April 2, 2009
Growing Up and Out
Tessa has decided to grow up this week. Waking up a few times a night, not falling asleep at every feeding, smiling and alert, cooing and talking loudly. Some of these things are very welcomed, others are getting unbearable. But thankfully, I see my girl growing, just a little. She's still fair and slight, with petite features like a little bird. I do love seeing her huge wide mouthed grin. I don't remember my other kids smiling this wide. I do feel those pangs about my babies growing up, but honestly when I think of the freedoms I miss I feel glad that Tessa is getting bigger. I know it's a bit early to think these things, but I'm feeling myself lift my head up along with the buds of the flowers.
This past week in church we were challenged during the season of Lent to learn the discipline of confession. I normally have a pretty easy time finding something that I've done wrong that I am ready to share with a friendly soul. This time was a little bit tougher. I sat and listened and examined myself. And the result I came up with has been very hard to want to share. I have been struggling with larger than normal amounts of jealousy. And I see how it has started to affect my comings and goings. I can be totally happy for you, but then my jealousy will come and steal away that joy and make me regress and not socialize. I want to stay in my little cocoon and not be challenged to deal with my identity and the things that I wish I had. So after realizing this, and maybe going through a day of validating why I'm allowed to be jealous I began to seek and ask God what I should do to combat these feelings. Besides confessing, I feel I need to start verbalizing and/or writing down the things in my life that I am very greatful for and would not want to replace. And then I need to invest time in listening. I'm a good talker, but listening is something I have been slow to learn. I need to be willing to not push down the feelings anymore, it only makes things worse. I also need to verbally express how happy I am at others sucesses.
So here are some things I am thankful for and would never want to replace. This is just the beginning, for I know that God will remind me of more and more.
My husband is the best, he's the best for me, I haven't wanted anyone else's. Your husband might be a great man, and I'll admit it with all confidence, but mine is for me. Hallelujah.
My kids, I have never thought,"if only they could be like..." I'm in love with all their personalities and I am proud of my resilience to discipline them even if I'm not awesome all the time. One episode of SuperNanny and I'm feeling like mother of the year. But I love how God made them, and I wouldn't trade them for anyone else's.
My talents. I'm so glad I am creative. I'm so glad I'm an artist and an art teacher. I know it might not be a life full of big money but I don't care. I love it, I wouldn't trade it for your degree or concentration anyday!
My health. We're a healthy bunch! Praise God! We continually get the mildest strain of the bug that's going around and I never want to lose my heart full of thankfulness for it. We don't even wear glasses!
So I will begin to reach out, and stretch the places that are least comfortable. And I will pray that God will remind me of how He deals with me in a way that's just for me. I hope to bless those around me with an authentic joy for their blessings, so they can know I really am happy and full of love for them. I will lift up my head and no longer stare at my short-comings, for I am blessed and won't pout anymore.
family | By katiek | 8:59 AM
Thanks for sharing this Katie. I share the same struggle and it's good to read your honest and heartfelt thoughts on it. I never thought I'd care that we didn't have certain things or that I was less put together than other women and here I am, my own little critic, tearing myself down daily when I have so much to be joyful about. Thanks for your openness and on another note, when can we get the kids together to play?
Posted by: Karen Monahan at April 14, 2009 9:29 AM