A Letter to Myself: Remember This

Dear Jess,

I want you to remember this. This night when your beautiful boy fell asleep on the ride home at 5:45pm. Remember the excitement of the possibility of a night alone with the hubby. Remember the heartache when you realized that a quiet night isn’t what you really wanted, you wanted to play with your boy. You wanted to hear about his day and to cuddle him and smell his hair.

Remember this feeling the next time he asks you to play with him and you’re about to do the dishes.

They can wait.

Remember this feeling the next time everyone wakes up late and all he wants to do is get your attention.

Getting dressed and ready can wait.

Remember this feeling when he is extra whiny at the end of a long day and instead of hiding from it, embrace him and love him.

Because these days are going by much too fast and the more I work, the more I miss him and the more he misses me. Trying to live more intentionally for me means that I want to notice when my son needs some more time with me. I want that day when I didn’t get to be with him at all to be a reminder to make as many special moments as I can, whenever I can, because that morning I didn’t. I was in a hurry to get out the door. Remember that little guy with the blue eyes is more important than the housework and he is more important than you wearing make up to work.

Finally, really make sure to remember this when he wakes you up at 6:20am on the next day. He misses you too, and he is ready to take on the day, with you, his mom, that he loves oh so much.

Don’t ever forget that you are doing a great job! While you’re worried about your mistakes, he’s there thinking about how awesome you are! Go hold him and play with him and show him what fun is.

I love you.

– Me 🙂

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The Thing I Forget Most Often

One of the things I learned early on is that when Mama is ready to go, the whole house moves faster. When I attend to myself first (and I’m talking hair, makeup, clean clothes) it’s SO much easier to get the rest of the house done with the same.

However, in other areas of my life I’m not so disciplined with putting myself first. I tend to work out everyone else’s schedule before my own, get everyone else’s laundry done, drive the family where they need to go, feed everyone first, and the list goes on. Please don’t read this as a “poor me” post. I like to do these things, I like that I’m on top of most things and I can get it done.

No, the thing that I forget most often in all of this is to take care of myself.

After many years I’ve realized that I need time to refuel myself too. When I don’t do this, I become bitter and resentful and generally not happy and all of that feeds into my depression. I’m not sure why taking care of myself is so low on the priority list for me, but it is. And while I don’t want to go to the other extreme and be demanding or high maintenance, I do want to develop a habit of taking care of myself.

For me, recharging could be reading a book, taking a shower, organizing the closet or even watching the new “Good Luck Charlie” episode. (Yes, I love that show!) I need to remember that recharging doesn’t have to be an all day thing, that it could be a few minutes here or something penciled in there.

Most of the time finding what it is that I need to recharge isn’t the issue, the real issue is letting myself take that time. The issue is reminding myself that I deserve the time to myself too. So often I think I get caught up in what I think I should be doing and thoughts like “how could I read my book when there are rooms to clean” that I don’t let myself take the time I need.

So yesterday morning I thought it would be nice to take a run. Not that I often run, but after a weekend of Bacon Caramel Truffles I think my body was craving some movement. It felt SO good. Not just to exercise, to breathe fresh air, and to be alone, but to see something I needed and go after it. That was the best recharge I could have given myself.

– Jess

 

Not Proud, But Honest

My husband tells me I don’t understand. He says I’ve never been there and I won’t understand until I am.

Maybe I don’t understand. I’m naive and optimistic and I’ve known this about myself for pretty much all my life. And honestly I prefer it that way. I don’t like the bitter, pessimistic person I was for a couple years in my mid-twenties.

Is the judgement we feel from others, really just our own guilt and judgement of ourselves? If we say up and down that we are ok with a certain decision and yet we can’t bring ourselves to let our friends find out, then are we really ok with it?

And I have felt like people were judging me. When I broke off my engagement a few years back because I wasn’t happy and it wasn’t right. I was judged. When I willingly gave up my car and lived without one for over two years, I was judged. Every day through high school when I wore what I had and not the latest name brands, I was judged. Does this judgment not count because these are menial things?

But really my question is – is that judgement really that much different from Christian judgement? And what makes Christian judgement so much worse? Is that what I don’t understand? Is it that much worse because you care about the people who end up judging you?

Is it because we assume that the majority of those who judge others are hypocrites? (And is that me judging the judging habits of others?) We all have skeletons in the closet and just because you didn’t do whatever it is you’re judging me for doesn’t mean you haven’t done something else supposedly judge-worthy.

The truth is that no matter where you go, no matter who you meet, no matter which church you attend, you will probably encounter some sort of judgement. But guys we can’t listen to that. Yes it’s hurtful and it makes us ask ourselves and selft-dout and guilt. But that isn’t from God. We know that right? So why is it so hard to shake?

Why is judgement as opposed to jokes and taunts so hard to face. To call it for what it is and shake it off.

And yet I sit here writing this and I’m reminded of all the times that I’ve talked about the hard stuff in life. And I cringed and my voice got soft and I tried to hide what I was really saying hoping they would pick up in between the lines because I can’t just say – here’s the supposedly horrible thing I did that may make me a “bad person” in your eyes. Followed closely by “but here’s the really great outcome because if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t be here yada yada”. Is the guilt and justification that I feel coming from them or from me?

I understand that this is easy to say now and harder to live out but I accept my skeletons. I accept my ghosts. I’m not proud of it, but I accept it. And I’ll be open with you about it. Because I’m not going to fear being judged. And I’m not going to lie about my life. I’m going to trust God that He forgives me and He will use my life experiences to help others not make the “mistakes” I made. But if they do – well then I’m here to  love them. LOVE them. To cry and smile and laugh and move forward. Because I’ve been there – I’ve been judged, and I’ve done things that others will judge me for when they find out and unfortunately I’m sure I’ve been the one judging others too. <— See definitely not proud…but honest. 🙂

True love doesn’t judge, or keep a record of wrongs. True love forgives.
Our highest commandment is to love. Always love.