Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peeling Me Back

I am learning that when I feel the most inadequate, I am the quickest to find fault in those around me. I go looking for it. And if it's not there, I conjure it up.

It's so ugly, this trait of mine.

Here's one thing I am learning - A prayer to be stripped down will not go unanswered.

Here's another thing I'm learning - Being stripped down makes me feel exposed. It makes me turn ever-inward. It makes me pay attention. I start to notice things.

So, it seems it's not enough to give the best of myself to the littles then glare at my husband the moment he walks through the door.

I am a fool if I believe for one moment that *they* don't notice.

I have been trying hard with my kids. And in the trying, I have fancied myself a martyr. Of course, I don't let them see me with my hand to my forehead, eyes downcast. The me I show them is the patient, roll-with-the-punches, singing in the kitchen, surprise Easter candy, smoochy-pants Mommy they love. At least, that's what I'm trying to show them.

And it's all well and good. We live our days and they are mostly happy.

But then 5 o'clock rolls around, six follows. Seven. We do the bedtime drill. I descend the stairs awash in the relief that quiet brings me. I yank off my Mommy face and throw it on a pile of laundry. I catch a glimpse as I walk through and notice that my Shannan face is not very pretty.

I wonder, what if I tried just as hard when the kids were sleeping? What if I stopped "trying" altogether, and sought harder the purest grace that comes from only One Giver?

What if I believed that what the Bible says is true, that I am to "Let everything I say be good and helpful, so that my words will be an encouragement to those who hear them"?

What would my family look like if the Mommy/Honey spoke only words that were good and helpful and encouraging?

It seems like it would be worthwhile to find out.

*Photo courtesy of my husband, the Saint.