When I was a little girl, I never dreamed my life would be as it is. I'm assuming that I, like all girls (and some women I know) dreamed of having the fairytale life and living happily every after. It took me many years, probably too many to discover that fairy tales are just that. Movies are just that also. The media and society portray perfection. Take a look at a magazine cover or go rent a "chick flick."
I was raised around perfection and always wanted to be "perfect," until I discovered there is no such thing as perfect. God is the only perfect I know. I did great in school and college and tried to make A's. I didn't want a 90, which is an A. I wanted a 100! I wanted all or nothing. Don't worry, later in life I sucked up my pride and took a couple of C's due to being a single mommy. I decided I'd rather have a C and spend time with my boys than to strive for perfection! Sounds simple, but I know some of you can relate and it IS SO HARD for me to not have the constant need to obtain perfection.
When I started on my single mom journey, I found out quickly that I needed some time to myself. Sounds selfish I know. However, I wanted and still want to be the best mommy I can be and sometimes that requires what I like to call "re-charging your batteries." I believe everyone (mom or not) needs time to renew their strength, body, mind, soul, and spirit. My favorite speaker said that we all need a day of rest. A WHOLE day! Why would this seem like a foreign concept to me? I know God took a day of rest, but he created the world and I'm sure he was MUCH more worn than I've ever been or ever will be.
I decided to take up running and let that be what re-charged my batteries. I couldn't do much at first, but I quickly learned that no matter what had happened a short or long jog/walk would always make things better. Running has helped me to put things into perspective in a different view. It gives me time to sort out all those files that are stored in your brain and acheive new obstacles.
I'm still a perfectionist, people pleaser, and I like to keep the peace. I struggle with these characteristics sometimes. I know that I can't make anyone happy and that happiness is choice. I chose to be happy a long time ago, no matter what life threw my way. Yes, I have emotions, but life is full of changes and challenges so I think it's best to try to smile, pick yourself up and keep going.
"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." PSALM 73:26
I'm changing and growing and am proud to tell you that I don't care as much as I used to about what others think. I am blessed with amazing friends and family and a God who loves me and my sweeties no matter what. In the end, that is the MOST important factor to me. It's not about other mommies, family members, friends, society, etc. and what they think is best. Who could know what is best for you and your family other than God? I believe God has given me a level head and with his help, guidance, and love anything is possible! The point is, I'm better than I ever have been about seeking God's direction and protection for my boys and I. If others don't approve or don't like the way we live, it doesn't bother me much anymore. I am next to certain that as long as you are trying your best and doing what's right, it's difficult to go wrong.
Keeping the peace. Ahhhh! That one is still a work in progress. It took me a LONG time to realize that I can't change anyone but myself. Therefore, I am responsible for me and my behavior only. I loathe arguing and fighting. Life is too short and we aren't guaranteed another breath. I do my best to be kind to everyone and not hold grudges. If we all held grudges, who would you have left in your life? I know in my life, I'd have God and no one else. I also think it's so damaging to anyone to hold on to anger. I've seen depression in it's worst form and it is not pretty. A wise man once told me that people get depressed whenever anger is turned inward and we stuff everything down inside.
I don't like to go to sleep angry. I am the type of person (believe it or not everyone has a different arguing style) that wants to talk things through and work out a solution right then! I don't want to wait until days later! Guess what? Maybe half the people on Earth are that way. The other half like to not talk about it, let time pass and then they are okay with what previously happened. I've learned to respect that everyone has different styles and just because someone doesn't have the same style as I doesn't mean for one second that I don't respect them. Once you have learned this, you can easily detect whether someone wants to talk things out then, run away from it, ignore, or simply wait for time to pass.
It is SO hard for me to not be able to resolve things RIGHT THEN! However, it's always best that I detect and recognize what the other person wants and respect that. Life isn't fair, and that's okay. I'm glad we are all unique. I promise you I have patience, I just want everyone to get along and sing Kum by yah together. Sometimes it is impossible. I do what I know to do, what I think is right, apologize when I am wrong or have done wrong, and move on period. If you hang on to anger, you are only hurting yourself. I promise you that the other person will not stay tied to that anger. Let go of it and give it to God.
"God-defiers are always in trouble; God-affirmers find themselves loved every time they turn around." PSALM 32:10
I could write to you all day long about my imperfections. I have nothing to hide and am filled with flaws. I do believe that beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder. I want and strive to be the person who is beautiful on the inside. Outward appearance is something we can't change. What's in our hearts and souls is what matters the most.
You see, God knew WAY BEFORE I did that he wanted me just as I am. He wants us all just as we are and he created us just the way he intended. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any of us should ever stop working on being better people or that God wants us to live outside of what he has planned for our lives. I only mean that I believe we all should continually work on being better. If I stopped working on my flaws, friendships, relationships, work, and mommy role then I'd feel as if I'd given up and quit.
I know that I ALWAYS have room for improvement (can you sense the perfectionism?) and my sweet boys deserve THE BEST! Children depend on their parents and look to them for guidance. It's my job to be a role model and teach my sweet boys how to be men of God who are designed to have wonderful lives.
I hope you all have a blessed day and a wonderful week! Take some time out for YOU. I promise the rest of all those "things" you have to do will still be waiting for you to do when you are done. My prayer is that you embrace your imperfections and flaws and don't beat yourself up about them. God bless you all!