I really love motherhood. I just love most everything about it.
But, truth be told…there are days that I am ugly inside and out, and the calling on raising our daughters that we talk about here every day seems rather UNglorious.
I’m not diminishing the work Jesus created or set for me to do.
It is more of a heart problem and there are days that I need a major fixer upper.
I know my Jesus loves you and me. He loves the ugly stain of my frustration and discouragement right out of me. And the unseen is where the glory lies. Even when we cannot see past our mixed up feelings and wrong starts to a day.
Sometimes, learning to love our mess is the biggest obstacle to BEING lovely and loving to our family.
Today, I slipped into my favorite jeans, a comfy burgundy oversized sweater, and the warmest socks I could find. My husband whispered that we were disapperaring for a coffee date and I had ten minutes to be ready. My hand-knit, cobalt blue hat came to my bed-head rescue.
Honestly, my ugly heart wanted to stay put in bed, even if it meant giving up an hour with my husband. I know youre gawking at this. Maybe even ready to tell me how lucky I am to have such a gem of a guy and the liberty to leave for coffee. You’re right. But that ugly part of me that is hard to love? He just keeps right on loving it back.
And that’s the truth of motherhood. My heart wasn’t quite there, my appearance was pure organic and wintry pasty white, and I just wanted more sleep. But, I did it. I went for the bitter cold winter plunge, and drug my body out for a coffee date with my man.
It was worth it. The coffee didn’t warm my heart. The company did. Sometimes I fool my own heart into thinking I know what I need and what is best for me.
Coming home to a house full of chattering, clamoring children set my day into full propeller mode, with little time for a shower and free time.
It didn’t take long for the ugly head of lies and deception in telling me that motherhood should mean that I at least get time for a shower, and I should at least be able to sit down for a minute, and I should at least get a moment to myself.
For this all seems so very unglorious right now.
Escaping to my room to change the sheets, vacuum and clean off my desk was my idea for a mental reset and rescue to my ugly spirit.
But, I didn’t make it that far. I collapsed onto my ivory comforter and closed my eyes.
You know it. A company of little princesses in their dress up clothes are now climbing up next to me, and whispering secrets about their knights and castles in my ear. The teens file in and sit on the edge of the bed and tell me about their recent discussions, and my lone youngest son, strides in at the foot of the bed.. just to be present and not miss something.
With my eyes closed and prayer from my heart, I ask God to give me patience, kindness and self control.
Oh, be careful when you ask for something. When you really want God to answer you.
“Mommy, your sweater is so soft. Can I lay on your arm?”
Love is patient.
“Mom, can you help me put my sheet on my bed?”
Love is kind.
Stock-piling my space are bodies and voices and requests.
Love is not easily angered.
I never did get to the shower that day. I am still sporting my winter knit hat through the duldrums of winter life in the north, and I continue to clean up melted puddles of snow in my entryway that have soaked through my warm and comfy socks.
I continue to count my blessings and remember that this life I have seems quite unglorious when I am not showing love, living in love and learning to love the unlovely.
Love always hopes and always perserveres.
Even when I am so unlovely on the inside, my Father in Heaven reminds me of His sacrifice and my family continues to love me.
Are you having a hard time loving yourself or your family?
Maybe you just plain feel unlovely?
Getting to the heart of our ugliness will shed light on how to turn it around.
Give yourself some wiggle room and let love pour in and watch it seep through the cracks of your tough exterior.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7New International Version (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.