Week 10, Day 2
Heart: Being a mom is tough. Having decided that we’re done having children, everything that baby girl accomplishes is a last at the same time it’s a first. She’s had a rough few nights, lately. She’s normally a phenomenal sleeper, so we’ve been going through the checklist of what could be going on. Gas, sickness, teething, etc. This morning she gave me a big ol’ grin and I noticed a little tooth poking through her gums. At the same time that I felt a swell of pride that my baby girl got her first tooth, my heart broke at the realization that her big gummy grin is a thing of the past. In fact, all big gummy grins are a thing of the past at our house. That tiny little tooth represents the end of an entire stage of my life. It’s a reminder that she’s not an infant anymore… she’s a baby. I will never have an infant again (unless God decides to have a sense of humor). While that is totally where we want to be, it’s a very real marker of time passing. Then I look at my other two ‘babies’ and am just blown away by how fast it all goes. It’s a good reminder that I want to be home with my kiddos. I want to be very intentional and present in this moment of their lives because, before I know it, it’ll be little more than pictures and memories.
Soul: With school starting I’ve been getting asked pretty frequently about staying home. I love that my friends and family know me and get that this is not an easy transition for me. It’s actually quite bittersweet. I shared with a friend just this morning the realization that much of my self-worth and value has been based on my accomplishments as a teacher. I love teaching math (I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before), but more than that, I was good at it. I’m not trying to be arrogant, I was certainly not the best, but I was and still am proud of my role as math teacher. I had great relationships with my students, colleagues and supervisors. I was regularly affirmed and openly valued as a teacher. Now I’m at home focusing on my roles of wife, mommy, daughter of Christ and am finding that, though infinitely more important, they are also outrageously more difficult. There is very little affirmation and when there is, it seems as though it comes months or years down the road. Ultimately, though tough, I believe these are good things because Christ gets the glory. It’s easy to unknowingly claim the glory for things when we’re affirmed too often. We can get caught in a web of ‘I accomplished that’ and forget that it was done by the blessing and power of Christ. I’m excited about this journey at home, though I expect it will take patience and a lot of faith!
Strength: I’m finding myself torn by the desire to be healthy conflicting with the very real societal preference of being thin. I desperately want to seek health for the sake of my children and myself, but there’s an undeniable longing to be thin, toned, and beautiful purely for the sake of being thin, toned, and beautiful. Then, in the midst of this struggle, I find myself wanting to say ‘forget it altogether’ because I’m tired of the fight in my head. I’m having the hardest time feeling good about where I’m at because I haven’t really decided where I want to go. Out loud, I’ll readily admit to wanting to be healthy and not concerned with being thin because this is the ‘right’ answer. But, I’m getting so sick of fighting the voice in my head that says, “That isn’t entirely true, Christi. You want to be thin. You want to be and feel beautiful. You want people to look at you and think, ‘Wow! Her husband is a lucky guy!’” Ugh… I do want those things. But I want them for selfish reasons… I want them for what are, ultimately, false reasons. Being thin and beautiful won’t guarantee that my marriage will work out, it won’t guarantee that my children will never be embarrassed by me, it won’t even guarantee that I wake up every morning loving myself. In fact, none of those are guarantees. The only thing that seems guaranteed is that this inner struggle is all too real and, to be honest, it sucks…