Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sometimes is hard to give yourself Grace

We moved to Sheboygan in April and I quickly realized the church we were attending didn't have a mom's group. Because I led the mom's group in Chicago, I immediately wondered if God would have me start one here at some point. At the time I was 7 months pregnant and sure that wouldn't happen for at least a year; after all we hardly knew anyone.

I started getting together to play with two other women and their kids every Thursday at a park. They started talking about other moms that wanted to join and quite quickly I began to realize God had plans for a mom's group here. Right now we are not "official" and we meet every TH at my house. We are in the process of trying to formalize a "plan" and make ourselves officially part of the women's ministry at church. It seems God has big plans and I am just open and willing to do as he leads.

Today it was wonderful to have the moms over. I had to cancel a few times in the fall because of sick children. With that and the holidays I've had some days of loneliness for the first time since being in Sheboyan. It's been hard to feel connected. It was nice to see other moms today and again be excited about what God may have for us here- both in ministry and in relationships.

I had a terrible night with Chloe. I had to sleep in the recliner with my darling on my chest for a part of the night. The day started WAY before I or my body was ready and I was admittedly grumpy. I probably wouldn't have chosen for people to come over when I was feeling that way. So often I want to "have it all together" first, but today I remembered that often it's through relationship that I "get it together".

A couple conversations today really stuck with me. I found myself reflecting on them and growing a bit in the process. Isn't that what the body of christ SHOULD help us do?

First, a good friend was jokingly saying, "she didn't feel like a pastor's wife." I joked back "how should a pastor's wife feel." We often put positions up on pedestals and find ourselved unable to climb into them. She is a funny girl. A very authentic girl- she light heartedly compared herself to "great" women who have it all together. I joked with her- "you probably used to be great too before you have two kids under two!". I actually need to follow up that conversation. I need to make sure she knows I actually think she IS GREAT right now, right as she is. Having young children IS hard. We often feel scattered and are swimming in chaos. It's easy to look at others and feel like they are doing a better job than we are. Shoot, I have to honestly admit when she mentioned the women she thought were "great" I was jealous and wished she thought so highly of me;) That is what I've been pondering. Is motherhood somehow more successful if another mom thinks I'm perfect? I say I am passionate about being authentic, but I struggle with wanting people to think I am a supermom. I think I've dealt with the fact that supermoms don't really exist and then I find myself struggling again with that ideal.

The second conversation was with a lovely mom who is unfortunately a newly SINGLE mom. Her situation is tragic and hard enough with her husband, but her mom is also dying. She has two high energy boys. She was beating herself up because she feel asleep yesterday and her boys ended up playing video games for two hours in a row. On the outside, I and another mom, of course, told her this is SOOO not a big deal. They don't always play video games for great lengths of time and my goodness SHE NEEDED A NAP! Still it doesn't change how she felt inside, does it? She is buying into the lie that she failed. She didn't fail, she took a nap....a much needed nap. I can't help but wonder if that didn't end up actually helping her be a BETTER mom the rest of the day. It is OK to care for ourselves sometimes- not just okay, but necessary.

So...First, I need to make sure I mirror to friend number one what a GREAT job she IS doing. She loves and cares for her girls. Her husband always speaks highly of what and how she is doing. She is funny and bright and lovely. She IS just the pastor's wife she should be. I don't think my telling her that makes that any more valid- but a little encouragement never hurts.

Second, I need to remember that I am doing my best. Oh sure I have days like yesterday when my son eats too many fruit snacks. There are days when my kids watch too much TV, but you know what? I am doing a great job. I LOVE my kids and they are thriving. Yes, I get tired and some days are better than others, but I am a good mom and need to quit letting the voice of the Discourager distract me with self defeating thoughts. They only serve to distract from what is really important- being present with my kids and loving them with my whole heart. Yes, I hope to be a better mom every day, but that doesn't mean I am not a darn good one right now!


  1. I love you, my dear friend! Thanks for always encouraging me and for walking this new Sheboygan life with me as well. You're the best!

  2. Kim,

    I'm thankful that those women in Wisconsin have you in their midst. I think you're super cool and love that you are open to God using you in any way He has for you.
    Keep being real and raw. I am encouraged. :)