Honesty hour….here’s the skinny….I often am told “I don’t know how you do it all” and I’m left scratching my head thinking, other than an earlier an alarm clock and earlier bed time, I spend my days exactly like everyone else (and truthfully, the same amount of cumulative hours, give or take a couple)….I fill my day with making choices….I am looking to make the best choices for my spiritual life, my kids, my family, my personal health, my diet, my mental wellness…In choosing some things I have to forgo others.
Like, I may choose to send my daughter to horse camp while I work…does that make me a bad parent or her an unloved child…no!
In preparing for Mrs. International, I am making a choice to really improve my post-baby physique, if you will. So today I made a choice..a choice to not let the busyness of home life or the lack of a sitter deter me from a much needed workout. With 2 toddlers in tow, I packed up the car and made it to the gym…they weren’t perfect…I was distracted at times…I had to discipline…I had to break up a fight over the iPhone…but despite all that, a huge praise, to the fact that I have an amazingly patient personal trainer with a 2 year old of her own who was kind to let my kids disassemble her neatly organized shelf and run wildly about her gym (as if they were raised in a zoo)…
but, at the end of the day, my kids saw their mommy working hard to achieve a goal…they even participated in living well….
Were my kids embarrassing, absolutely…were my kids perfect, absolutely not….but even in their moments of craziness, and my moments of humiliation, I have to remember what they are seeing with their eyes. They will remember seeing Ms. Erin help mommy push through a tough workout…they will hear words of encouragement…they will come home and practice the moves they saw at the gym. They will want to participate in a life well-lived while I try to nurture them to a life well-loved. And never forgetting that we must live and learn with ALL 5 senses…so, just because my kids may not respond to my words, pleading for better behavior…they will remember that I had a cheerleader in Ms. Erin and will remember what they saw.
A charge to parents…to every parent out there who is giving up a piece of themselves because they are afraid of what strangers may think, or are overwhelmed by the behavior of your children, don’t stay dormant any more. There is a world your kids must see you partake in while nudging them obedience through the process.
I am not a perfect parent, but I am perfect sinner who by grace was and is given chance after chance after chance to be redeemed. As Christ sees us as his children, may we look at our own with the same love and extend the same grace. We as parents can’t ground ourselves for the behavior of our children, we must show them what an adult life looks like. What choices, sacrifice, and inclusion look like. If you’re having a bad day with your kids, just FaceTime me. I’ll prove you’re not alone…I’m still looking for the spoon that was covered with peanut butter from this afternoon.
Parents, you’re doing a great job! Keep up the good work. Remember, our goal is not have perfect children but to speak truth into our children that they may draw closer to God. We have to discipline with consistency and with God’s word. And don’t worry that the rest of the world is watching…and when the day comes that we are face to face with Jesus, we will be measured by our response to this world. We will not be measured the judgments of others or our perceptions of their judgements.
In all, what appears to be “doing it all” is just watching an intentional life in action. I want to be intentional with my choices…from things as simple as the food we eat to things we watch to how we spend our time…to others my life my seem overwhelmingly busy and I know my pace isn’t for everyone…there are no more hours in my day than are in yours, it’s just the choices I (we) make along the way look different (notice I said different, not right or wrong)….choices are hard…parenting is hard…making life decisions are hard….being patient is hard…finding time for yourself is hard…getting your to-do list done is hard…the reality is….***spoiler alert*** it’s all hard….my mission is to push through the hard because it is preparing me for a greater joy. I don’t have it all figured out and I’m nowhere near the person I want to be on this side of eternity, but one thing I know for sure is that I want to live each moment of each day as if it were my last. So, let’s all work together to leave each day a little better than the way we found it.