Saturday, July 11, 2015

Letting Go

If you were to ask me if I would consider myself a "control freak" I would tell you that I am the furthest thing from that. I am not super neat or organized in fact messes don't really bother me. This has been a blessing since becoming a mother. I was never super organized at my office job that I held when I first moved to Cape Cod. I reorganized my desk at least five times a day and I still never really nailed down a system that worked for me. The thing that made me good at my job was the way I talked to people, certainly not my book keeping skills. So no I am not a "control freak" in the traditional definition of the word , but the truth is we are all control freaks when it comes to certain aspects of our lives. I am learning this more and more everyday. I want control over big things and little things. I want to know that I am going to be able to pay all of my bills without a doubt. I want my kids to sleep through the night and  go to bed when I want them to. I want my house to look a certain way and the couch to stay clean when I have vacuumed it for what seems the millionth time. I want control in a lot of things. Details mostly. It stresses me out because I feel like I am always pushing on the wrong side of the door like "do not enter" is right there and I am ignoring it with all of the stubbornness I posses. I know that perfection and getting what I want is far from the reality of life and yet there are many corners of my life which I am just unwilling to accept this fact.
I took awhile to meet the man I am married to. I never dated in HS and never really had a serious boyfriend until I was 24. I became a Christian the spring before my 21st birthday so even though I I had technically "given my life to Christ" there were parts of my life that I was more comfortable keeping for myself. I just wasn't really able to let go of something so big. How was I to trust the God who created the Universe would have someone better in mind for me than I could find on my own? It didn't make an ounce of sense to me. This was the one I would have co-habitat with for the rest of my life ,the father to my future children and my "soul mate" no one on the face of this earth would know who could possibly be my soul mate except for me!

 So with the same kind of tenacious grip on my love life that a child would have on a balloon, I spent three years not trusting God and just doing my own thing. I was fairly certain I could figure it out on my own and fate would lead to my Prince Charming. Then something happened and it really wasn't even long before I met my husband. I gave it to God. I Gave up...I didn't give up on Love I gave up imposing my own will and I decided that I would listen to God's will. Shortly after that I met my husband and through divine circumstances I knew without a doubt that he was the one God had chosen for me long before either of us had even been born. So I am happy to report that we fell madly in love,got engaged, got married, bought a house had babies etc and its been nothing short of a fairy tale. We never even fight and we have never even encountered a single obstacle and it's all because I followed the perfect will of God the perfect and painless will of God. Just Kidding! Not even close actually The Perfect part is true. We are not perfect nor do we have a perfect marriage, but we do have a perfect God and his will is Perfect. The journey that we must endure to enter into it and stay in it is far from perfect. Not by a long shot. It's filled with many joys and many tears. It's filled with ups and downs and a weird in-between that feel like apathy sometimes. I have learned this all in just five years of marriage. Crazy to think what I will reflect upon after 5 more years! I believe that by leading me to Chris (my husband) and leading us through our marriage up until now God has taught me such a valuable lesson about his will and the act of following it. It's not always easy. I will give the two main reasons why this is so. The first is pride. Who in the heck knows better for myself than myself? In days of "self help" and Self reliance we are taught that "God" isn't really part of "our plans". Pride is yucky and it can block God's perfect plan for our lives. The second reason is sometimes we get into his will and promptly want to exit because it's just too difficult, challenging and the opposite of comfortable. So that is what I am working on it. Trusting God with every corner of my being. Every little bit of my life. Not just the tough stuff , but even the stuff that I might be able to handle on my own. You know why? Because he knows better. He is path is not always comfortable or convenient but over the past decade he revealed so much beauty in my life that I would never have been able to comprehend without him. I am learning to Let it Go.. and it's an everyday battle believe me.
5 years of Marriage later and I think I made a good choice 

When Motherhood gets messy

I haven't blogged in a long time! But I am back. Here is something that has been on my heart for a long time.

