I’m fine. Really.

7 months. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve picked up the phone to greet you in the morning in our goofy way. There was never time that I hung up without a smile. 7 months and I still have to stop myself from reaching for the phone to call you while I’m folding laundry. See how your day is going, how you’re feeling, how your kid is doing in school, have you heard from his teacher today? All these menial details I genuinely wanted to know. My brain hasn’t yet trained itself to your absence. It sounds like I’m mourning a death, doesn’t it? It feels like I’m mourning a death. But you’re very much alive, and I think that makes it even worse.

I’ve lost friends before, through the natural ebb and flow of life it’s only natural to outgrow some people, or have certain friendships in certain seasons. But this was different. This was a spiritual-sister friendship, not merely a common-ground-good time-girlfriend.

I’m fine though, in case you’re wondering. I’m not fine, but I am fine. I’ll BE fine.

I can’t really pin-point when I noticed the shift in you, but I know at some point there was one or I wouldn’t be writing this today. I wish I knew exactly at which point I screwed up enough to lose your graces. I’ve “over-thinked” this to death, raking and sifting through memories trying to find the particles of where I went wrong. I’m not naive enough to assume I’m without fault in some way, I’m difficult at times, I know that. But if only I knew what that fault was, I would fix it. Not for you, but for me, and my future Louises. Because suddenly I wasn’t the Thelma to your Louise anymore. On the other hand, I can pinpoint exactly when things shifted for me, and that was my birthday last year. You were “too sick and too broke” to celebrate with me, but the next day you were tagged on Facebook having drinks with friends just ten minutes from my house. All at once I was wise. Wisdom seldom ever comes without pain.

I am angry. Not at you, but at me. I knew you for 16 years. I logged so many hours. listening, being there. I invested 100% of me into our friendship. I can sleep knowing that much. After not hearing from you for years, you needed a ride to an appointment, you called me, and thus started our second run together in life. I never even gave it a thought. I arranged childcare for my own 3 kids, I drove 3 hours round trip, sat in the waiting room, and listened to your prognosis when you were still too drowsy from the anesthesia to listen for yourself. The sad part is? I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being that person for you. I know I was a good friend, whatever fault I hold, I know it cannot be in that. You were my sister, I would have given you my kidney without a second thought. Your kids were precious to me. I wanted good things only for them and for you. So why then, do I blame, blame, blame myself? I am angry that I let this affect my sense of worth. If you could suddenly not want me anymore, then why on earth would anyone else?

Now that I look back, I realize that you only called me because you had just moved back into town. You didn’t know anyone else to call. So maybe that is where my fault lies, I was just too blinded to see it. I was more invested from the start, how can I fault you or be mad at you for that.

There was a beginning, a middle, and then an end. The middle was just the best ever. We prayed for eachother, you taught me about Jesus and patience and being a warrior for your child. We confided, we cried, we gave eachother unfiltered honest advice, and we laughed more than any two humans, I am sure of that. I drove two hours to pick lice out of your hair when your husband was out of town and your kid came home with the worst case of headlice either one of us had ever seen, and you know what? We LAUGHED the entire time.  You “got” me. You never judged me, and you never thought I was “too weird” Maybe you were faking it the entire time, maybe i was just a stepping stone for you until you found something better, but I don’t mind saying that whether you meant any of it or not, you were by far the best friend I ever had and even though my heart is still reeling from the rejection, I don’t regret one second.

You were in a season and I knew that, maybe I was overbearing? I didn’t mean to be. You were sick, heartbroken, and physically and emotionally exhausted. I knew that. I tried to help anyway I could. Gifts, meals, surprises in the mail, funny memes on a crap day…I just wanted to help you through your season the way I thought you would help me through mine. Somehow I missed the note. Big time.

The end was the beginning of my darkest season. I was post surgery, bleeding, sore and vulnerable as hell. I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions that my seemingly well-thought out decision would bring. My husband was rockstar at taking care of me, but I needed to hear your voice. I needed another mother who knew me in the only way another mother could, you would understand while I mourned. But you didn’t call to check on me…so I texted. You finally texted back hours later. Eventually I called you, you probably couldn’t hear me holding back tears…you said you were busy at the grocery store…and then later that evening our friendship ended. I’ll never forget what you told me…that I made you feel bad about yourself and you couldn’t be the friend I needed. And that was that. You left me bleeding and stranded in my own hormones and I had never felt like such a burden to someone in my life.

