Sunday, April 14, 2013

Grace Forgotten

In this season of yet, more change, I find myself being drawn back to old weaknesses and feelings of inadequacy. I've gone back to climbing the rugged mountains in life that I have been naive enough to think I had conquered.  But as I sit here tonight and write what is on my heart, maybe that's where I am finding some beauty in the midst of struggle.

The realization that I've been in this place before but back then, I struggled to see any beauty in it.  And so, even though I find myself frustrated by the circular patterns I so often seem to travel, I do recognize a glimmer of hope and redemption that I haven't always seen in the past.

Today I found myself again in a place of feeling overwhelmed and as if in a choke hold of suffocation, recognizing that the time until our little boy arrives is quickly approaching.  For the past three or so months I've masked all of these anxieties with the excuse that I am merely "nesting", as it is so often referred to in a light-hearted manner towards the end of pregnancy.  But I think deep down I know it has been more than that for me.

In a fit of feeling helpless and overwhelmingly behind about a month ago, I confessed to my husband that my obsessive necessity for lists and meticulously organized cabinets has come from a place of remembering how chaotic life was after our daughter was born.

The not feeling good enough.  The feelings of unpreparedness. Could it be possible to circumvent the haggardness of newborn days if I were more prepared this time around? And so, in a desperate attempt to prove to myself that it could be done, I've been running myself ragged trying to overly plan for this new little life.

Stocking freezer meals, planning grocery lists, organizing closets and purging unworn clothes to goodwill.  Mapping out the perfect layout for a nursery so as to make those sleepless nights more easy going.  I've laid awake at night planning out my next conquerable chore that would surely bring us closer to a place of being more "ready".  I've shed tears when, in my lowest moments, I've realized I'm just not working fast enough to be where I want to be by the time he arrives.

And, if I'm completely being honest, I've been wading through the sin of distrust and pride that I was so heavily ensnared by the first time around.

And all along, my servant of a husband has been bending over backwards to help me find a place of peace in the midst of the mess that has taken over my heart and mind. And at the same time, God has been whispering to me through the madness, reminding me to take hold of the one thing I was so in need of after our daughter was born.  Grace.

Grace.  Grace to let go of my imperfections and my fears of inadequacy as a new mom.  

Grace to let the dishes sit in the sink and to let the laundry pile up while I cuddle my newborn son and whisper to him how deeply he is loved.  

Grace to rely on family and friends to provide meals for us while we adjust to being parents of two.  

Grace that will allow me to take a guilt free shower while my husband takes care of the babies for a half hour.

Grace to feel tired and worn down.  Grace to shed tears when I am at my lowest points.

Grace to forgive myself on the days when I forget about this grace Jesus has so freely offered me.  

Because he hasn't asked me to be perfect.  

He has asked me to come to him when I am weary.  He has asked me to give my burdens to Him.

As I sit here tonight, my first baby sleeping soundly in the next room, my second baby resting beneath the rhythm of my heartbeat,  I am reminded of my ultimate purpose as a mother.  

God has asked me to be a good steward of the souls of my babies.  And how can I do that for Him when I am failing to be a good steward of my own soul?  How can I set an example of God's grace to them while I am distracted and beating myself up over the socks that have yet to be matched and the unmade beds I still haven't found my way to?  How can I mirror God's grace to my babies when I haven't quite found it myself?

And unless by some stroke of miracle, I am miraculously healed overnight of my pride and perfectionism, it is very likely that I will wake up tomorrow and face this struggle again...and the next day and the one after that. But I take comfort in the fact that this struggle isn't something that was even on my radar four years ago. 

And today it is.  Tonight, I am painfully aware of my weaknesses that are so often blinding and crippling.  My greatest hope is that, in the coming months as we welcome our baby boy, I will be reminded as I have been tonight of the grace that I so desperately need to be shown and to show myself as I navigate the this journey of parenthood.  
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1 comment:

  1. Nicely written. It's always nice for any mom to admit to her imperfections so that other moms can see that we all feel that way, and that we are holding ourselves up to an unrealistic picture of what motherhood should look like. I know you will succeed, although many days it may not feel like it. Dirty House, Happy Kids : )