Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Little Honesty For the Here and Now

Ohhh, folks. Do you ever have those days when you are all out of sorts, more than tired, and simply down on yourself? I had one of those afternoons yesterday. The bummer was that it fell after a lovely morning when I had breakfast by myself at Corner Bakery and spent time delighting in a passage from the Bible. Those kinds of mornings are very rare (I had a client cancellation) and I thought that the rest of the day would be as blissful and sweet.

It wasn't.

By last night I began to recognize some depressing thoughts. I had gone from a feeling of contentment to the belief that I was a bad wife, mother, counselor and friend. I had a long list of phone calls, both work-related and personal, that I had yet to return. I felt overwhelmed by the idea that, "I'm letting everyone down." I forgot to baste the chicken breasts and they were dry after being grilled. "I'm a terrible cook - Russ must get so tired of my lack of creativity in the kitchen." I was bone-tired and had decided to miss a standing girl's night where I receive both accountability and true friendship. "They are going to be mad at me - they're going to think I don't really care about them."

And sometimes I read over other blogs that I typically enjoy and suddenly find myself comparing my life to the lives of these other women (who I don't know, don't share life with) ...and I end up feeling terrible. How do they have the time to have beautiful gardens, impromptu photo sessions with their children that look professional, the latest fashions, decorating skills, sewing "how-to's" and homemade recipes? Why do I feel so pitifully crappy in comparison?

See? I told you I was in a bad headspace.

I came across this poem here today.

Song for a Fifth Child.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

(by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton)

It caught my breath a little. Tears sprang to my eyes. I felt validated. Because yesterday I made up a song for Davy and sang it to her and she laughed the whole way through. We took a walk and she babbled the whole time. I am choked up just thinking about the fact that she isn't comparing me to anyone else. I'm her Momma and I'm all she knows.

I have battled performance-driven Christianity for so long and I make my living showing people the way out of that madness. And yet here I am, blindsided by it again. What I mean by that is that it only takes a few hours for my thoughts to go from believing that my Savior has ransomed me from a belief that I have to work for His approval, for His love... to trying to earn it. He has given it to me freely and because it cost Him His very own life, He is hurt and offended when I attempt to prove myself to Him.

This little bit of honesty comes after posts upon posts of self-bragging, trying so hard to prove that I'm a cool, funny, intelligent person. Just being real, y'all. This train of thought probably appears a little jumbled and addled. That's okay. It only proves that I need my Savior badly - that I need His rescue from a world that judges me according to what I can DO, instead of Whose child I am.

(I put this photo on here for 2 reasons: One, because I am reminded that I don't love my mom for her cooking, cleaning, or any other motherly talent. I love her because she's my Momma! And two, so that you can see a little of the resemblance between D and I.)


The Mitchells said...

I love you more and more the more I hear your heart. Thank you for being my "heart friend".

Kay said...

How amazing to think that the Lord takes the same delight in us that we take in Davy! He just treasures us.

Chrys and Mike said...

much love, sweet friend.


Rachael said...

You are my FAVORITE! I love you so ... and little D looks sooo much like you! Lucky girl!

Matt Mooney said...

a good word. a great poem.
i needed them both today.
thanks, becky.


Dwelling said...

Oh Becky.....thanks so much. That poem truly blessed me and I so relate to your words. Thanks for your honesty.

life with the wisners said...

oh friend. i don't know whether i should cry because it hit a little too close to home. or beam from ear to ear because i'm so honored to be your friend.

your honesty? it's what brings people to you. it is. it's so refreshing. and beautiful.

and please know we all feel like this sometimes. i'm not using the overused "i know EXACTLY how you feel" line. i'm just saying -- hopefully it's nice to know that you've got partners in crime.

thank you for this. you are a beautiful woman.

love you, dude.

Mike and Jess said...

What a beautiful, honest post. I love the reminder that we don't love our Moms because of what they did to make our homes clean, or put dinner on the table, or "have it all together" - even though I am not a Momma yet, I loved this reality.

And love how much Davy looks JUST like you as a baby! Sweet picture!

Shauna said...

Do you enjoy making me cry?

Katy said...

Beckles, we are all plagued with thoughts of inadequacy. I don't have a child or husband and it usually involves me being a bad friend, roommate and not measuring up to the artist I think I need to be. Praise God that you shared this...out loud...to others. Because then you've confessed what's really bothering you and you'll have so much more freedom!

One thing we talked about in our small group last night was our freedom in Christ. Why do I choose to live in bondage that I make for myself instead of the freedom God is giving me?

Live freely Beckles!

The G Berg Family said...

How did you get into my head to write the first part of this entry?....the part before the poem. Wow, I believe you hit home with me. Thanks for the encouragement in the poem and reminders of what's important.

dianeroutson said...

Becky, you are so honest and good. Please don't change and please be more forgiving of yourself. You did what you were supposed to do, be Davy's Mom.
And, yes, she does look like her Momma, and you are both beautiful! I love you, Dear Niece.

Sarah said...

Love it, Becky! Motherhood is tough, isn't it?! Figuring out how to be the mom God created each one of us to be is a challenge and with things like blogs, it's so easy to compare ourselves to others. Thank you for being real! Davy will grow to love that about you, and you'll be teaching her to be real with God, with herself and with you!

Stacey said...

Thank you for the honest, encouraging and thoughtful post. Perfect.