You were supposed to be here. You were supposed to be here when I suddenly and inexplicably plunged into the darkest pit of depression, when I had a breakdown and cried at my doctor’s office because my own thoughts scared me. You were supposed to be here when I moved my life somewhere where I knew no one. No friends to speak of. New schools, new church. New house. You were supposed to BE here to laugh maniacally with me when the upstairs toilet malfunctioned and poop water leaked through the ceiling. You were supposed to be here when I sent my babies off to Kindergarten, when the thought of my oldest starting middle school in a new school scared me to the point of sleeplessness. But you’re not here, you’ve moved on.

I’m proud to say I made it over the worst, I’m still cynical, gaurded. But I won’t be forever. There is much for me to learn from this. Learning through mourning is a fluid thing, it doesn’t ever completely end so I’ll tuck the nuggets of truth away as they are revealed to me and I will carry them forward.

I hope you know I am not bitter, and I still only want good things for you. And I still pray for you. You won’t be getting any of my kidneys now though.

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When the heavy hits home

Today my husband called like he does every day to ask how my day is going, or did I call him? Truthfully it’s all a blur. But somewhere around mid afternoon we talked. And lately it’s been the norm that I burst into tears mid conversation. Exhaustion, endless to-do lists, new house stress, feeding a kid with food allergies, endless needing, endless refereeing, and probably a little depression if I’m being honest…it all comes to a head. And today it came to a head as my son had a full-on exhaustion induced come-apart. He wet the bed early this morning because I forgot to take him to the bathroom before bedtime last night, after clean-up we rushed to swim lessons, and came home where they did a craft and played outside. He was dirty and he was tired. The kind of dirty tired where he cannot keep his hands off his sisters and does things purposely to aggravate everybody in the house. We all needed MANDATORY QUIET TIME. I knew it. He knew it. But he’s my defiant one and he rebelled. As I was talking to my husband, my boy hit the height of his meltdown and the next thing I know I’m on the floor he’s on the floor and I’m crying while my husband listens helplessly. Have you been there? Probably.

The longer I sat there, the more the dark thoughts came…My husband deserves better, he deserves a wife who can handle this without emotionally self destructing. I suddenly feel as if I’m failing my other two kids who obediently went into their rooms for the allotted quiet time. They know I have enough to handle so they don’t demand anything from me. My heart breaks. It breaks that my son is sobbing out of frustration and exhaustion. It breaks that My girls are sitting sweetly in their rooms reading because they know mama can’t handle one more thing. And it breaks because now I’m making my husband feel like he should leave work and come home to help me do MY job because I obviously can’t handle it.

I question my decision 11 years ago to forego a career. I had enrolled myself in school, I had the student loans in my bank account…and then one semester in I chose to be a stay at home Mom instead. I wonder, did I make the right decision? Am I even equipped for this? What was I thinking?!?! I could be working for a news station and having lunch breaks now instead of washing tinkle sheets…

Then comes the guilt. Full on self punishment. I recall a meme I saw on Facebook about gentle parenting. Immediate feelings of failure. I know I’m not parenting gently right now. And according to all the memes, I’m destroying my kids’ self esteem when I yell or scold them and they’re misbehaving because I’m doing everything wrong as a mother. My fault. My fault. My fault.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. I struggle daily to shift my mindset. It’s a mental battle. Some days I win the battle, some days my white flag waves by 10am.

I sit in the quiet and crack open a Diet Coke that will cause dementia and give me cancer according to the article that was shared on my newsfeed this morning. I look at my messy house as I sit on my couch that smells like my dog’s’ paws. It’s time to declare war on my mom brain:

I signed my kids up for swim lessons because I care about their safety. I forced my 5 year old to take a nap because I know his cues and can see that he needs rest to re-calibrate. I make it a point to talk to my husband every day and vice versa because I want to hear about his life and he mine. He’s made me feel emotionally secure enough to cry in front of him instead of bottling up my vulnerability. My girls are empathetic and good listeners and self sufficient enough to read books when things are stressful at home. Their self soothing mechanisms will serve them well in life when things get tough. My kids are dirty because they were creative today. My house is messy because I let them be kids. My couch smells like Fritos because the dog is everyone’s favorite snuggle partner.

