Friday, November 7, 2014

Tattered Hats

This motherhood gig.  It's tough sometimes isn't it?  It's tough not to compare ourselves and our efforts with those of our friends, or those of the internet.  Just this morning I was having a discussion over coffee with my husband before he left for work.  Among other things, we talked about whether we are doing "enough".  Actually, I talked more about if we are doing "enough".  He listened.

I spoke about my feelings of inadequacy.  About how we do not celebrate feast days enough.  How we don't pray enough as a family.  How we don't frequent the sacraments enough.  How hard we are on our children.  Whether I am doing enough to teach my children in school.  How their character flaws are totally our fault.  How slowly we are to correct our own character flaws.  And on and on.  In short, my anxiety about life was busting through and taking me (us) on a roller coaster ride.

And finally, my dear husband could listen no more.  "You work hard for us.  You love us.  You try every day to bring richness and goodness into our lives.  Stop this."

At that point (well to be honest, not right at that point, but soon after :), I realized that I had been letting my own doubts (and someone's lies) trickle in my mind and block out all the goodness and rightness we have here in our home. 

I am far from a perfect mother.  I am far from a perfect housekeeper and cook and teacher.  The hats I wear are many.  And some of them need quite a bit of mending.  Others are just slightly tattered, but still useful.  And some of them are down right nice.  It's hard to admit that.  The doubts keep coming in and if I let them, they can easily take over.

I can only guess and speculate about how my children will turn out.  I can only guess and speculate on what our life will look like ten years from now.  I know what I hope it looks like.  But guessing and speculating (and worry and anxiety) take me away from the here and now.  They take me away from the, "Mom!  There's a crane out front!  Can we go look at it!" and the, "Mom!  Our swallowtail caterpillar has gotten out of his jar!"  (True stories.  Both of those happened in the past ten minutes.)  Those are the minutes I don't want to lose.

Now, it's true that there are some adjustments and improvements our family should make.  Very true.  BUT...That doesn't mean that all the goodness doesn't exist.  The trick is to find the balance between improvement while focusing on what's good and true.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phillippians 4:6-8)

Our caterpillar.  Can you see him?  We're hoping we can watch him turn into a butterfly.

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