33 days ago, Grant and I came to Philadelphia.
33 days ago, we didn't have a home, I didn't have a job, and I couldn't find my toothbrush.
I also didn't have a clue what I was getting myself into...
For the past three years, I've worked full-time and enjoyed it (almost all the time, promise!). I loved being a speech therapist. And then I met a guy... A guy who on our third date asked me if I would ever want to be a stay-at-home mom. (I don't know about you other ladies, but for me, that was like finding the Holy Grail of manhood. I most DEFINITELY wanted to be a wife and mom first (and a therapist second).) Short story even shorter (we met and married in less than 6 months), I fell in love with that amazing man.
He was in seminary... So I brought home the bacon.
We had a baby... I kept bringing home bacon.
But this July he started bringing home the bacon.
And I was upgraded to my new position.
And I was terrified.
I began having recurring dreams of flunking out of school, failing at life, and never measuring up.
At every other time in my life, there has been a measurement. I've known where I stand.
But here? In motherhood? There is no measure. None.
So, I floundered. I alternated between panicked frenzies and helpless stupor. One day, I would unpack tons of boxes, scrub floors, and scour old wood work. Then, for the next three days, I would barely scrape by, wanting to nap, eat, and read my way through my free time. Being nauseated, pregnant, and exhausted didn't help with my motivation, but it was also a nice crutch to lean on. No one faults a pregnant lady for taking a nap.
I tried everything I could think of... I prayed, I wrote lists, I spent more time in the Bible... I was searching for a magic key. Because, deep under my mood swings, there was pure, unadulterated terror. I would wake up in the clutches of guilt and fear, and no matter how much I did, every night, I felt inadequate, incapable. I was a failure. I have never wrestled with such a intangible, internal fear. There was nothing outside me. My husband was loving. My new church was supportive. We had a house, a baby, and a future that was incredibly stable and filled with blessings.
And still I was guilt-ridden.
Was I doing enough? Was I measuring up? Was I failing at this incredibly important job of motherhood? I was miserable...
But I was supposed to feel this way.
Not so that I would wallow in my guilt. Not so that I would live in fear.
But so that Christ can be glorified.
The Apostle Paul had an amazing ministry. God allowed him to see a myriad of things... And he could have become quite conceited. In fact, he had reason to be. And God knew this. So He gave Paul a weakness... And Paul was miserable. He pleaded and prayed that it would go away. But God answered,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I have been given much. I am surrounded by blessings and goodness and extra joy beyond joy. God has allowed this. And I could become quite complacent, conceited even, with all this blessing. And God knew this. So He gave me a weakness: a desire for success and tangible reward. And, because I did not use this as it was intended, I was miserable.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to measure up. There is nothing wrong with desiring to be an exemplary mommy. In a backlash against Pinterest, I have read countless mommy-blogs that reiterate over and over, "you don't have to be perfect..." And, while this is true, there's a piece missing.
You were designed to crave success. You were designed to seek rewards.
But we've been looking in the wrong places.
Someday, I will find out how I did as a mommy. Someday, I will be given my reward. It won't be today. It won't be on this earth. I won't be able to frame it in a cute, Pinterest-project-frame.
But it will come.
I will receive a reward.
Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
If my work is the work of eternity it will speak for itself.
If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
And Christ himself has told me,
"Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done."
So, I will keep striving for perfection. I may not have a Pinterest-board house, but I want a Pinterest-board heart: beautifully, perfectly tended, selfless, and loving.And I won't know where I stand, until the very end. The Lord has given me a desire for success... And I will pray daily for His tuning of my heart. I'm weak and inadequate. But in this God is glorified.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses.
And someday... I will find my reward.
Although, kissing this sweet face is a reward in and of itself!