More To This Life

March 13, 2009 at 3:56 am 4 comments

That’s the title of one of my favorite Steven Curtis Chapman songs. The song encourages Christians to realize that God has so much more for them than just making it through the day. I have always felt challenged when I hear it to live like that, realizing that God has so much more for me, despite my failures and faults, my inadequacies and insecurities. 

I needed a good dose of that encouragement today. I really was ready to sell my kids on Ebay. They wouldn’t help out around the house, they spilled slushies in the van (slushies that were supposed to be a treat, but ended up a disaster), fought, cried, begged, whined, and anything else annoying that you could possibly imagine. 

By four o’clock, I was so frustrated I wanted to just curl up in the bed and cry. 

That’s not a normal response for me. I’m a problem tackler, for the most part. But I just had had enough. I know I’m making sense to most of the folks that are reading, because we’ve all been there. Michael and I always say that the best thing about a day is that it ends and you get to start over. 

But today, I wasn’t just frustrated, I was sad and kind of disappointed that I was cleaning slushie out of a cupholder when I had about 10 other very productive things I could be doing. It hit me hard that I really didn’t want to be doing that right then. Not just the cleaning, but the MOTHERING. I didn’t want anyone to say “mama!” again. I didn’t want anyone to hang on me, pulling my sleeves. I didn’t want anybody to get in my space and talk about things I really didn’t care about. 

Please don’t start looking up the DHS number, I didn’t act on any of these feelings. 

But I wanted to be writing. I wanted to be doing a Bible Study. I wanted to be exercising (really!). I wanted to be shopping, not for fun, but because the kids need shoes. I wanted to be planning a family menu because I’ve always felt we needed to do that. I wanted to be getting Pampered Chef stuff together for my party tonight. 

Not being a mama. 

And there I was, on Center Street, in front of Michael’s office, trying to reprimand the children for getting out of their seats and trying to get out of the van while I was in the office (how dangerous is that?!) and then spilling the drinks. I was overcome with a sense of worthlessness and self pity. 

Please, somebody, tell me you’ve felt this way. 

Michael and I haven’t had a date since January when we went to New Orleans. Sickness, Upward Basketball, and various other things stole February away from us. I’m just not a person who can go weeks and weeks without that one on one time with my most special somebody. I need to be reminded of who I am as a person, and not just as a parent. 

My friend Carrie published an article in a local magazine that addresses how stay at home moms need a break. She asked some moms for quotes to use, and she graciously used mine. I said, “I have to be reminded of who I am as a person. If I don’t get away for little bits of time, I forget what I like to do, what I like to listen to, what I like to eat. I love being a mom, but I also like who God is making me to be, and I want to know more about who that is!” 

Today, I’m not sure I loved being a mom. Then I get sad, and feel guilty. I know it’s the most wonderful job in the world, and I should be grateful and feel honored. 

But I’m human. And humans have, excuse me, crappy days. When those days are like that, thoughts have a tendency to be slightly irrational. I KNOW that I love my kids. I KNOW that my job is crucial and necessary and worthy. I KNOW that they are good kids, and I’m doing an okay job, but they are 6, 4, and almost 2 and can’t be expected to be perfect. 

I compare myself to other moms to the point that I put expectations on my children. That’s so unfair. 

Gosh, I’m really beating myself up here. But I feel better having said it. 

I have a few friends who have talked to me about things that bother them. One thing I always say, and I believe with all my heart, is that feelings are temporary. I’ve said it before here, I think. I have to act on what I know, not how I feel. I felt today like I was worth nothing. Like all my life amounted to was the rolls of paper towels I go through every week. I felt like I spent years in college getting a degree that is a complete waste. I felt like an out of shape, out of style, out of touch, exhausted female who would never get to see the things in my heart and mind come to fruition, because I was too busy wiping bottoms and picking up light sabers. 

That’s depressing, I know.

But I had to work tonight, and as I pulled out of my driveway, I prayed that God would bring me back to these precious people that he has called me to be with. That my heart would change as I spent a few hours away. The party did me good. I was around several mamas who have babies, and while the babies were cute, I realized that I’m happy to be past that stage. 

Then I realized that stages pass. 


And THEN I realized that I’m happy with the stage I’m in, even though it’s maddening at times. I realized that even though Aidan talks nonstop, the things he is saying are important to him. He created storylines for 4 new Star Wars episodes yesterday. I was so annoyed to have to listen to all of that. But the stories were brilliant. He invented a new bad guy, named Darth Kill. It was really creative. Paisley has started trying to lip-synch to songs she hears. She shakes that little body and moves her mouth and holds a microphone and it is just the most darling thing I’ve ever seen. And I think I taught her to do that! Molly hasn’t been feeling great, and really wants to sit and just snuggle with me. She is starting to talk to me more about what they do at school. She loves to play house with her friends Libbey and Laney and Allie Rae. She’s always the sister. She’s a good sister. 

I know none of this is awe-inspiring. I know it’s not new information or incredibly thought provoking. 

But it’s honest and real. And I hope it encourages you, mom or dad, to move past the feelings to the knowledge that God has you where you are for a purpose. Whether you stay home or not, your job as a parent is the most important thing you’ll ever do. And there’s more to the life that you are living right now. There’s always more. Jesus promises us Life To The Fullest (I love that verse!). He keeps his promises. My life is very full. I just have to choose every day to find the fullness of Christ in the environment he has me in. If I can learn to worship God through my work, and to view what I do as one more chance to know and serve him, then hopefully I will experience every day to the fullest, and not just the fun, easy days. 

I’ll let you know tomorrow if I was able to worship tonight when Molly crawls in bed with me and throws her leg across my stomach. God’s gonna have to do some mighty work in my heart to get through that one. 

But he can. And that’s the awesome part.


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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melanie  |  March 13, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Great post!
    We’ve all been there, and some of us are there more often than not.

  • 2. Amanda  |  March 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Anne, I always love to read your post. Although you may not think you encourage people, you do! I always get something from your post! You are a wonderful mother and I am always jealous of the wonderful ideas you come up with for you kids especially the birthday parites! Keep up the wonderful work!!

  • 3. carriemclean  |  March 14, 2009 at 12:17 am

    thank you for this. i’ve been feeling extra guilty, more than the normal never-do-enough-for-my-kids kind of guilt. maybe b/c i’m adjusting to an extra person to “do” for. it’s always good to hear that i’m not the only one who loves but struggles to stay tuned in in this job. thanks for the encouragement.

  • 4. lisbeth  |  March 14, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Thanks, Anne! I needed to read that.


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