Do you have a favorite season? For me, raising kids is like season. We often refer to the toddler phase as a season. Or the teenage years as a season, etc. Maybe you are a fan of all the seasons of child rearing. Maybe you have one or two favorite seasons. Right now I am in my favorite season. Last night, as Mallory came out on stage for her performance I started crying. A couple weeks ago I randomly started crying at a choir concert. As I was driving up to school today for her second performance I started thinking about the season of parenting I am in and how much I really enjoy it! It occurred to me that I could never relate to mothers who would cry at Kindergarten drop off, or get super sentimental at milestones their babies were reaching. That's because, it wasn't my favorite season. I also remember during that time having moms of similar aged kids, older kids, or perfect strangers in the grocery store, say to me "Cherish this season/these years. They go so fast!" I was often annoyed and felt ashamed by their comments. When they said that, my first thought usually was, "Why can't these years go faster?!" I felt ashamed that I couldn't wait for this season to be over. Ashamed that I wasn't cherishing these years. But the truth is, it just was not "my" season to cherish yet. I think I have become emotional about things lately because I am in a season I love. I can now relate to what those other moms and people were trying to say to me. The problem is that I went through many seasons of parenting judging myself, feeling ashamed, and guilty because I thought I was supposed to feel something I wasn't feeling! Now I feel it and I am trying so hard to embrace and hold on to this season. If you have little kids, elementary age kids, teenagers, or grown kids and can relate to the way I felt when I was in a "not so favorite" season. Do not feel shame and guilt. It is OK. You may just be in your least favorite season. The season will come and go. Do your best to weather the season you are in and be okay with the fact that you may not love and cherish everything about it. If you are in, say, the toddler season and it is "your" season, yet you see other moms struggling to love the same season, do not judge them. Do not burn bridges. Help care for their needs. Support them and encourage them. Someday the tables may be turned and when you are in a season that is not "yours" you will have another mom to support and love on you through it.
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There are some female pop artists out there right now who are really trying to help girls find self-love and acceptance. Last night, I was listening to Pandora and a couple songs came on that got me to thinking and writing. "Sit Still, Look Pretty" by Daya, "Me Too" by Meghan Trainor, "Scars to Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara. I want to raise my girls to think like some of the lyrics in these songs, but with our own spin on it! Live a life of authenticity. Surround yourselves with people who accept and love the authentic you. Popularity means nothing, if it means you have to compromise who you really are. I want to teach my girls they have the power to do anything they dream of. And that it is not about ruling the world with self-centeredness and power, but with their love. I want to teach them to love, encourage, and support other women. I want to teach them that, yes, we should demand equality in some things, but we are made different. We are not equal to man, and man is not equal to us. Embrace those differences and use them to bless others in a way only you, as a woman, can. It's okay to dream. It's okay to dream BIG. But be mindful and wise about what you are dreaming for. Make sure they align with your life's purpose, your God-given strengths, your values, your passion! My beautiful daughters, you don't have to be in a relationship to be complete. You love yourself first! You make you happy. No one else can do that for you. Don't crave attention so badly that you compromise the way you dress, how you act, or your values. Having to do this for someone else does not equal love. It does not equal love from them and it certainly does not equal love for yourself! Don't ever compromise or dumb yourself down for anyone. Especially a boy. Men and women need to earn your trust, your friendship, your time, your respect! Find your worth in NO ONE but God! You don't have to rule the whole world. Rule the world God created for you. Whatever path you take, be confident that it is a path God has you on…even the rough roads. Do everything you can to rule that world. Do what you feel called to, without hesitation. Be confident in the Lord. Rely on him through times you don't understand, times you question his sovereignty. He can handle it. Do not be afraid of your Heavenly Father. He is almighty and can conquer all things. Even the darkest things. He knows you. He is waiting for you to call out for His healing. He will comfort and conform you. Don't cover up your pain. Let it out. Learn from it. Turn to God. You were sculpted by the sculptor. Your scars are beautiful. Look at me, your mimi/mom--I have scars that are deep, up front, and visible. It took me a long time, but I find my scars as beauty. It is my light that shines within now. You don't have to change a thing about your scars. Some will see them for the beauty they are. Others will point them out and judge you. But there is no better you than the you that you are. Just grow from it. Learn from it. That is when others will look at them as beautiful—some that may not have before. That's when you will truly see your scars for the beauty they hold within them. May you always see the light that is shining inside of you.
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