I shared with you earlier that all this "blogging" is extremely new to me. (Yes, it is true that five short years ago I had to be taught how to turn on the computer at a new job I had just taken. Shocking but true! Aren't you glad you weren't the one assigned to train me?!) At any rate, because communicating and learning are at the heart of who I am, I just love the whole idea that this venue literally opens the world to us all.
Through Smithellaneous, I've discovered other wonderful sites that inspire, encourage and challenge me. I especially enjoy reading so many from young mothers. If blogging had been available when my girls were little, they probably would have had to raise themselves! (There were no packs of wolves readily accessible in Asheville, NC like there were in Junglebook. Smile.) I had the privilege of being a stay at home mom for the most part - working part time as music director at our church and school.
Reading the blogs of these young moms makes me want to stand up and cheer loudly for them! Our three daughters were all born in less than five years. (I thought that was some sort of record until we met the couple who had three girls and decided to try for a boy one more time. The oldest daughter had just turned six. Know what happened? They had triplet girls! Yes, ladies and gentlemen. That would be six little girls - six years old and younger!!! You can not make up that kinda stuff.)
Anyway, trying to raise our girls; direct two music programs; teach a few piano lessons; serve as a pastor's wife AND keep my young husband smiling was pretty overwhelming for me on many days. During those early years, I did well to keep everyone fed and clothed. Most of the memories/ stories of my girls come to us from my sister, best friend, grandparents and adopted grandparents who stayed safely outside the vortex and offered moments of sanity on numerous occasions.
The book Let's Make a Memory by Focus on the Family only served to highlight an additional area of failure in my life. This great book taught that I was also responsible for trying to CREATE warm fuzzy moments that my children could take with them into their emotionally healthy future. Good grief, most days it felt like all I could do to just keep them alive long enough to GET To the future! Sigh.
But good news for the young moms and the young someday moms out there - all three of my girls have made it to adulthood and seem to be emotionally healthy (for the most part) and even have a great relationship with Christ. This is mostly due to the fact that their nutty mom was often heard muttering to herself, "Precious Lord, please help me teach these girls to mind without losing mine!" (Oh wait, you must go back and read that last sentence with an intense southern drawl because my drawl was severe in those days. Something like, "Prehshus Lawrd, puhleez........" and so on. Smile.)
Now you have another level of understanding why this is called Embrace the Grace. Grace has been a literal life-preserver for me in every season of my life. Our culture is riddled with perfectionist ideology that does not make allowance for babies who spit up on mom's collar just before you walk out the door for Sunday School or toddlers who have potty-training accidents right before choir practice or even for pre-schoolers who hit other pre-schoolers in the back just because they don't like them! Sigh.
In those imperfect moments of life, we must have Someone greater than ourselves to run to. Our Father pulls us up onto His lap, rocks us gently while we pour out the disappointment of our latest failure, hums quietly until we stop sobbing, sits with us patiently and finally reminds us of something that helps us smile. When hope is restored, He puts us back on our feet and cheers us on, "You can do this. I wouldn't have blessed you with these children if I didn't think you could. Besides, I'm right here to help."
And now all these years later, looking back I realize that the last statement is the greatest truth of all. "I'm right here to help!"
Whatever challenge your day may hold - keep at it, dear friend. Our Heavenly Father really is right here to help. And that gives me hope!