Friday, August 3, 2012

Do not despise the season

This past week, a dear friend, her husband, and her sweet little boy came to spend the night with us. I have always felt a special kinship with Kristi; I so value the ability to laugh at oneself, and Kristi is kind and thoughtful and funny, and she is very careful to not take herself too seriously.

Kristi is passionate about a natural lifestyle; we were a stop on the way to their final destination, so she temporarily unloaded all her organic morsels from her cooler into my fridge for the night. She had thought of everything-- organic milk for her son, organic coffee creamer (hopefully not for her son, or I am totally judging her), organic kiwis (Evie ate 3), some kumbucha tea and homemade sprouted grain bread. I am not sure about the last two, but you know... probably.

She is an extremely gracious person, so be assured when you read this next part: I was TOTALLY putting this on myself, not her.

As she placed her groceries beside mine, I began to feel self-conscious and squirmy. I used to be somewhat passionate about natural food; I still definitely see the value in it, and try to feed my family relatively healthfully and purposefully. But budget and time and lack of energy intercepted my best intentions somewhere between kid #1 and kid #3. And as she nestled her hormone-free milk beside my cans of Diet Dr. Pepper, as she described her tv-free toddler, I started to feel guilty.

Because, you know...

My kids had watched Sid the Science Kid that morning practically until their eyes got red and pus-y.

I had an important meeting with someone a few nights ago, and my husband was working... so I totally told my kids that if they played nice in the other room and let me finish my meeting without interruption, we would take a bike ride to the local Turkey Hill and they could get a small cup of red dye #5 Cherry slushie.

And of course, it's not just TV and nutrition:

I see other stupid, annoying moms post pictures on pinterest of their alphabetized DVD collection (oh, wait, they don't watch TV), or their color-coordinated dry erase memo board that plans their meals for the next 37 months (and they only spent $1.73 on all those groceries because they COUPON!), or their list of 674 FUN, EDUCATIONAL, TV-FREE THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS SUMMER... and I just want to cry. I am trying to get dinner on the table for tonight. Sure I would coupon, IF I COULD FIND WHERE I PUT THE EFFIN' SUNDAY CIRCULAR.

And we see all this amazing (good!) stuff, and we think--"This is what I have to do! This is what I have to be!!"

But here's the thing. I am just not in that season right now.

I remember a conversation I had with a friend several years ago. We were discussing another friend, one who buys raw milk from a local farm and uses the cream to churn her own butter. Self-contempt crept into my voice as I said, "Wow. I really need to be like that."

I will never forget what my friend said, "Melody... there's a difference between practice and principle. The Biblical principle is that you are to care for your family and your home. That is going to look different for everyone; everyone will have different practices to make that principle come to fruition in their lives. You have to decide what serves your family best." For one friend, serving her family best means churning butter. Another's family is best served by picking it up at the market: the end result is the same. Neither is more or less.

But oh, I can be so discontent in the here-and-now. I want my kids to be more self-sufficient, I want our home to be more orderly, I want life to be less chaotic and loud.

But that's not the season I am in.

God made me wife to Chris. He chose ME, with all my manic insecurities and sloppiness-- to be Mama to Evie, Cana, and Ruby.

He did this in His perfect wisdom.

He knew that they would be close in age, and in His kindness, He promised that He would equip me with sufficient grace for today.

AndohasmuchasIhateitsometimes, this is the season I am in. The season of Target brand non-organic milk and socks under couch cushions and playdoh ground into the carpet of the minivan (how did that happen?!).

God put me in this beautiful, terrifying, maddening, amazing season because it is the very best thing for my soul. He's teaching me to be like Him--one board book, one band-aid application, one wiped nose at a time.

Help me to roll with it, God. Help me to delight in it, God. In the spilled milk and the overdue library books and the piles of laundry. Help me to delight in it.

Help me to not despise this season.


Kelly said...

very encouraging. thank you :)

Jessica Ambrose said...

Hey there, I've been kinda going through the same. I tend to play the comparing game, and just today I was thinking, "I need to stop and just be me. Not try and be someone else" It's tough when you're a mom and you're connected to so many others through the web..there are oodles more to compare to...Thanks for the encouragement! Jess

One Girl Running said...

Wow! I'm almost crying. Totally hit home for me. Thanks for your honest, humble, wise words. I sure hope we can catch up soon as I see we have soooooooo much in common. But I also am reminded why we haven't and that is okay too. Fall is coming and cooler weather and it'll be perfect for a walk or a jog. Talk to you soon!

ItsBeckerStyle said...

I love you already, friend.