I haven’t really blogged much of what’s been on my actual mind lately. It’s about time. I’ve been loving listening to podcasts lately and a lot of ideas have been sparked in my head since I’ve been getting a daily dose of information, whether it be about motherhood, living with grace, or productivity. I feel particularly enlightened from them as well as the book The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst, which I might just read over and over again forever and ever. It’s that good.
I turned 28 in March, and while that is by no means a ripe old age, I finally feel like I’m at that age when I was younger (say 18) and I looked at people my age now and wondered “how did they get there? When did they stop caring about xyz? I’ll never be like that.” Haha, oh younger, naive self.
And here I am, 10 years, 5 years into marriage, and two kids later. My fashion sense could be described as “I have no time to shop and only wear what fits, is comfortable, and has no buttons.” I drive a mini van. I worry about how much our grocery bill is. I am up to my ears in Daniel Tiger theme songs and Goldfish crumbs mashed into my rug. I am basically becoming my mother (hi, mom!) and that’s okay (I love my mom).
Somewhere deep inside me is that 18 year old girl who said she would never be here. But here I am, closer to 30 than 18 and I am nothing like her anymore. I am “that person” who I said I’d never become, because I didn’t realize why people become this way or just how much having babies would change me and just how much I would stop caring about so many things and what people think.
There’s three major things I’ve learned lately that I’ve taken to heart and that have changed the way I’m interacting with the world these days.
My family is the most important thing and they need so much more of me than I have given them lately. Time can’t be saved, only spent, so I need to spend it wisely. “No” has become a powerful and necessary word in my life to make sure family is my priority. Motherhood is my jam, my life’s calling right now. I don’t get to do over my children’s lightening speed childhood. I don’t want to miss it, so I’m choosing to be there for it.
It’s okay to not be friends with everyone. Our over-saturated “follow me” culture has turned us all into thinking we all need to be friends and like what everyone does. I am a people pleaser by nature, so it’s hard for me to wrap my head around this, but people that don’t give me life and the warm fuzzies really shouldn’t be taking up space in my actual life or social media feed, period.
I can do me and no one else. And not everyone will love what I do. Just as I don’t have to be friends with everyone, not everyone has to be friends with or like me either. And that’s okay. Just because one person doesn’t like me doesn’t make or break anything.
I’ve felt intense worry/guilt/shame about sharing about our life in Hawaii, in fear that people will think I’m rubbing it in their face, bragging, or living some amazing dream beach life (trust me, it’s far from it!). But I live on an island and we do go to the beach, so that is part of my life. It sounds dumb even typing that out but it’s just been a weird experience living here, but mostly because I let the fear of what other people think get in the way of that.
I’ve seriously enjoyed our outings and family beach days lately though and just love taking pictures of the girls when we’re at the beach. And I don’t think for a second I should feel guilty about sharing that. I have shared more lately and I don’t think anyone dislikes it (I mean, I’m sure some people do). It seems well received. But even if it wasn’t – I just want to do me and not second-guess myself.
I’ve said all this to say that when I just let go – of the fear, the unknown, the longings to be perfect and liked and highly revered – that joy is found. And man, I have been missing joy in my life until recently, as much as I hate to say. When I just let go, for me, Jesus is there. When the worry and fear isn’t standing in front of my face in everything I do, I can feel present, joyful, smile, and have fun.
I’m a better mom and wife when I just let go of the desire for the floor to be perfectly clean. I’m more fun at the beach when I just accept that everything will get wet and covered in sand. And feel less like hiding under a rock about sharing the beauty of Hawaii on my Instagram when I realize that it doesn’t matter who “likes” my pictures.
When it comes down to it, I have just started to do things for me again. So much of what I’ve done in recent years has been somehow for other people and all backwards. And it’s shockingly beautiful to just live and let all of that go.
Questions for You:
- What happens when you “let go?”
- What do you wish you could let go of right now?