Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Heart, Sloths and Acedia

As I mentioned, but did not describe in my previous blog post, this past Sunday's message at church was a life changing one. For the past few weeks, I have been really struggling with my self-worth and my purpose in life. These feelings always coincide with how things are going at home with my girlies... and these past few weeks have been rough. For no particular reason, just hard. I found myself easily irritated, very short, impatient and wishing I was anywhere else except at home with my kids. My girlies obviously don't respond positively to my demeanor, reacting negatively thus causing the cycle to continue. Then, I feel like crap and wonder if there is purpose in what I'm doing, leading me to spiral down into a deep pit of self-pity and unhappiness. The title of the message on Sunday was "Stop Your Grumbling" and the premise was simply that... stop complaining. How can we display, demonstrate and give love if we are in a constant state of dissatisfaction, oppression and resentment? This really struck a chord with me and my heart began to open up a little... causing my tear ducts to ripple open and spill over onto my make-up streaked cheeks (I did not look attractive at the end of this service... yikes). The point was to simply be happy in the moment... to not wish it away, to not escape mentally from whatever it was before you but to ask God to change, unfold and sculpt your heart into something better... something willing, unrestricted and jovial. I did just that. My job right now is to raise my kids... it is to be the best mom I can, day in and day out. Motherhood doesn't stop when kids aren't listening, or Annie's a grumpy, red cheeked little babe, or Isla is a bag of sass... it continues on and it's in these moments where my unconditional, supportive, teaching love is needed the most. I want, more than anything, my girls to know they are loved, cherished, valued, respected, dignified and supported, no matter what. And that starts with me... how I treat them, how I respond to their individual needs and wants, how and what I engage them with etc... I know I can't be perfect, but I want to be the best ME I can be for them. I also understand that, like any job, there are good and bad days, but the good days need to outweigh the bad, and a lot of that comes from presenting a positive attitude and treating them as I though I want to be there with them... as though there is no place in the world I would rather be than at home with them, pouring out my love. And it's amazing that once I started to think like that, my heart believed it. And my actions displayed it.
Today, I met a dear friend for a 'mall walk' and a coffee. And despite the slight distraction of our 5 kiddos, I managed to tell her about this sermon and it's affect on my little heart. She then sent me this link to a blog that she follows. Scott Tolhurst was her pastor when she was a child and he continues to pastor in BC. This post really is eye opening... we've all heard of the 7 deadly sins but his depiction and explanation of 'sloth' really expanded my knowledge of this particular sin. He made me think of it in such a different way... not laziness but more of a "distraction" or as he calls it, acedia. It's very similar to what I heard on Sunday and it really is worth a read. It solidified my desire to really revel in each moment and not just be physically present.
Being a mom is hard. Really hard. And most times, it's not rewarding. But why are we doing it? We're doing it because we love our kids... unbridled, protective, deep deep love. And we want them to be the best versions of themselves. And that's a tough thing to teach them... we need to inspire them, discipline them and teach them how to be functioning, contributing members of society. The reward comes later. And on the days that I forget this (believe me, I know those days will come), I will come back to this post and the post from Scott and remember the words of my pastor and the importance of being present, always. And finding a way to truly enjoy each and every moment I have with my girls.

*wow. that was far more passionate then I envisioned when I started this*.

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