that afternoon, I put my boys down for an early nap and searched for pink construction paper so I could write “I QUIT” on it and turn in my “pink slip” to my husband when he came home from work.

I was tired of feeling like such a failure as a mom. But ironically, I couldn’t find pink construction paper, so I decided to pull out my journal and file a complaint to God.

Filling blank pages with scribbled thoughts, I wrote:

I hate who I have become. I’m such a horrible mom. Why didn’t someone tell me how hard this was going to be? I’m frustrated with my kids and myself. I have no patience and I don’t know what I am doing! I feel guilty all the time. I couldn’t wait to be a mom and now I want to quit.

Just as I finished writing that sentence, I sensed God whispering to my heart: Renee, you are so critical of yourself. You focus on your mistakes and beat yourself up with accusation and condemnation but those are not My thoughts.

That afternoon, I sat before God and choked out the words, “I can’t do this.” (Read what happened next over at inCourage.me

Being Present Always Trumps Being Perfect

 

I had it all planned:
when they would all arrive
what I needed to do beforehand
how I wanted my heart to feel when they got here

Not wanting to become “the frazzled friend” I turn into when hosting a get-together, I banned myself from Pinterest and my own desire for perfect.

I wrote out a timeline and recruited help from a friend. Together we would be prepared. Simple appetizers and decorations. A few pretty touches. We could do everything ahead of time so I would be ready before anyone got there, with time to spare and room to breathe.

I wanted to feel calm and happy when friends arrived. I wanted to greet each one, face to face. I wanted to let her know, not only was she welcomed, she was wanted.

But even the simplest of plans don’t always go as planned.

A crisis at work kept my husband from getting home in time to help pick up the house clean. Traffic was horrible and my friend/co-host got stuck on the other side of town, unable to come early and help with setup. The food wasn’t ready. The kitchen was a mess. And my three hungry kids kept asking when dad would be home to take them out for pizza.

I was not calm. I was not happy. Things were not getting done, and I could feel myself coming undone…

Join me over at inCourage where I’m talking about my struggle and my shift from aiming for perfect to being fully present, mess and all. Click here to join us. 


 

I know I’ve been pretty quiet the past few months, so if you wondered why I’ve been missing on the internet, it’s because… summer. And we’re moving!  I didn’t see that last one coming but it’s consumed every bit of me. Despite the chaos, I see simplicity and goodness on the other side, and I can’t wait to get there.

Looking forward to being back in your inbox this fall, encouraging you each week! ~Renee