Besides being a daughter of Christ and the wife to my amazing husband, motherhood has been the most profound yet hardest calling of my life.
I am not perfect; I don’t have it all together and I definitely don’t claim to be one who knows it all. The past two months have stretched me to unimaginable depths in every sense possible: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I have experienced happiness, joy and the most incredible love imaginable. I have also had moments where I felt overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, mom guilt, and complete exhaustion. I pray every single day that I will be a good mom to Willow, but I still question every single decision I make in regard to her.
A few weeks ago I finished a book titled Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley. A dear friend and sister in Christ bought this book for me several months ago and it wasn’t until after Willow was born that I decided to pick it up and read it.
You know how I talk about God’s perfect timing? This was one those times. Emily talked so much about motherhood and allowing yourself to feel grace.
One of my weaker qualities is that I strive for perfection. I’m not talking the kind of perfection where something is simply done “good” enough. I am talking the kind of perfection that drives my every. single. move. With nearly everything I do, I want it to be better than great. I want to do everything with excellence, where everything fits and everything has a place. Every part of my life strives for perfection.
I went through a period where I put this same expectation on others, and if you’ve followed our journey thus far, you know that was a major part of why Ryan and I struggled so much early on in our marriage. Through growing pains, I realized perfection is an unrealistic expectation that cannot be placed on others. It’s not fair.
But wait a minute…this applies to ME too! This book poured into me the sweet reminder that God’s grace is enough.
After putting Willow to bed at night, I have laid my head down heavily on my pillow and more times than I care to think about, I have reflected on the day and gotten down on myself for decisions I made or for the ways I fell short as a mother, wife and friend.
Grace, friends. Sweet grace.
That’s what our Heavenly Father offers us and I am learning in the midst of my imperfections that I don’t have to place unrealistic expectations on myself.
While I am pretty proud of the fact that as a new mom I shower every day, I’m not always proud that when Ryan comes home from work in the evenings, I’m usually in workout clothes with a spandex waist and no makeup.
Have I gone to workout? No. Have I fit back into my old clothes? Ummm, no. I go for comfort and practicality these days.
Each day is a new day and I am learning to allow myself grace in this messy thing called life. I am starting each day journaling my prayers and ask God to go before me in all my decisions. I am praying for wisdom and discernment and asking God to guide my every step. My mind is constantly going a million miles a minute, but it’s helpful to stop and remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect. I just get to be me.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Morgan Photography