I go through stages.
Sometimes I REALLY like to read. Bible, fiction, non-fiction, kids books, commentaries, ANY and everything.
Sometimes I NEED to read.
Sometimes I don't feel like reading but am prompted to keep going with a book because I know there is something in it for me.
I am toward the end of a really good read called, She's Gonna Blow! Real help for moms dealing with anger.
What a book. I have to admit...I had a problem with the title. Besides the obvious first-response giggle fit after actually saying the name out loud, ha!;) I honestly never felt as though I dealt with anger issues with my kids.
But after the 5-6 months of living in mental and emotional hell this book couldn't have come at a better time.
A lot of times I read books like this but when I get to the little application questions at the end of each chapter I skip over them and keep going. But for some reason I told myself that I wasn't allowed to do that with this book. I was going to allow this book to seep into every pore of my being. I was going to allow God to use the words in this book and un-peal the layers and layers of baggage that have made up the mom that I am. The good, the bad, the ugly.
Anyway, today the question I made myself respond to was this:
"Why do you think women (mothers) feel like they have to look like they have it all together?
Who puts this pressure on us? Other women and mothers? Society? Religion? Ourselves?"
My answer was an overwhelming ME!
I judge ME.
I believe that I do feel pressure from other moms and society on occasion, but mostly, I feel like I have set up parameters in my own mind of how things ought to be done and if I fall short I am not being the mom I need to be.
Aren't I supposed to read to my kids EVERY DAY, multiple times a day?
Am I not a good mother unless I can juggle all these kids, and their schooling, and their extracurricular activities with ease. All while providing the lowest priced, healthiest picked food to fill their bellies that NEVER seem to get filled.
I'm not supposed to cry happy tears, sad tears, tears at ALL.
I'm not supposed to feel overwhelmingly pained by the happenings all around me (sickness, homelessness, death, friends moving away, adoptions on the brink of falling a part, families on the edge of fall-out.
A good mother NEVER raises her voice, or argues with her 4-year-old.
She certainly never flips out over things like her 9-year-old's brilliant idea of cleaning out the guinea pig cage on the floor of her bedroom or the misuse of the power cord for the ipad as a sling shot rubber band.
She always has eternity and perspective evenly weighed out.
But when I set up parameters like these I don't allow myself to be who God has made me.
I'd rather create things with my kids than read with them. And that's ok.
Overactivity stresses me out. God created me to need a lot of white space. A LOT of white space.
I am a very PASSIONATE person. I FEEL others peoples pain and hurt, more than the average person I believe. And God made me that way! I just have to learn to balance that with the peace God has to offer.
I do raise my voice, partly because there are so many dang kids in my house that they can't hear me above their own voices, ha! But I do get frustrated sometimes. Doesn't everybody if they are honest? But I am also very quick to apologize when I get out of line.
I am a woman of order. Everything has a purpose and a place and when things get done differently I tend to get a little on edge. God made me that way, so I am learning to be okay when someone else does something differently than I would do. I'm learning. I'm learning. I think I'll ALWAYS be learning this one.
I constantly pray that the Lord would give me eternal perspective in my seemingly chaotic life.
Today the commandment, "thou shalt not judge" is being applied in my life, FOR my life. I cannot judge the person God has made me. Instead I will pray for balance in the areas that can so quickly move in an ungodly direction and pray for the desire to be the mom He has created me to be, even if it looks differently that what I have pictured it to be.