May 26, 2011

Beauty in the Chaos.



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...

18 comments:

Chelsea said...

wonderfully put Emery! I've been thinking a lot lately about the sacrifices we make as mothers to be present for our kids-that I have to die to "self" daily and draw near to god so that I can be the mom he's created me to be.

I've been praying for you guys-glad everything is OK.

AND, love the outfit, necklace and hair! ;)

Rachael said...

Ooooh man, this is JUST what I'm learning in several areas of my life. For example, when I read my bible, I'm getting hit with this message (Die to yourself! Learn to number your days!)
When I think about things that make me happy on the surface I think a bath + a facial and massage etc or a day taking photos and so on... When I actually do those things, I find them strangely empty. It's what society's taught us are the ultimate reach-fors. When it comes down to it, I'm happiest when I'm making those around me happy and the sooner I learn that... Like, really learn that, the better. You put everything so beautifully into words, Emery. Not just well put but also succinct. It's truly a gift. As is your selfless love.

Adrienne said...

L-I-K-E. :)

Your posts always make me smile & laugh. Thank you.

Girl of The Grove said...

This is beautiful. You make me excited to become a momma.

KillerB said...

Yer so pretty!

I love your new haircut and that necklace you're wearing in the bottom photo. Pretty thoughts too, thanks for sharing :)

bandofbrothers said...

I am so thrilled for your discovery Emery! THis is such a joyful post for me to read, as I have been reading you from the beginning of your story and to see you here at this point is truly wonderful! I totally agree 100% that only is losing ourselves and pouring ourselves out we find the greatest treasures. Can't wait to see your thoughts 10 years from now! God bless you!

Rebekah said...

I LOVE this post. I think it one of my favorite ones. You articulate something that rings so true, but is sooo hard to put into words. All the hard, yet seemingly small 'mommy chores' that fill our day can feel so tedious (guilt, guilt) yet right in the middle of those moments we find some of the very best treasures of being a mom AND a PERSON. I remember one time stumbling up in the middle of the night to feed my baby, feeling so exhausted, and all of sudden my son did something for the very first time. It was like a light bulb turned on -- I realized I had the privilege of witnessing another human's 'first moments' -- what an honor. We lose ourselves in motherhood but we also find ourselves.

Thanks for this post!

grace said...

Wow. That was written so eloquently!

Aren't all of our lives better when we try not to focus on ourselves but on others? (just thinking via typing :)

P.S. I tried that shirt on @ F21 but was soo sad when it washed me out completely- which it does not with you! Yay for super cute tops & where did you get that gorgeous necklace?

Jessica said...

I really needed to read this. In fact, I probably need to read this every morning to remember my purpose. I love when you said "any time we lay aside ourselves for the sake of others, there will be treasure waiting." It's true of everything we do. Thanks sharing your wisdom.

Meghan Elaine said...

So encouraging. And so convicting. I've been having the "I miss me" feeling too often lately. Stepping back reminds me there's so much more. And what I'm doing now means so much more. Thank you for sharing.

eBirdie said...

Truth. And, it's a small thing maybe, but I appreciate that you made this about pouring oneself out for the sake of others and not about motherhood specifically. As someone who once struggled with infertility and supported friends through the same struggle, I can tell you it got tiresome to be in a group of women and hear over and again how one can never know what it is to be truly selfless, never know the joy of living for another person until one becomes a mother. As a mother now, I understand the sentiment behind the statement. I do. But childless women are not doomed to a small and selfish life: language is so important, and I think you nailed it.

Lil Muse Lily said...

Emery, you are such an inspiration. I can so relate to this post because i have been thinking about this so much lately. Thank you, thank you!

Kamika said...

I am currently struggling with all the ups and downs that come with having a newborn, my baby Claire was born 12 days ago. I really related to this post, thank you for sharing

Brittany Cox said...

This is so, SO, exactly what I needed to read right now. As I was finding myself saying while I walked to a screaming baby,

"This is my life. This is my forever. Soak it up. Don't be negative"

I couldn't have put my words into such eloquent paragraphs like you did (in the midst of chaos, too -- well done!).

As I said, I needed this. Such a great representation of where I am in my life right now: realizing its not about me. THANK YOU!

Tasha said...

Emery, I always enjoy reading your blog. I particularly love this post - definitely something I needed to read today. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This is a really beautiful post...it brought tears to my eyes! I am pregnant with my first, and I have been waiting to experience the journey of motherhood my whole life. I keep hoping and praying that I can gracefully succumb to the selflessness that I know it will require of me--I often worry that I will get in my own way I cannot think of a more direct and profound way for me to experience God than to love and give of myself for the sake of a child. Thank you for taking the time to reflect and share your gift of writing!

MarvelousMOM said...

You have such a beautiful family!

stina said...

love this post. and the pictures :)