Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Monday, May 9, 2011

blurry lessons

I have been a mother for a little over 2 years now (Jackson is 15 months old, but you're fooling yourself if you don't believe that every second of the 9.5 months that I carried him inside of me didn't count). And over those 2 years I have learned a lot. One of the biggest lessons has been that being a mom forces you to shine a light on yourself brighter than ever before, illuminating every facet of you- for good or for bad- because in the deepest corner of your heart you strive to be your best... not for your own sake, but for the sake of your children. Because your children are destined to grow up to be versions of you... and if you're like me, you pray that they will blow the 'you-as-you-know-it' out of the park in every way. 
I believe God gave us families- especially mamas and daddys- for many reasons, one of which is to learn from the generations before us. What good is it for us to face trials and hard times if we don't learn from those lessons of the past... and more importantly teach those lessons to our children in a way that proactively equips them with the common sense and know-how to avoid making them themselves. And I'm not just talking about lessons from the not-so-good times, I'm also talking about the wisdom we gain when we take the time to soak up our blessings and really understand where they came from and the responsibility we have to give back to those around us when we are given so much. 
There are so many things that I want to teach Jackson, so many lessons that I have learned- sometimes the hard way, sometimes the easy way- but things that I hope he doesn't have to waste so much time himself figuring out. I think that sometimes we end up having to re-learn the same lessons over and over. It's like when you were a kid (or maybe still as an adult) you would run across the grass in the summer without shoes on and step on a bee and it hurts so badly. And in that moment when the sting was so real and so intense you would swear that you'll never run barefoot again, that you'll wear shoes every time. And somehow that lesson would fade and you would end up running shoe-less dozens of times that summer, not always resulting with a bee-sting, but lesson-forgotten momentarily nonetheless. 
I certainly can't prevent Jackson from ever getting stung by a bee and I do realize that a bee sting every once in awhile will be good for my little man- although hard on him and probably even harder on me to watch, but what I can do is to be the best me every day because there will never be anything more influential in his life than the example of Dan and I. I know this. I think about it every day. The reality of the power in that statement is both awe-inspiring in the most energizing way, yet can have a crippling effect that comes from the paralysis of fear if you allow it to.... just as all the most worthwhile things in life do. 
Lately I have allowed the anxiety from the pressure that I'm facing in a few places in my life to overtake me. Overtake my thoughts, my vision and inevitably my actions. It's certainly not something I am proud of, but it's also not something I have had any control over. I think 'depressed' would be far to heavy of a word to describe my state of mind right now, but overwhelmed, burnt out, major rut would all be fair contenders. But, the amazing thing is that, first of all, I know it's only temporary and even having the energy and passion to sit down and write this is a sign that I'm coming out of it. But, even more beautiful in my eyes is that no matter how stressed and smothered I feel with some of the responsibilities in my life... there is never a day- not even a second- where being a mom adds to that stress. Not even a little bit. For me, Jackson (and the growing baby inside of me)- and Dan- are my happy place. They are for me the eye of the storm- the most peaceful, uplifting parts of my day. 
I don't know yet what lesson I am to be learning during this season that I'm going through. Maybe it's to not allow the expectations at work to weigh so heavily on my mind, maybe it's to appreciate Dan far more for all he does because having him gone right now is far harder than I thought it would be, maybe it's to stop taking life so seriously so much of the time, maybe it's to get me to open my eyes to possibilities outside of life as we know it right now or maybe it's just God's way of slowing me down right now when I have the most fragile and precious blessing forming life right inside of my belly. Whatever the lessons turn out to be, I am sure of 2 things: that I'll not only learn from them this the first time but that I'll tuck this lesson away to pull out at the most opportune time for my children some day and that amidst all of the chaos and deep, hard feelings that I'm dealing with right now, there is this most pure and untainted love that I get to call all mine. All mine, completely unconditional. The love of a son and the love of a husband. Thank you, thank you, Lord. 

1 comment:

  1. As someone that has suffered through anxiety, depression whilst working and having a little one close to the age of your little man, you are on the right course by admitting something may be wrong. You can, and will fight the disabling problems associated with anxiety and mild-depression by acknowledging it exists. Talk about it and be conscious of how you feel. If you feel overwhelmed and overcome by anxiety, stop, take a deep breath, tell yourself the feelings will pass. Anxiety cannot kill you, it can only hurt you if you let it and give it the power to do so. Trust in yourself.

    Further, please trust me when I say, a job is a job, nothing more. As someone that now 10 years into "post-college" and having made a bit of a mess out of my personal life because of several factors, you may always find another job - your talents guarantee that. You will never find another family. The road to redemption is one that is winding, unsure and brutally painful, don't venture near it if you can prevent it. Talk about your fears, don't give them life.

    And above all, love.


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