Happy New Year to all! What a whirlwind of a year this has been for us here at the Hardage house! As I said before, this year has brought many changes for us and I am excited to get settled into 2012 to see what on earth will come next! Much has happened over this Christmas vacation and I have a lot to share, but the primary purpose of this blog is to share some themes of life struggles for moms that I encounter either in my own life or in the lives of those around me.
A common theme that has been repeatedly rearing its ugly head in my own life and in many conversations I have had over the past few weeks is perfectionism. My question to you is this, why do we feel like we must be perfect? If someone asked me this my first response would probably be, well no one's perfect! Then as I went about my daily routine...I would find myself feeling anxious that my laundry isn't finished, dinner is running late, my children are fighting over the same toy they fight about over and over again. Heaven forbid someone comes by and sees my dirty floor. I may even think to myself...I bet so and so at church has a clean floor, or I bet my women's bible study leader never yells at her children. I often try to up hold these expectations for myself as a mom, wife and woman that are, more often than not, very unreasonable! I guess there is comfort in the fact that my conversations with other moms this past week indicate many of them feel the same way....but then again, wouldn't I rather we all just loved ourselves for who we are, flaws and all? Then we would be free to be real, authentic people...without feeling a need to show how perfect we are. What would that do to our relationships with each other as moms? I mean don't we need to support each other just as much, if not more than anyone? This plays into why I don't believe in New Years Resolutions for myself. Don't get me wrong, I set goals like its going out of style! I LOVE a good goal...and I will probably accomplish that goal, as I am a recovering perfectionist:) But to list off things that I am resolute to accomplish this year kind of sets me up for failure. I don't know what this year will bring, and if I am resolute about what is going to happen, it keeps me from being flexible and allowing God to bring me new opportunities. Now, I am totally just speaking for myself, as my husband is awesome at making and keeping resolutions....but he is not a recovering perfectionist. He is a roll with the punches, laid back kind of guy for the most part.
So, instead of making resolutions, I am going to set three Goals for my life over the next year. First, I am going to try to love myself for who God made me. My oldest son's scripture is Psalms 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." As I was looking at His baby book and reading this verse this week, it hit me that there are times I don't necessary believe that I am wonderfully made....but as this verse says, God's works are wonderful. Even me.
My second goal is to help other women in my life feel wonderfully made as well. I think we all need each others encouragement as momma's. Our job is hard enough without comparing ourselves with others or competing for perfection that doesn't exist! Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' So then, I will boast most gladly about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may reside in me." When we embrace our weakness, we gain the power of Christ and his Grace. Wouldn't we rather his perfection be revealed in our lives instead of our own?
Finally, my third goal is to be the best mom I can be without setting unrealistic expectations for myself or my children. I am so excited about the homeschool process....but I am completely aware of the traps of pushing my children too hard or holding myself responsible for their success. My goal is to stay flexible and patient with everyone involved, and pray for Christ's Grace and Power to infuse the entire process! As I mentioned before, we have a new addition to our family...My precious youngest son was born July 20th and He has completed our family in a way I never thought possible. We recently made a trip to Children's Hospital to have his head examined for a helmet and possible skull surgery to open his soft spot. We walked out of there with no surgery and no helmet. It hit me that many people do not walk out of Children's Hospital with a healthy baby. I am going to honor God's blessing by deliberately focusing on relishing my time with my precious, healthy children this year. I feel that will honor God, and the special people around me that may not have that.
I hope you all have your own "Goals" or resolutions for this year...which ever fits you best...but I hope your focus will be on the central purpose for our being on this earth, Glorifying God!!! Happy New Year!