I am my own worst enemy as a mother, I honestly don’t need anyone to Mom shame me because I do a pretty darn good job of shaming myself. But that stops now. And if you also do this to yourself it should stop for you too.

And P.S. the little turd was asleep in less than five minutes.

Life has been a bit quiet lately, I don’t even know if I should dare to say that out loud, but I just did, so life if you’re listening that’s not an invitation! We like the quiet! Ya hear that? We’re fine just like this kthanks!

We’ve had an entire week of snow days! Rather odd for most of East Tennessee but not uncommon for us ole hillbillies in the mountains. The week has been surprisingly lovely! I thought I would be pulling my hair straight outta their follicles by now, but so far all follicles remain intact.

Besides playing in the snow, I’ve had to get a bit creative with our entertainment. We’ve had our fair share of screen time and I include myself in that, but I tried to sprinkle in a few special activities here and there. Since Nora Jane is currently obsessed with Pinkalicious we attempted our own version of the cupcakes! Buuuut as it turns out Isabella had used all my “good” food coloring in her slime making endeavors…so Purplelicious it is! Nobody seemed to mind. We had so much fun and yep, we licked the spoon! Don’t mind my empty shelves in the background, I was still pondering my game plan.

Hey look there’s Beckett in his favorite shirt…again. At this point I was able to sit back and enjoy the view, Isabella is a great little manager and she pretty much had them towing the line.

This was a wonderful way to spend a 10 degree day! I soaked in all the giggles and accepted all the “best mommy ever” compliments. All it cost me was some time and a cake mix. I used a tried and true recipe for the frosting, very originally named, Grocery Store Frosting. I’ve used it for years! It holds it shape and taste like true buttercream. I will post the recipe ASAP

I don’t “do” mornings.

Special shout-out to Kids Choice Pediatrics for Beckett’s favorite T-shirt…we seriously have to wash it every day!

We are getting back into the swing of things after holiday break and a subsequent snow day. This morning was our first morning back at it, and since David commutes an hour to work, he has to leave before the sun comes up these days, which leaves me to single handedly juggle the school morning hustle. I’m really good at juggling things. Ha. Snort.

I have a confession to make. I’m horrible at mornings. It’s one of my biggest challenges in motherhood.

This morning I managed to get up before the kids…major feat! Usually they’re hitting me up with their breakfast requests before I’m fully conscious. Judging by the looks on my kids’ faces, they were a little confused by this development too…ha!

I am on a major mission to change some bad habits in my life. I no longer want to be the Mom who screeches into the drop-off line on two wheels because she overslept-AGAIN-and drops her kids off at school bleary eyed, with dry shampoo and an oversized hoodie to hide the fact she’s not wearing a bra. (Yerp! Thorry) I totally get that some mornings crap just happens, but this crap has been happening too much lately and the common denominator is yours truly.

I want to be more intentional. Eventually i want to get to a place where I can get up and have quiet time with my Bible, but for starters, I just want to offer my kids more than a frenzied pop tart while driving down the road. NOW, don’t be mistaken, there WILL be many mornings where I will be slinging pop tarts and juice boxes as we walk out the door. Believe you me. But I have a goal and I’m going to try my very best to meet it and give myself the grace I deserve when I need it. I am so sick to death of beating myself up and comparing myself. So as long as I know I’m committed and trying my absolute best, I will be at peace.

Seeing these bewildered faces with their epic morning hair, watching me actually get ready for school drop off…this is my inspiration to pull from my reserves on the mornings I want to hit that snooze button. I feel like I need to frame this and set it on my nightstand as a reminder.

I read somewhere that in order to be successful, you should do three things: Go to bed early, wake up early, and make your bed. The whole going to bed early? That’s not my jam. There’s where my struggle lies!

So think of me, please feel free to give me advice and hold me accountable, I will take it all.

