Friday, January 5, 2018

I don't know about you...but the New Year rolled around and I was still... exactly and perfectly... the same. In the words of my sweet friend Adriane, "Unfortunately, I didn’t get the typical Happy New Year! euphoric buzz. Shockingly, when the clock struck midnight, my life was exactly the same. Same worries. Same circumstances. Same state of mind."  
Truthfully, all of the mounting pressure to DO the "New Year, New You Thing" felt like one giant weight on my shoulders. If that was you too... take a deep breath. Exhale.
I've decided that in 2018, I'm not taking up a whole list of new resolutions. I'm just going to work on being a better version of me. I lost a lot of that girl in 2017.  
I've realized that somewhere between the lost toys, lost pacifiers and lost teeth...(My kid's-- not mine, ha)...I also lost a part of myself. And that's okay too. I think that's a natural part of motherhood and life...losing yourself to pour into others. I think Jesus even said something smart like that ;)  
But at some point, you've got to get knee deep into the trenches and start the search for the better parts of what you lost while you were doling out sippy cups and school lunches.
Perhaps the hardest part is mustering up the courage to begin the search. On many, many occasions I've had the frightening thought, "What if there just isn't more? What if....all I really am is 'just mom'? What if I really wasn't created for more than leaky breasts and tired eyes when I look in the mirror?"

It IS a scary thought. What if I start the search only to find that there's not really much there after 32 years?

So yes, the beginning is the hardest part. January 1st is the scariest day of them all. Because there's a paralyzing fear of failure and I've got 365 days just staring me dead in the face waiting for me to fall flat.

I think that's got to be one of the boldest moves in Satan's bag of motherhood tricks. Convince her she's nothing more than a mother so that she won't actually believe she can change the world.  

He rubs his hands together with that sly look of pleasure and conquer.  

And sadly, I believe a lot of women fall for this trick. I know that many days... so have I.

So I suppose, this year, that is my one resolution.  

Find that girl and give Satan the bird. Because, I refuse to be the one who lost herself in the giant pile of Barbie toys and and legos and was too tired to get back up.

Run. Take pictures. Look up.  

Those are the three things I've committed to doing this year in the search to find more of myself.  

I use to be a runner. I trained for the Chicago marathon before Mackenzie was born. It's a part of me that I still hold onto from before I became a momma. Running gives me moments to think without babies wrapped around my legs begging for more cheerios. Running gives me energy and may help me lose the last 10 lbs of baby weight. I say may because there's still that problem of devouring chocolate and peanut butter off of a spoon in my pantry when the kids aren't looking. But I digress. This year, I plan to run more. I have a dream of running the Chicago marathon this fall and crushing my pre-baby marathon time. Not a resolution...just a dream that may or may not come full circle.

Take pictures. There's something that feels nearly holy about being able to capture moments that otherwise just end up lost in the timeline of our lives. The first smile. The peony that blooms and puts it's beauty on display if only for a day or two. A picture allows that beauty to stay long after the flower has wilted. I want to take more pictures and continue to improve on my photography skills.

Look up. Look up from my phone. Look up from the tv. Look up from my book in the coffee shop. Don't get me wrong-- none of these distractions are bad. But they keep me (us) from really seeing others. This year, I want to find more of myself through seeing others. I want to notice the woman at walmart struggling to carry her bags so that I can be more Jesus to her. I want to hear the words of the tired momma as she begs her little boy not to ask for "one more treat at the grocery store". So that I can pray for her and smile at her and give her what I think I would need in that situation.

These are three simple ways I plan to find more of me this year.

What about you? What are your three simple things that would help you to re-discover that girl in 2018? Don't make it hard or complicated. Write three things today on the back of a napkin, on a clean diaper if that's what's nearest to you. Put it somewhere you'll see it daily and use those three things as your encouragement this year. An encouragement to be more of the YOU that God created you to be. More of the YOU that deep down you know is somewhere in there.

Be blessed friends.
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