I have been trying to say "yes" to my children more, because so often my first response is "no". I don't even know why I do this, maybe it's just the easier response. And sometimes after saying "no" I'll wonder to myself why did I just say that? Sometimes I have no good reason for it at all. So in order to be the better mommy that I am always trying to strive to be but feel as though I fail miserably day after day I have decided to start saying "yes" or at least to stop and think before I just blurt out my usual answer. So the other day as we were getting ready for school I got my first chance to put my new experiment into practice. Madi was going through her drawers looking for something to wear and after much contemplation picked out her ensemble. Now it could have been the craziness of the morning, you have to imagine our house in the morning as we get ready for school. It's complete chaos, five bowls of cereal, each person wanting a different kind, an assembly line of sandwiches to be packed into lunches. Finding shoes, jackets, backpacks and socks, oh how I loathe to find matching socks. There are always missing socks, it is a constant battle in my life daily. Oh how I miss the days when we lived in AZ and we hardly ever wore socks, I am such a flip flop girl. So back to the story, like I said it could have been the craziness of the morning or the peace that God had given me that it's going to be okay Danielle just breathe, your kids don't need to look perfect in public. I think I have this insecurity that if my kids look well groomed then people won't give me dirty looks when I go out into public with all of them, I have my fair share of stories of pitied looks, shaking heads when we pass by, and the blank stares as they count silently in their heads as they move their gaze to each child and then back to me with a look of "she must be crazy". They assume that we are Mormon or Catholic and not that we simply wanted to have this many children. We've been told straight to our faces that we are retarded for having as many kids as we do. It just amazes me that people feel the need to share their opinion without being asked, I don't recall ever asking them! My children are a reward from the Lord (Psalms 127:3) and the fact that people are thinking of my children as burdens and not as blessings makes me so sad. If they just met one of my children they would see that this world is far better off having them in it than if they weren't here at all. But as I stood there looking at Madi I just smiled and then started laughing out loud, sure Madi you can wear that it's perfect. And the funny thing is it was, she was still beautiful, sweet Madi and even better she was so incredibly proud of herself. Now I don't write this to brag on myself that I am an amazing mother, believe me I'm not I have a lot to work on still. I am writing this because I have just won a huge victory for myself! I am doing an amazing Bible study at my church called "Called to Conquer" by Dorothy Davis. This past weeks lesson was called "Defenses against the Devil" and how we need to be aware of his tactics for bringing us down. It was an eye opener to me that I have been influenced by his tactic to use lies and half-truths to deceive me. That I have been brought down by guilt and other's words to shape who I believe I am. The truth is I am His beloved, His child and I am perfect in His eyes. What a freeing feeling that was to me, that yes I have and will fail as a mother, wife, friend, sister, grand daughter and daughter but that in spite of the things I have done and will do He still loves me.
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him".
I know that was a lot but I needed to say it. She said it best... "Feelings can be a little like our laundry. Sometimes we can't sort them until we dump them out."