And if you’re like me and you struggle in this area, and you’re downright embarrassed at your disheveledness (is that even a word? It is now) don’t forget to be kind to yourself, because your self deserves the same kindness you’d give your best friend. Instead of berating yourself (guilty) and comparing yourself to other moms (Mmm…say what?) say something nice to yourself about one of your strengths and resolve to do better tomorrow.

At least that’s my game plan. Wish me luck!

Life and lemons

Photo Cred: Lynn Stanger Photography

I tend to be openly candid about most facets of my life. Some say this is part of my charm while others are visibly uncomfortable sideways-walkin’ -out-the-door. React how they may, I possess this quality in spite of myself. So, much like a facial birthmark, I have a choice to try like mad to cover it up or embrace it fully as part of my full self.  I can honestly say at 31, I mostly embrace it, though some situations still have me playin’ it cool.

So. Marriage. Lets be candid about that, whatddya say?

Speaking of candid, I’ve been married twice. Uh-huh. Trashy. Actually no, not really, just foolish. I was married as a teenager. Yes, a teenager. I heard an audible crack as both my parents’ hearts broke, but I plunged ahead because along with candor I also possess a thick stubborn streak. So here I am neck deep in the real thing. The first time was just a willful girl’s mistake. Another blogpost for another day.

The REAL thing. Lordy. 7 years in with a wonderful man, a wonderful, patient long-suffering man. We’ve been through some #$@%. But any time you get two people together and pledge to live with only them, sleep beside only them and wash their underwear until the day you die (cue in voice of doom from the heavens)…well you’re bound to kick up some dirt along that road amiright? I’m sure in 7 more years I’ll look back on this and read and think, Pshh child’s play! But right now I feel like a cartoon character who’s just had an anvil dropped on their head and rolled down a hill onto a dynamite stick. Hair sticking up, pound signs on my face, eyeballs all googly. Yep that’s me. Marriage is chock full of these cartoon character seasons and some are downright rowdy! My husband and I just lived through one heckuva Nor’easter but we lived to tell about it and I’m contemplating T-shirts.

Let me paint the picture for you…that long awaited holiday break arrives, we’ve been planning and shopping and we just couldn’t wait for all that quality family time! Enter stage left, a major surgery for a beloved family member. The flu. Strep. Everyone puke in unison. So therefor could not visit said family member in the hospital during Christmas, but somehow we all made it through the holidays. Bleary eyed and hiccupping a little but we made it! We kicked off the new year with a frozen busted pipe, and our main family vehicle just up and died. Somewhere in the midst of all this chaos someone punched a door because someone said I told ya so! and someone else threw some sausage balls at someone else’s torso, but I digress. So! Post holidays we have an expensive car repair, a hefty rental fee, and no sausage balls.

But love is so grand. Truly it is. I woke up from a surgery of my own, (because in my infinite wisdom I scheduled to get my tubes tied during holiday break as well. HA! What’s one more thing, right?) and I realized I couldn’t put my socks on because it hurt too badly to bend over, and don’t even get me started on my pants. So as I laid there all vulnerable in my granny hospital gown, chin quivering and wondering how I would hide my butt if the nurse helped me, my ole guy just quietly began putting on my socks, then helped me with the rest, then warmed up the car and tenderly buckled my seatbelt.

And that’s when I realized, Love is lemons and then it’s love. And then it will be lemons again, but it will always be love. Messy, chaotic and sometimes kinda gross. It’s sacrifice and work and being vulnerable and being strong and holding each other up and letting each other fall. It’s lemons and then it’s not.

Going through a sour patch? Hang in there. Board up the windows and come out on the other side.

Mems, not memes


My friends, this is a photo album. It’s what you put pictures in after you actually get them printed off your cell phone.

Anyone else remember flipping through family photo albums? It seems since the development of smart phones it has rapidly become a thing of the past.

I can remember my own family’s brown, fake leather albums. They held court in our living room book shelves where they sat for months, unattended, waiting for someone to reach in and liberate them from their wooden prison.

Every once in a while as a kid, and later as a teen, after succumbing to boredome, I would resort to flipping through their musty plastic-smelling pages.

