Be Still, My Heart!

I’ve been unemployed for just over a month now. Yet, among job searches, school lunches and family dinners, I find myself feeling that I am living a life I never thought I’d deserve-life is just that good right now!

I’ve been more disconnected from the world than I had been since joining the online social frenzy years ago. I log onto my facebook but I do so to share what I feel the need to share and I no longer look longingly at picture perfect meals that are posted or extravagant family vacation photos that are being shared.

It isn’t that I don’t care for what my friends are sharing, it’s that I’ve found that admiring the polished aspect of other people’s lives that they choose to share, often leads to my comparing my real life to it and I inevitable become discouraged!

I mean, it isn’t that I consider myself a failure by any means but it isn’t in my nature to be competitive, either. Not to sound presumptuous, but I’ve always only attempted being better than myself and I don’t view anyone else as competition.

So, when I began feeling discouraged over facebook posts about other people’s seemingly perfect cooking and perfect lives, it made me question myself.

Why do I care what other people post or which aspect of their lives they choose to show the world? The answer came to me while having a conversation with my son today. He said “Mom, you gave me the best gift anyone could ever give me”! He had been outside working on his truck so I figured, he was referring to it since he does love his truck-a bit much if you ask me. 😉

Instead, he said “I inherited your brains and resourcefulness. You know there is little I can’t fix?” That my friends made me realize that the reason I question myself and compare my life to that of those people on my facebook feed is because I want to be the best parent that I can be because I feel that my kids deserve no less!

The thought of other people out there being better parents than I am, intimidates me! It makes me wonder whether I’m doing this whole parenting thing right. I mean, even realizing that it’s been years since we took a family vacation or did anything worthy of a facebook post made me feel discouraged about my life.

As if I weren’t already doubting myself enough, the other day, I read a blog post on the topic of how centered parenting has become on pleasing our children and on how much we tend to sacrifice, as parents, to provide them the things we feel we lacked when we were growing up. It explained how doing so has enabled most children to grow up with a sense of entitlement.

That article made me doubt my parenting skills so much that, for a moment, I was convinced I’ve ruined my children for the rest of their lives because while I don’t over indulge them with material possessions or extravagant family vacations, I do make it a point to provide my children with all the love, security and understanding that I never had as a child.

I thought “Oh, good Lord! I knew I was doing it all wrong, I knew I should re-think that whole corporal punishment thing and perhaps come up with some new rules around here so that I can begin enforcing them as soon as possible”. >.<

Days passed and the guilt of what a poor job I was doing kept nagging at me in the back at my mind. Then, this past weekend, my little one and I drove to our local Walmart and as we were leaving, I asked her if she was hungry so we could grab a snack because it’d be a while until we got home and she replied "No. But can we buy a snack and a drink for him?" while looking out the window at an older man who was sitting on the curb with a cardboard sign that read "Homeless veteran, please help".

We drove across he street and grabbed him a hot meal and a nice cold drink. As soon as we handed them over to him, my little one said "I feel good about this, Mom. I know we're not supposed to do things to feel good about ourselves but rather to help others feel better about themselves but I just can't help feeling really good about helping him."

In that moment, all doubt I had about whether I'm doing a good parenting job left my mind and my heart was filled to the brim with joy at the realization of how fortunate I am to have such an amazing human being call me Mom!

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From that experience, I learned that what I need to keep in mind is that no one is playing with marked cards here, no one knows exactly what they are doing or has all the secrets to perfect parenting, or perfect living. We are all learning as we go and I'm pretty sure, we are all just as afraid of all the ways in which we fear we might be doing it all wrong.

So, I've decided that rather than compare my life to other people's, I'm going to continue enjoying it just as it is and I will continue being grateful for it all!!

Be still, my heart! Be still!! (:

-Mari

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6 thoughts on “Be Still, My Heart!

  1. During the winter last year I was driving my daughter to school, we were running late , and we stopped by a CVS, to get some supplies for a project for her, while I was walking in she asked me if I saw the two ladies sitting in the car full of things, and it was a very cold morning. I said I did not but rushed getting her out and off to class before being late. But my child being my daughter was taught well by my actions always, not to brag but we relay wonderful things each day about selfless actions we do to our kids! As she got out of the car, she said, dad please check on the women. But she already knew I would, because every person in need that walked up to us since she was in kindegarten I would share with and as she got older I would give her the money to share with them…so it became 2nd nature. I went back and the two ladies a mother and a daughter would turn the car on a while then off. On the way i stopped by the atm, I had 150.00 left in my pocket until payday I withdrew 100.00 and stopped by their car, i asked if everything was ok, and they said yes, i told them god had told my daughter they needed help, and they opened up. I gave them the hundred ,and they told me they were running out of gas and did not know what to do and something had told them to wait there. But they did not trust me the stranger at first until I mentioned God. They had lost their home and was on the way to relatives. And with that money they would have gas, food and would be able to make it the rest of the way. I tell you the story because 5 months later my wife lost her job and with it 70 % of our income. We could not pay our mortgage and its been on the block since last may for sale. We owe more on it then its worth 400k owed and value 265k now, but the house will be sold soon, we had no place to stay but a very good friend from the military opened her house to us. The expenses from both places will sock it to us…but we are never without. God loves a cheerful giver especially when you help those in need. The blessing you have always given to your son and daughter is one that is worth its weight in gold, because GOD will always be with you and them all the days of your lives. When we give to another not matter what we give to God and emulate his most precious traits. It does not surprise me Mari, I have told you I know your heart well, we who give selflessly from our heart will never be without, especially His love. I smile from ear to ear because of what you shared…do not worry, we are always with you. Love to you always…my sister!

    1. You always have just the words I need, Wendell! Thank you for sharing this with me. Someone once told me that they didn’t understand my parenting because I don’t believe in spanking my kids, that they seem to have too much freedom to think for themselves and that I take their opinion too seriously. I was even told that I should put my foot down and make them do as I say because I’m the adult, and they should always do as I say, no questions asked. That perhaps I’m overcompensating them for the lack of their fathers’ presence in their lives.

      I could have been offended but I chose to take it as a compliment because if I have accomplished to raise two people who can think for themselves so that they will know right from wrong even when I am no longer around to point it out, my job here is done!

      I have learned more from my children than they will possibly ever learn from me and if I don’t live to see another miracle in my life, I am ok with it because all I have to do is look at my children to be reminded that I was part of two of them already!

      Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, but you are so right when you say that God is always with us. There is not doubting that. I do believe that everything has a purpose and so, every setback is a setup for a comeback! Your words made me smile, too!! (:

      Love to you and your loved ones, Wendell!

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