My baby shower was 4 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was spending the morning with my best friend to get pampered while my family set up for my big day. I was getting my hair and my nails done and I could not be anymore excited. I remember the nail technician telling me how small my baby bump was even though I had a little less than two months left to go I didn't really know whether to take it as an insult or a compliment. So I thanked her when she told me that I was probably going to have a "small baby" not the first of so many unsolicited comments during pregnancy and motherhood and certainly not the last.

With my freshly manicured nails and my beautiful new mommy do I entered my baby shower with confidence and joy. I was surrounded by friends and family who showered me with so many beautiful baby items for our soon to be little girl. I remember unpacking all of it the next day and neatly folding it and putting it away. As I sat on the floor with my huge belly (It felt huge to me) I was overcome with emotion yes, its the crap load of hormones that are occupying your body while you are with child .. But I just remember how clean and crisp all of the beautiful baby items were; the dozens of blankets, sleepers, burp clothes and bibs we had acquired. It was getting real to me. Somehow that makes it even more real than actually seeing your child on an u/s.

Fast forward almost 4 years , TWO beautiful little girls later and dozens of bins filled with clothes , burp clothes, bibs and onsies. Some are stained some are so worn from washing that it would be easier to throw them in the trash. Baby socks have been without mates for as long as I can remember. Bath towels are tattered and the favorite blanket of my oldest is hardly recognizable when I look at pictures of it and her earlier life. I am reminded that it doesn't take long at all for this beautiful thing called Motherhood to get messy, The truth of the matter is anything beautiful has the tendency to get a little messy. Think of birth , ok for those of you haven't given birth don't think of birth. You see where I am headed with this. Life is kind of messy.

In the four years of me being a mom I am realizing that perfection is the furthest thing from normal that could possibly exist when it comes to raising a family. Your baby will shoot bodily fluids out of places you didn't even know were possible. You will clean up messes, do countless loads of laundry, change your clothes several times a day and wipe every single inch of your precious little pumpkins body several times a day. You will sweep up cheerios, swipe down highchairs, potty seats, shopping carts anything your child comes in contact you will feel compelled to sanitize. It will become second nature and somedays you will even feel like letting these messes go. Somedays you will. I am not just talking about physical messes though. I am talking about the emotionally and spiritual mess you will feel like some days. . I am talking about the times when your normally perfect behaving three year old decides to throw a tantrum right in the middle of Target as you think to yourself "Where did my child go?"
 Can we be honest for a moment? We are humans and young or old we are kind of a mess sometimes. A beautiful mess. Sometimes the best thing we can do is accept our own faults first and also accept the faults of others. No you will not always make the right decisions as a mom (or dad) You just won't. No your child will not always obey in fact during the toddler age they are more likely to not obey. No you will not always feel gorgeous and put together worthy of IG or any other social media whose main purpose is to glorify this silly thing we call life. We are all in need of Grace at times ... Most of the time.
Long after all the perfect little white onsies and flower patterned receiving blankets started to lose thier baby smell and beautiful off white couch which I believed was a good choice (at the time) for raising a family has been soiled way beyond the magic of any steam cleaner or genius Pinterest regiment. You reach the revelations that "yeah this is a mess" I don't have the answers, I do believe that between myself my husband and God we will arrive at them though. I have days when I am crying on the floor. I have days where I am praising God for blessing me with such well behaved Angels. I have days when my almost Four year has me right up their with Cinderella and those are followed by days where I am akin to The Evil Step Mother. I have days where the family pictures will be IG worthy and days when my toddler biting her sister just doesn't seem appropriate for social sharing. I am learning though that this is a journey which will get messy and I am ok with that. Perfectly ok .It's how we grow, by admitting our weaknesses embracing or strengths and leaning on each other. I will love my kids more everyday its not because they fit into the perfect little packages I once imagined and it's not because it I am the perfect mother who has all the answers and removes all the stains every time it's because they are mine and we are allowed to go through this mess together and appreciate the beauty of it all :-)

~ Michelle