Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Change: Learning to accept who God needs me to be

For many of you who may have been reading my blog since the beginning(it’s been over 7 years now), you may have noticed a slight change in me.

I used to be this kind of mom:

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The kind that made a separate cake for the 3 children who celebrate birthdays in August.  (sidenote: I was pregnant with Tess at this time, and got put on bed rest the next day.  Maybe making 3 cakes did me in?) 

I did this because I loved doing it.  No matter how tired it made me, I loved being this kind of mom.

(FYI: I didn’t do it for praise on my blog or for my followers.  I did it for my family and for me.  I blogged about it for history.  I love reading the blogs that are full of fun party ideas, and cool mothers who make everything they do look beautiful for the sake of sharing pretty photos and ideas(that is great for them, and more awesome for those of us who steal the ideas). I do want to point out though, that that is not what drives me as a mother or a blogger.  Is this pin-worthy? That is not a question I ask before I post.  The person I used to be as a blogger and a mother, was driven by love and too many creative cells rolling around in my brain; that needed to be used up.)

Now, I’m more like this kind of mom:

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You know, the kind that buys cupcakes from Cold Stone, and puts them out on a pretty platter to resemble something homemade. (I am stressing the fact, that I am not writing this to guilt people, and make them believe that I don’t think store bought cakes are good enough.  I think they are awesome, and they are way more delicious.  Especially if the cake was made by me.  Praise to the bakeries who save us mothers each day with their beautiful and delicious cakes.)

What I am saying; is I have changed. 

Life has changed for me, and life has changed me.

1. my kids are growing and keeping me busier than ever. Like as we speak I am trying to type this, load an app for their piano lessons, help a child with homework, get one off to scouts, tell one daughter why she can’t play pretend with water in her tea cups for the umpteenth time, and help another plan a late night with a friend.  My brain wants to explode.  There is no time for making cakes, and if there were I’m just to tired, and in too much pain.

2. my health has come along and just slapped me in the face. (I never ever thought in my 20’s or even my early 30’s that my physical body would be my trial.)  If there is time for cool cakes and such, and I’m not too tired; my neck just plain hurts. I live with chronic neck pain, upper shoulder pain, and a left arm and left fingers that are tingly numb; on a daily basis.  No! If your wondering.  I am finally putting it out there; my surgery didn’t help.

Because of that, I know that slaving over 3 birthday cakes is just not smart for a girl with my neck and arm condition.

So… What am I trying to say here?

I’ve changed.  For a long time, I thought that I had changed for the worse.  Have I changed for the better?  Not really.  I’ve just changed.  Not for the worse or for the better.

Making homemade cakes, or buying cakes doesn’t make me any less or any better of a person.  It doesn’t define me.

I have to be ok with the new person I am.  I have to be ok knowing that some days I have to just take it easy.  I have to be ok with the fact that I can’t do all of the things that I used to. 

I am a knew person with different limits and capabilities.

I have to be smart with how I use my time and energy.

It just isn’t smart for me to use up all my energy making 3 beautiful cakes, when I have laundry to finish or dinner to make, or! or! a daughter to talk to about not putting water in her tea cups, in her room, on her carpet. Again!!  Ugh!!  That last thing mentioned here is the kind of instance that takes up way to much brain power and uses way too much energy.  You think I’m kidding? Well, I’m not. My brain capacity must be limited.

It is smart for me to learn what my limits are. 

I’m trying.  It’s hard.

It’s hard to be ok with change.  Especially in yourself.

When you only see the negative about yourself.

When you beat yourself up for what you can’t do. 

I have to tell you the hardest part of all of this has been Exercise.

I used to be the girl that exercised every day.  Now I have to take it one day at a time.  If it fits in the busy schedule, and if I feel well enough; I do it.  Sometimes if I feel well enough, and I do it; I pay for it.  I have to be ok with that.

I decided about a month ago, that I have to be ok with the new me.  No more guilt about who I used to be.

God loves me either way.  In fact, he is making me in to the woman that he needs me to be.

That person just happens to live with chronic pain.  He is using that pain to refine me. That girl has had 4 surgeries in the last 2 years.  That girl has more scars on her stomach than she can count; including one that runs the whole length of it.  That mommy, has another one on her neck; that makes her feel self conscience when she wears her hair in a bun.

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No more!! The new me has scars.  So what? Those scars are wounds that I wouldn’t trade for the treasure trove of knowledge that God gave me along the way. 

And… and… I like my hair in a bun!! So I’m going to rock it, and not think anymore about that scar.

The new me has to celebrate the scars, and the pain.  Even when I feel like crying because it never ends.  Sometimes the crying gives you perspective.  Perspective is a word that has played a huge part of my vocab lately. 

Sometimes I want to ask why? I really have to ask what? What now? What is important for me to be doing?

The new mommy with the busier kids, has to learn to adapt to the changes these growing kids are throwing at me.  Am I giving them what they need?

That is the most important what I can ask.  God just wants me to give them what they need.  I know it, or he wouldn’t have sent them to me.

Do they need a homemade birthday cake?

Will God only love me if I can provide them with an amazing summer learning all about the alphabet?

Am I only worthy of his love if I can hit the gym 5 days a week?

Nope.

I am loved regardless.

Change is ok. 

I am trying to adapt; without the guilt, and without the worry about my scars.

They all make up the new me.

The new me can be just as cool as the old me. 

So… I’m putting a new spin on Andrea:

Store bought cakes, less on my to-do list, high messy buns, trying to be a loving mother, a listening friend, working on the patience(as I have been for my entire life),and learning to be the girl God wants me to be.

And!! My gift to you: This little article helped me with my perspective.

I pray that you too can accept the person that God is making you.

4 comments:

Donna Finter said...

Andrea, I had no idea you went through and are still going through such health challenges. I can relate to you in many ways. I was 31 and had 4 small children when I first began to experience Systemic Lupus. I now realize SLE blessed my life in unexpected ways. Your post will help many who suffer from chronic health challenges and will help those who have little pain at all. That is because you are focusing on what is really important in life. God bless.

Leslie said...

Thank you so much for your blog. Your perspective on life and mothering makes me want to try to do better and to be grateful and happy even during the hard trials of life. You truly are an inspiration. So sorry for all of your pain!

Shelby Olson said...

Love you Andrea! You are truly an amazing woman! Your post inspired me!

Jo Jo said...

Pain sucks. So sorry! Your post was amazing.

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