In my last blog I talked about trying to simplify my life. So you may be wondering how that is going. Truth is, I don't know that I have slowed down enough to know if I have simplified things or not. I have tried not to post as much on social media. Our Pastor hit on social media a bit in his message. He was encouraging us to not get caught up in other people's lives. Sometimes we get a false sense of who people really are because they post what they want you to see. I try to post mostly positive things and that is truly a direct reflection of who I am. I definitely don't want people to think my life is perfect though. Only with God's help am I able to stay grounded in the midst of this crazy world.
My marriage is wonderful but not perfect. Bryan and I went out on our first date 18 years ago on Valentines Day. People always told me the first 5 years of marriage would be rough. But I didn't think those years were all that bad. We really have grown up together. I do remember a time when we argued over something stupid and I threatened to leave him. We were newly married and I thought I would say that to him and he would come running after me and profess his undying love for me. I remember he looked at me and sternly said "Hope, if you walk out that door don't come back. I am not going to spend the rest of my life playing games like this. I am not coming after you." Somehow I knew he was serious and I stayed. That was the best thing he could have said in that moment. We laugh about that argument still till this day. I have never attempted that threat again. We have laughed so much throughout our marriage. We have both cried. We have both had moments where life has taken a toll. But neither of us has ever quit giving our all. I am sure there are times when he wants to get away from me because I am nagging. And there are times I could hit him. But there are more days when I look at him and know that my life doesn't work without him. He is my best friend. If people ever ask me for marriage advice, I always tell them to put God first, laugh a lot, don't go home crying to momma and don't sweat the small stuff. My mom told me something that has always stuck with me. Sometimes you just want to scream because he leaves his underwear or shoes on the floor. But it is just as easy at times to just pick them up, smile and go on about your business. I believe life can be hard but loving my husband is easy.
My kids are great but not perfect either. Christian was the horrible baby. There were times when I was like please just make this baby stop crying. He cried at every Christmas performance through his years at daycare. He ended up going to school without all of that crying mess and has turned out to be an excellent student. But I remember the time in 3rd grade when he forged our signature because the teacher caught him writing down a word that was in his library book about a female dog. I was in disbelief but I am not one to assume that my kids won't mess up. Bryan was working loss prevention at the time and had to interrogate people who were stealing or being dishonest at their job. So Bryan came home and sat Christian down, and basically interrogated him like a criminal. Christian finally broke and came clean. I think there was spanking, grounding and apologizing and a whole lot of crying involved in all of that. Since then he really hasn't had any other mishaps at school. Sure we are getting into the teenage years. Every time I try to tell him something he replies quickly with the "I already know mom" line. Of course I won't be outdone so I am sure to get the last word every time.
Bo, on the other hand, was an easy baby but ever so hard to potty train. He is Mr. Social but that has gotten him in trouble several times. His teacher last year called me into a conference and spent fifteen minutes telling he how wonderful my son is but that he was beginning to talk a little too much in class. She told me how she didn't want me to go home and get on to him. I told her that I would address it and that if I didn't address things like this then she wouldn't be complimenting my child as much as she had. My kids know that if you get in trouble at school you are going to get it at home too. I have prayed so much for them but I have found myself praying even more lately. I have asked God for guidance so many times. They are growing up, growing up fast and in a world full of chaos. I know they are just one choice away from making a mistake. I know that things I thought they may never do, they just might. I pray that I am making the right decisions for them and for their future. Am I pushing too hard or not enough? Do I give them enough responsibilities? Do I let them fall or do I do my best to protect them? Do I say no when everyone else is saying yes? Is saying no my need for control or is it truly what is best for them? Do I say yes when everyone else is saying no because it is what is right for my son? These are all questions that play over and over in my mind. And I know I have to seek God for the answers. A mom's heart is forever longing for her kids to feel loved and secure and to always know that she will be there through it all.
My life is so worth living but definitely not perfect. My house has torn up carpet from my goofy dog that hasn't been repaired. I have debt that I need to pay off. My garage is a tripping hazard right now. We get it all cleaned and then something happens and it ends up back in the same messed up shape. My car hasn't been washed in a month. I have relationships that have gone sour and I honestly don't know how to fix them other than through prayer. I have gone off on my kids because I was just having a bad day. I have let people down. I have opened my mouth when I shouldn't have. I have lost my cool at a sporting event. I have a crooked face still from bells palsy but I am more than healed. I have been angry at God. The truth is I am pretty messed up.
But I do know that God is perfect. And He perfectly pursues us. I don't believe in karma. Yes, I believe that you reap what you sow. But I don't believe that every mistake you make or everything you do wrong will haunt you forever. I believe in God's grace and forgiveness. He never gives me exactly what I deserve. I have messed up plenty and His grace has been right there to scoop me back up and help me get on the right path. See as humans we aren't perfect and that is ok. We will hold each other to standards sometimes that are unfair. People will let you down and hurt your feelings. But people can't satisfy all of your needs or desires. There is only One who can do that. We forget to let God handle all the things that we can't.
I say all of this to show that sometimes I don't want to put myself out there because I never want to paint a false picture of who I am. I am a child of God and at times I act just like a child, a selfish brat to be exact. God is with me each and every day. Many times He has to step in and perfect all of the imperfections. My life is not perfect. Just like you, I am constantly seeking His guidance and perfect will for my life.
May you rest in His perfect word and know that His love is perfect!