What do you want your children to remember about you?

Where to start...

I woke up yesterday feeling SO tired. Like, beyond my regular everyday tired. Fatigued. Exhausted. I was wishing I had some sort of celebrity status so I could check into a rehab facility to be treated for exhaustion. But alas, I am not famous by the world's standards and so there I was, laying in bed, trying to convince my body to move one appendage at a time. "We have a lot to do today, body" I told myself. "No chances of staying in bed all day like you want." 

If you've read my posts before you know that I tend to be a worrier. I can live for months on end in a "stressed out" state. I think that's what has been happening lately. And my body is telling me, "I just can't live like this anymore!" I look around at all these other women in the world and they seem to have it all together. They have kids. They work. Their kids do extracurricular activities. They have successful marriages. So what is wrong with me? But when I truly reflect on what I have going on in my life right now there is no wonder why I'm exhausted.  I have three kids under the age of 7. One of these children has hit the "terrible 2's" with full force and STILL DOES NOT SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. I have a business that I am trying to build. I have a marriage that I am trying not to lose sight of in the midst of the craziness. I have a rockstar of a baseball playing son that my husband coaches and keeps him busy 3 times a week. My daughter is going to kindergarten next year and I worry about all the things that I think she needs to know before she gets there (although in reality I know she is totally ready). I have wonderful friends that I could not live without that I like to see sometimes too. I have been going to physical therapy 3 times a week for the past 2 months for a chronic pain issue I have lived with for 5 years. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that life is crazy right now. 

Can this pace of life be maintained? It probably depends on the person. My physical therapist who I've gotten to know these past 2 months has 4 kids, works full time, 2 of her kids play competitive sports year round, and she is actively involved in her church. And to top it all off she is always dressed and made up to perfection. And she works out! It's hard to see someone like this and not feel envious. But I don't want her life. I really don't. I couldn't even conceptualize how she did everything she needed to do until she confided to me that she doesn't really sleep. Oh, well then. I'll just not sleep. Yeah right! (Oh wait, I already don't sleep, but while I'm not sleeping I'm at least TRYING to sleep.) 

What is beautiful about this life is that God made everyone different. Different desires, different strengths, different passions. I know that He made me for a specific purpose. I tend to waaaay overcomplicate that purpose. I add a LOT of details that may not be as important to Him as I think it is. So where do I place my energy? Is it mothering, being a supportive and encouraging wife, volunteering at the kids' schools, making sure the house is clean, the laundry and dishes keep going, is it making my house a sanctuary for my family, exercising enough, eating healthy enough food, taking care of my skin, reading enough, building my business so I can contribute to my family's finances, being a good friend, volunteering at church, ministering to other women, maintaining relationships I've made through social media (for crying out loud?), creating lasting memories at the holidays? I mean, this list is enough to drive a sane person over the edge! None of it is bad, necessarily. In fact, all of it is good! But I don't think it's anything most women don't wrestle with. It's that age-old question of Can I have it all? But overcomplicating what my role is here in this short time on earth is doing me no good.  I can't be all things to all people. My best friend Ali is amazing. I hope you have someone like Ali in your life. I can come to her, a muddled mess, and she will tell me what I need to hear.  Always loving. Always wise. Always the truth spoken with love. One day I called her with this very topic on my mind. And do you know what she said, "What do you want your children to remember about you one day? That your house was clean or that you exercised faithfully? Or will they remember you playing with them, laughing with them, being silly with them. Will they remember a happy mama?" Pow! I told you. Good stuff.

So today, I made the choice to skip my daughter's dance class. (Before you jump to judgement, I've had to convince her to go to class the last 2 weeks. I even gave her a speech about finishing what you start, because you know, at the age of four the path of her life might be determined by that time she didn't want to go to dance class. My point is, if anything she is happy she missed...if she had even realized that today was dance class.) I stayed home. I caught up on laundry. I emptied the dishwasher to just load it again. We had a picnic lunch on the floor. I took a shower for pete's sake. And do you know, I feel a sense of "calm" that I haven't felt in months. That is where I'm at. I do not have it all together. That is not who I am right now. But I am a daughter of the Most High. I have in my heart the Holy Spirit. It's no wonder that during these past few busy months I have felt like my walk with the Lord has been very much lacking. I have pushed God into a little tiny corner of my life thinking I am too tired, too busy, I have too many demands on my life. But, oh how wrong I have been. I need Him now more in my life than I ever have. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Micah 6:8~ "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." So that is it! Thank you, Jesus, for simplifying it for me. I will strive to focus my energy on these things. May my children remember me for these things one day, and may they remember me smiling.

 

~Sarah

 


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