I used to be SO incredibly afraid of becoming too busy in the mundane day-to-day of life that I would forget who I was... like I was convinced I would get buried under a pile of sippy cups or something, never to be seen or heard from again.
This was THE biggest struggle for me in those first few of years of becoming a mama. It's painful, now, to look back and see how desperately I was clinging to the fear of "losing myself", mostly because, when you write that another way, it becomes sickeningly clear that really what I was clinging to was just ME... otherwise known as complete and total selfishness.
The beauty of motherhood is in the nitty gritty, though, and if it does nothing else for us, it makes us aware of what self-centered creatures we really are, and then, if we allow it to, walks us through the loooong journey of peeling our eyes off of own navels and directing them towards other people- namely those of our children. And as we begin to lift our heads we realize that there are a whole lot of other people in the periphereal as well. Like, a whole WORLD'S worth of people, actually!
That's how the journey has been for me so far, at least. It's been a beautiful and MUCH NEEDED crash course in "The Universe Doesn't Actually Revolve Around Emery - 101".
The irony in all of this is, of course, the fact that "losing myself" in the "mundane day-to-day" of motherhood has been the perfect and predestined place where I would ultimately find the very best things about myself-- buried under that pile of sippy cups like long lost treasures.
(And also, yes, it goes without saying that motherhood is not the only place where you can find these things. Any time we lay aside ourselves for the sake of others, there will be treasure waiting.)
Yes, I am BUSY now. Often faaaaar too busy to find time to sit down here and write, a thing that brings me great joy. Even this morning, in the span of these few paragraphs, I have been interrupted by my six-year-old excitedly explaining the ins and outs of a computer game and demanding that I play with him "because now it is Summer", my two-year-old whining for me to come out in the living room and serve cereal, and an infant crying due to GAS BUBBLES. It may not be glamorous, but I am learning that there are joys that are appointed for certain seasons of life, and in the absence of finding time to write my heart and thoughts out on paper or screen, new and unexpected joys abound. There WILL be time to write and reflect again, but for now, there are trips to the library and the zoo and the mind-blowing joy of watching my own child learn to read and write HIS thoughts out on paper for the world to see.
Without fail, when I open my eyes in the morning and decide that today does not need to be all about me, I find myself laughing more, enjoying more, savoring more, learning more, and, ultimately, becoming more of the me I was meant to be.
I am not saying we should all abandon the things that make us unique when we push out our first child, but I am saying that we are often stunting the growth of those unique things when we cling to them with a death grip and refuse to fully embrace new seasons of life as they come along. I will not be the "Sippy Cup Retriever" for the rest of my life, but these few short years of being one have taught me more than sitting in a quiet meadow with pen and paper or guitar in hand ever could have, I am quite certain.
I LOVE how completely surprising and seemingly backwards the things of God always are. Like how we find ourselves by pouring ourselves out for others. And how the greatest hardships bring the greatest joys. How he uses the weak to confound the strong. And how our greatest gains come from giving everything away.
It's breathtaking, really. And I am so grateful to be in a season of life where I can learn these things and have the opportunity to practice them every single day.
So... here's to motherhood, the character-building chaos, and the beauty that springs up from it all!
PS. Thanks to all who have written to see if we made it through the crazy tornadoes that came through here the other day!! We are totally fine and didn't have anything come too close. Please pray for those who lost everything- and who are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after those devastating storms. xo
PPS. Sorry for the bandwidth issues on my blog page- I have no idea how long it has been like that. haha. Bad blogger! It should clear up momentarily...