A society that I was well protected from and kept innocent of growing up.
Do you ever tire of constantly not measuring up in this countries eyes?
Sometimes in my mind the phrase comes over me
'Let me be a women'
Just let me be a women I think! I know how to nurture and raise a child. I know how to be a helper to my husband. I know how to be a friend who loves and how to volunteer my time. That stuff is all built into me by my creator.
But I live in a society who seems to be against everything I measure up to be and it hurts.
Normally I let things roll off my back, or try at least, but today something struck me as especially cruel and it stung deep.
I was told that being a stay at home mother is not a job.
There is so much war in this world at it hits home often.
I don't plan to defend my role as a mother to the ones who don't see me as worth anything.. I don't have to do that to the misunderstanding women who carelessly spouted off such a statement.
She didn't get it.
To be a helper to my husband and stand by his side the way Nancy Reagen did to her husband is a job I love. As well as to nurture a young child over the years and to spend myself on Him is a tiring but rewarding job.
I don't have a pay check, I don't have a degree,
but I love to learn from other, through books, and research and have spent a great deal of time educating myself on all sorts of things from flowers to our worlds history. I'm interested and didn't check out of reality when I became a wife at the age of 19 and a mother at the age of 21. And yet somehow our society believes that to be the case.
Becoming a mother placed me in a role of raising a human being who is my blessing but a responsibility I take very seriously. I am in charge of raising my son to know his creator and love him, be a law abiding citizen, and to be a respectful man.
If that's not a job well I don't know what is one.
I believe there is no one standard way to be a mother, they come in all different forms.
There's the mom that loves to slip on an apron and stand at the door when her kids come flying in after school. There's the mom who puts on a uniform and steps into an office from 9-5 and dashes off as soon as possible to see her children again. They don't look the same but they love the same and that's what's important in my opinion.
I look forward to the day when the critics will be silenced and I will stand before my heavenly father who will see that i kept His word in my heart and lived it.
Sometimes being a christian in this harsh society is rough because we are a minority but I know when we rest in eternity with our God it will have been worth it to have been different here.
Trying to measure up to the worlds standards is exhausting and i'm thankful to know Jesus and be able to hear what God thinks of me.
Be encouraged today! you measure up in God's eyes.
We are walking through the beautiful botanical gardens, my good friend and mentor, her children, and my little guy. She is once again pouring wisdom into my life. Reminding me to let the big things go in my marriage and let my man be who he is and i'm locking those words in as to never forget and remember to apply.
I was all swelled up with love for my husband this morning.
The military seems to have seasons of easy and then very difficult. I have watched my husband walk through these last few years in the navy with a positive attitude in a most humble way.
He makes me proud.
He doesn't just care about his own career path but of those around him. That's what sets him apart in my opinion.
I have watched and helped him study for tests these last few months and seen him take true initiative in moving ahead in his career.
He is passing tests and doing great.
I want to see him awarded for his sacrifice and hard work.
I didn't know that today he would come home discouraged by work.
Something that is VERY rare to see and literally breaks my heart into pieces for him.
You see if you mess with a woman's husband, you disturb his helper in life as well.
In my true wife nature i'm angry for him.
He went for a run and I went to pulling weeds and seeking God's council.
I think God is going to keep us in the dark for now but when we look back on this time we will be able to see where he stood in all of this and how he intended to work all this out for good.
I know we are both under his umbrella of authority and that brings me comfort on days when my man hurts.
He is a loyal, hard-working, well deserving man who doesn't cut corners.
He will make one incredible leader and he will have the experience to relate with others. Sometimes systems fail you and there's nothing you can do or say but I wrap my arms around him and tell him i'm sorry and then let him have space and I take to my small garden.
Don't lose site of the bigger picture and remember God is using each of these small things that we don't understand to grow us and it will all be intended for his glory.
"I'm trying to figure out how to navigate through life as a christian and what that all entails" I whisper to him as that raw place in my heart aches.
I love that in brokenness its so much easier to turn to God. (Mike Huckabee said it perfectly in this video.)
If you would have asked me one week ago what the plan was well I would have told you exactly what I believed God was leading me to do. But now this week things have unraveled leaving me unsure.
I had my hands balled up in fists the other night. My heart ached for permanence which is unrealistic in the military.
Those fists scrubbed a front porch, drilled holes in different places, hung baskets and a lantern, painted furniture, pulled a cord to the mower, spray painted chairs, picked up scattered toys, and stayed tight all day refusing to accept the truth of what was deep within.
Confusion, loneliness, and a heart in need of a friend to come alongside and say 'laura, you're doing alright, i'm here'.
I was thrilled to have plans with our time over the next 3 years. We were to be sent to a shore duty for those three years and it was going to fix my desire for normal. I looked forward to that time and even was okay with not knowing where we'd be exactly but deep inside hoped we'd be close to family again.
When he told me of a different calling a mixture of pride and disappointment swelled up within.
The future became unclear once again.
I didn't have control of our circumstances.
When I sat at that kitchen table pouring my heart over page after page of what seemed to be a clear message on what route to take with this book, i beamed.
It was wonderful to have some control over this vision and see the beginning stages being played out. I thought God and I were on the same page.
A week later i'm nothing but unsure and its discouraging.
That desire for control quickly got in the way.
Those fists slowly turned to palms faced towards heaven and a heart full of an 'i'm so sorry for getting in the way Lord'
I'm down on my knees tonight working on surrendering.
I do believe that when I look back years from now i'll see how God did even more then I imagined or could plan.
