I will never be the have-it-all-together mom.
As we speak, there are approximately 7-9 loads of laundry of my couch, which has lovingly been named “The Laundry Couch”. There are pine needles in my living room carpet even though the tree was moved out days ago. There are piles in almost every room of the house that need to be addressed. And the list could seriously go on and on. As I just texted my friend “I had my cleaning freak out last week (I organized all of the kids’ toys and clothes) and now I’m over it.”
Over the past couple weeks as I took a break from writing to focus on family time, I started getting down on myself about not having it more together. I felt like with the new year I should have all these posts and goals and posts on goals and maybe some goal posts.
I could see the endless cycle of the “not enoughs” and “not doing it rights” and so I stopped, took a deep breath and thought “well, where do I want to go this year?” and while I have a few specific goals I also have an event that will change everything about our way of doing things mid-year. In July, we will, Lord willing, be welcoming Baby #4 and everything will get turned all topsy turvy until we figure out a new system that works for us.
And until then, and then, and after then, all I could think when I thought where I wanted to go was into more GRACE. I want to rush headlong into it, dive into, like a pile of feathers, and let it rain down over me. I want to see all the cracks and messes where grace is working and I want to remember that any of the good things working are grace, too. And I want to share grace freely. I want to hand it out like a prize on a talk show.
I also know there’s thing I need to work on and grow in.
Remember how last year my word was “Present” but I couldn’t even type it out loud until July because I was a big fat scaredy cat and thought I’d mess it up? Well guess what? I’m still working on it. Working on being present with my kids when scrolling is just easier and asks less questions. Working on being present with my husband when there’s a lull in the conversation I could fill another way. Working on being present in my own head by not drowning out my thoughts with song lyrics or fictional character drama from TV shows.
This year, we’ll welcome a 4th baby, Lord willing, and I’ve never had 4 kids before. I will need to work on how to keep up with the laundry and cook food for all of the people and get sleep and showers.
I need to work on some of my home management skills. Some of daily habits. And some of how I spend my time.
And I want to be more consistent in the habits and the enthusiasm I express for them.
What I need is some grace-filled growth.
Sometimes that is a couple steps forward, a step back. Like when I started being actively being thankful for my husband. Not every day was unicorns and rainbows but continuing on in it brought a lot of growth in both me and our marriage.
Sometimes it’s keeping this plate spinning while this other one crashes to the ground. Like this year I’ve really worked on the kitchen being a priority throughout the day instead of after the kids go to bed and I’m doing dishes until 11. But that means that the laundry pile of clean but not-yet-folded laundry is still sitting there because I let that plate drop while I kept the other plate spinning.
Sometimes it’s like a kick in the pants. Like my husband really encouraging me to move more during this pregnancy and buying me a gym membership, which I shockingly don’t hate.
And sometimes it’s all of those together, or other ones added in, and all thrown together like a tossed salad of things.
So regardless of whether you came up with resolutions (I didn’t), a word of the year (mine is grace), goals (I did mine in October so they’re still fresh), or specific habit changes (yup), I know we will all have our good days and our bad days. We will have days where we feel like we nailed it and days where we want to crawl back into bed and start over.
And I want to be here, cheering you on, reminding you that grace is the good coming out on the good days and beauty in the everything on the hard days.
For a while now, I’ve been wanting to start a Facebook group for our little corner of the internet. And I think now is the time to start it. It will be a place where we can do some life together, as close as we can get to having coffee together. We can talk about things in marriage and motherhood, and we can encourage each other in grace-filled growth.
And that’s what I’ll be doing on the blog this year – talking about grace, grace-filled growth, sharing my mess, and showing how our mess becomes a place for ministry.