Each sleeve holds expressive faces and blurry mid-movement shenanigans. Something about actually looking at the pictures, feeling the slick plastic of the pages between my fingers, and the occasional puff of musty picture air as I turned pages, would trigger the memory bells inside. And just like that I could remember exact events surrounding that picture of myself barefoot outside, playing the violin in my Sunday clothes.

Suddenly I am taken back to that muggy Tennessee summer evening. I can hear the cicadas and smell the water on asphalt from my mother watering the numerous gardens she kept.

Cell phone photos and social media albums don’t trigger that for me. The appeal isn’t there. Perhaps it’s the physical act of sitting cross legged on the floor surrounded by days gone by. Perhaps it’s simply the hands-on experience.

Eventually our albums were replaced with beautiful and elaborate scrapbooks. My mother was known to spend hours on one page. They’re treasures that she proudly bestowed upon us when we moved out and began our own families. I myself have tried and failed at scrapbooking. While I know it’s a lovely way to preserve ones memories, I simply have no desire or drive to do it. But I want desperately  for my children to have albums to flip through when they’re home on college weekends. I want to us to reminisce and giggle about those dodgy family vacations, that beautiful birthday cake, the funny face Nora made that one night on the lawn mower.

I worry with the onset of technology we are losing this valuable family tradition. So I’ve begun a new tradition for my family. Once a week I will empty my phone of all its pictures and print them out. I already have one album full!

Memories are treasures, and if I had the choice of a fat bank account or a fat memory bank….I would choose memory banks every time.

I pray cars on your bathroom floor 

  

It’s midnight, I’m pooped. I’ve been fending off the burnout since about 3:30 yesterday. 

You mamas know the burnout I speak of. You’re most likely nodding in understanding right now. 

I just packed up three different lunch boxes, you knew the drill. Cheese for her, pretzels for him, crust on, crust off…etc etc, and no it’s not lost on me how blessed I am to have a fridge full of food to throw into those lunch boxes.

It’s finals week for David which means he’s dead on his feet and we’ve seen him awake for maybe three hours since Monday. But this too shall pass and we have a Christmas vacation at the end of the tunnel. 

I have been abundantly blessed with business which means I’ve been at my machines around the clock and working until 3 am most nights. Averaging about4 hours of Z’s a night. 

All of these, good things! Food. Jobs. Business. Paid bills. God’s grace. I am thankful and am not trying to come across as complaining so please don’t misunderstand me, dear reader. 

This morning I started my day bright and early for an 8:30 am pediatrician appointment. Seems we have a certain princess who can’t shake a pesky cough, I was exhausted after working until 2 am and it seems I’ll be doing it again tonight, I LOVE this holiday rush. It really is exciting! I’m grateful for my business and I’m enjoying every bit of what I do.  

But after a dr appointment and taking a very tired daddy some breakfast, we got home and attempted nap time. An hour into the “routine” I had to seperate the twins. So little man roosted with me and miss princess (who likes to sprawl and kick the covers off) slept in her big girl bed. My little guy needed extra tlc today which meant he clutched me tightly and wouldn’t let me go during nap time…By the time everyone was awake it was time to fetch the oldest from school, come home, get ready for church, kiss daddy goodbye until 11:00 pm and off we all went. 

I didn’t get any work done. 

So at midnight after every one is bathed and asleep and I’ve packed lunches and dug through the laundry pile for outfits that somewhat coordinate, I’m heading downstairs to my lair to put in another 3 am’er. I made a pit stop to the ladies room, (tmi I am truly sorry) and that’s when I see them.

Cars. Shoes. Crumpled little dirty socks. All on my bathroom floor. 

Instantly I remember the very moment that afternoon when those shoes were wedged off by tiny impatient hands, when those socks were peeled away exposing ten perfect, wiggly piggies, when those cars were clacked together and motored around on the floor…all while he waited patiently for me. All while I impatiently tried to divert this little person’s attention  to another part of the house. 

It humbled me, if I’m being honest. All day long I’m walking around in a tired stupor, going through the motions and somehow I missed the significance of these remnants on my bathroom floor.

 We mamas joke about this a lot, don’t we? Not remembering the last time we went to the bathroom alone. And it’s true! In the toddler years it is so true. But when you stop to think about it, loving someone so much that you would, well…that you would follow them to the bathroom just to be with them? That’s a pretty great love. 