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps
Getting over ourselves doesn't happen overnight. Its something we choose daily.
With all of that said here is what was worked on today :)
I still have to hang the mirror, make a new banner, decorate some more but its really coming along!
Right now our bed is a mattress that sits directly on the floor. When we moved into the rental home our box spring didn't fit upstairs. For almost 6 months i've worked around that and still made a nice space to call our room. All the while trying not to compare too much to the rooms i'd love to have one day.
In the last 6 months my good friend and mentor has really pushed me to enjoy the moment and bloom where God plants us.
I have been a navy wife for almost 3 years.
A lot has happened in those 3 years. I have moved a couple of times, unpacked alone, found new churches, new doctors, new places to call home, and new friends. As a military wife you sort of figure it all out but speaking from my personal experience when the dust settles part of me longs for a bit of the same for longer.
Learning to see being a military spouse as a chosen role has really helped. God chose your family and mine, and when we're serving and honoring Him he'll bless us for that.
I am a sensitive girl who would love nothing more then to snuggle up on the couch and read a book in my cozy beach cottage home. Have my husband home by 5 each night, have the same girlfriends for life, live down the street from family, and become a member of the same church.
I long for a simple quiet life.
Its kind of selfish sounding but as a military wife God has made me extremely uncomfortable. This life is the complete opposite of what I desire. But I remember saying, 'Alright Lord, if this is where you're leading then I will follow'.
His will doesn't take me away from Himself, it always has a way of pulling me in closer. I don't know what season your in, work-ups, deployment, lonely, full of friendships, a home that fits you well, or a time of rest for the family, but know that you matter.
The single mom that you are when he is away, the same toys you picked up everyday for the past month, the tears that have spilled over, and the sacrifice that you have made.
God sees all of that. You're allowed your 'I just want to be sad or mad days' because you are also that woman who knows when its time to pull up the bootstraps and go on with life.
I'm proud to know so many of you.
For a young navy wife, you matter because you're an example and a safe place to look when my future is unsure.
A rather large storm has moved in the area but you are more then welcome to plop down across this dining room table and enjoy it with me!
Are you feeling especially not worthwhile today?
Speaking from a life spent 'on the bubble' i hear you.
Throughout high school I was an average student and athlete. I fought that constant reminder that i was only just average when i didn't make the softball team, swing choir the second year, a nice role in the school music, or the varsity cheerleading squad.
When most of my peers went off to college at these big named schools I walked through the doors of a local community college unsure of what was ahead. I only made it through a couple semesters when I found myself sitting behind a desk taking people's money and cashing checks as a bank teller.
You're in good company today friend, i have been there and those memories still cause a pinch to the heart.
Becoming a wife and a mother did not promote me to feeling any more worthwhile either. But when God grabbed a hold of my heart he made sense of a lot and I began to learn why this life of yours and mine matters so much to Him.
You are worth it!
This week we'll expand on this more but for today I leave you with this picture.
Did you know that having children rings an alarm that can blare a constant reminder?
Well maybe not for you but speaking from experience as a young mother i've never been more aware of how selfish I am. I remember when it hit me that this culture now looks at having more than 2 children as a mistake I stopped and thought, wow that's selfish.
Having two children doesn't require a larger vehicle. When traveling in an airport you have two hands to hold each child. It isn't such a financial burden, and its easier to handle only one or two.
If we can keep the number of children down then we have more time for ourselves, right?
Now don't misunderstand I know plenty of families who only have two children and this is not the case for them*
But if you step back and glance over our culture this is the message being whispered.
The mom with three or four children gets the disapproving glance. When out to the store she is being looked at as not doing a good job because the third child is hiding in a clothes rack while the first and fourth child are having a pinching war. Hectic as it is for her no one offers an encouraging word. Instead, they sort of shake their head and believe she should have more control if she is going to have that many children.
So we have started to have fewer children to fit into this message that its easier on us not having as many.
How we're robbing ourselves though! Now I don't intend to send you the message that its time to have more kids but I do want to make a point that children are a gift from God. They matter to Him and its clear throughout scripture of his desire for us to love children. They teach us that its not about us, and with their slimy hands they remind us how to have fun again. They reveal the dirt in us and allow God to use them to clean up the mess in our hearts. Being a mother to only one right now i'm learning a great deal about myself and how very wrong i've been going about following God even.
This morning I went to the Bible to find a specific passage on how Jesus tells us to follow him we have to deny ourselves and pick up our own cross. (Mark 8:34)
But in searching I flipped around Philippians and Paul's word really touched me on having an attitude like Christ.
Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
As a mom being more concerned for my child isn't always the most difficult in situations when he is hurt, or needs his mom. Its in the moments when i'm exhausted and he's pulling at my leg whining that I'm reminded of how quickly I desire to be selfish.
We can't mother in the way God desires when we're apart from Him.
We have to die to self daily because he has plans for us, oh boy does he ever! Those dreams and visions he's working out in you right now are going to be something to expand the kingdom of heaven, trust me on this!
But its going to take a whole lot of surrendering ourselves to Him in order that he can mold us to be more like Christ.
Its going to hurt and we're not going to look like the rest of this world but if you bear with him through the times he allows you to go through the fire, the results will be a woman who gives thanks to the Lord and proclaims his greatness. (psalm 105:1)
Going through life the 'safe' way along with the world will bring you all the worldly comforts. But going through life God's way will bring you joy and a citizenship in heaven for all of eternity.