So for all you mamas out there, tired, worn out, run ragged, spread thin, I salute you! And I share my Reese’s with you…in spirit ha! But also…I pray cars on your bathroom floor. I pray the blessing of little hands patting your leg, little voices asking you questions, little helpers flushing your commode one, two…five times in a row (cringing at the water wasted) 

Because what a blessing to be followed by little feet, what a privilege to be helped by tiny hands and what a humbling experience to be mimicked by such innocent spirits. 

When stops the brain…

I don’t even know where I’m going with this post. Except that I just needed to write. So bear with me. Actually, I’ve needed to write for about two solid weeks now, but I’ve tamped it down in the name of priorities. What a foolish thing for a busy mind to do. 

You see, my season is rough. Rough like a whole new level of rough. 
Did I mention it was rough? 

My children, who are my biggest and most treasured blessings, are each going through their own little personality metamorphism. My Isabella, my freckled beauty, is finding herself and her little personality is blossoming. She’s actually turning into a really funny kid, but along with that has come independent thinking, and a penchent for the arguing. Not necessarily bad traits, and certainly characteristics that will serve her well one day out in the great big world…but at home it’s aided in the demise of my natural hair color. 

I’m going gray is what I’m sayin’

The twins.

Oh Lort. How I love them…but their inquisitiveness and curiosity about all things sticky is going to do me in. I wonder how many substance smears I’ve cleaned up this week?

Sorry I said the word smear.

Suffice it to say, I’ve not been Mary Poppins. In fact, by the time bedtime rolls around if someone were to break into my home I would pay them to steal my kids along with the valuables. 

Kidding. 

I know other mamas have to be going through this with me. So let me tell you this. You’re not alone. 

Are you wiping an entire tube of toothpaste off of the foot of your bed? Hey, I did that yesterday. 

Did a chicken nugget get squished between your toes when you walked through the kitchen? Consider it an exotic foot teatment. 

Did you feed your kids Cheetos for breakfast? I bet they were happy the rest of the morning. They’ll be fine. I certainly wouldn’t know this from experience. Uh….err….what? 

You’re doing a great job mamas. 

I felt like a failure this week, I lost track of how many times I cried over my donuts and let the crumbs collect in the ole Cleavage Collector. It’s been tough, it seems someone’s always mad, sad, or crying. And always hungry. 

But my kiddos, and I’m willing to bet yours too, didn’t want my perfection, they just wanted me. Lenora asked me to “way down” with her…she counted my “sprinkles” (freckles) and sang her little songs to me until she fell asleep heavy in my arms. 

Beckett just wanted me to “sit down mama” with him. He likes me to be his human chair while he watches his program. Barney is serious business in case you didn’t know. 

And Isabella, well she just wants me to listen.  Third grade drama y’all…

I’m trying to remind myself of all these things. I will continue to remind myself of this. 

Yeah, I will forget in ten minutes when I go out to clean my living room. 

Thanks for listening…and now for your viewing pleasure…pictures of happy kids with utter chaos behind the lense. 

    
    
   

Little boys

We knew it was looming, David and I. The day we would have to convert the twins’ cribs into toddler beds. We’ve been lucky thus far with only one incident. But today during their nap time I happened to glance at the video monitor and saw my little guy perched on the railing and posed to launch. 

Luckily David was quicker witted than I. While I could only stand there and gape at the monitor screen trying to form the words, he dashed into their room and caught our guy just in time. 

Our hero. 

So then we converted. Bye-bye cribs, hello toddler beds.

After a bit of rearranging…and anchoring…and battening down, I finally felt confident that our twin tots could safely bed down in their room sans nocturnal restraining devices. Oh Lordy. 

  
We braced ourselves for a long night. 

Lenora, my ever-spunky, dimpled delight (I just love this little girl) climbed right in her bed and was asleep, no joke, in five minutes. Angel. Where’s her wings?! She has em hidden. 

Beckett was a bit of a tough sell. It was a big change for such a little guy. I ended up having to lay on the floor next to his bed and hold his hand until he fell asleep. Every once in a while he would peek over the side to make sure I was still there. He melts me. 

So for about 45 minutes I was Indesposed, I prayed for him and my other kiddos and I thought about how one day he’s going to be a 6 foot linebacker like his daddy. One day he’s going to tower over me. One day he’s going to be a sweaty hairy guy mowing his lawn and lifting heavy things…and hopefully checking in on his little ole mama every once in a while. 

One day, my silly little bald boy is going to be a man. 

  
But right now, my silly little bald boy just needs his mama to hold his tiny hand in reassurance, as he makes one more baby step into big boyhood. 

I thank God for motherhood. Each milestone of this journey is an exciting gift, raising my daughters is just as special and important to me as raising my son. What an amazing calling God gave mothers. 

But what a humbling responsibility it is to raise up our sons to become men. Men who will lead their families and guard their wives. 

   
 
   
    
  
I hope to raise this little bald boy up to be just like his daddy. 

 

Dear women, your jealousy is ruining your life. 

We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. We’ve seen it, we’ve heard it, we’ve witnessed it, we’ve reaped the rotten fruits of its harvest. 

Jealousy. 

Envy.

Even the words, sitting there by themselves, hold a certain dark forboding. 

What is it that triggers this emotional reaction in us women? I’ll tell you.

 The feeling of inadequacy. The feeling of failure. The feeling of not adding up. 

In short, comparison. 

These self destructive thoughts reap a rotten  harvest in our minds. I have seen it with my own eyes, a happy individual going about their life when, they let a little whisper creep into their mind….”she’s better than you” …and like yeasts in the mind, that one little thought multiplies into a cluster of self destruction… she’s skinnier than you, she’s prettier than you, she’s more important than you, she’s funnier than you, she’s smarter than you…she’s more worthy than you. 

Lies. 

Let me tell you, I have learned that there are two kinds of women in the world. Ones that are susceptible to jealousy, and ones that are addicted to eliciting jealousy out of others. 

Just because you can make another person feel inferior, doesn’t make you superior. 

There is a reason jealousy, or envy, is written about so heavily in the bible. Because it’s satan’s most powerful tool to put a block between us and Jesus. Not to mention, it WILL affect your health. 

Proverbs 14:30 “a sound heart is life to the body, but envy rots the bones”

Rot. 

What an ugly word. But it’s so true, when you’re envious, you’re unhappy with yourself, you push away your friendships and relationships, you isolate yourself, or you fraternize only with other miserable people who will gladly join in on your misery…you literally self destruct and that’s exactly how satan designed envy to work. 

He WANTS you to self destruct. 

Everyone in life has made different choices and has different journeys. That friend of yours who has a bigger house, maybe she and her husband were super frugal when they first got married, maybe she’s waited 25 years for that house and lived in a shoebox apartment prior, she might work and put her kids in daycare to afford it. None of this makes her any better or any worse than you, it just means she made different choices. 

Your cousin who is having babies left and right while you struggle with infertility, maybe God’s teaching you His timing, maybe He’s trying to show you a special gift of adoption, maybe He has a specific child that you’re supposed to adopt and raise, maybe that child you adopt will grow up to be president. 

You’re struggling to lose weight while your friend remains naturally thin. This one is tough for us women, isn’t it? But trust me when I say this, your thin friend has her areas of self consciousness too. Being thin doesn’t necessarily always mean being happy. Show grace.

Your brother and his wife just bought a new SUV while you drive a clunker? You can sit and fester in jealousy, hate your brother and surround yourself in a cloak of misery…or you can sit down and make a plan. 

It’s a choice. Sometimes it’s a hard choice. But when God tells us to take up our cross, He didn’t mean take up your fluffy, strawberry scented, ornamental cross….he meant take up your heavy thorny burden that cuts into your flesh, put your head down and follow. Follow blindly, but follow.

For some people their cross is jealousy. It rules their lives, their relationships, their careers….but it doesn’t have to.

You are not a slave to every thought that enters your mind. 

Make the choice to set yourself free! Before you succumb to the snare of envy, consider the journey the other person has traveled to get to the places they are. You will open yourself up to a whole new world of peace that you never knew possible. 

We are all worthy. We are all worth it. We are all equal at the end of the day.