Monday, March 26, 2012

Who You Are

Ever wonder if you're doing it right?

I guess by "it" I mean everything you are committed to--being a mother, being a wife, being a coach or a neighbor or an employee, or whatever else you may be. There's no doubt "it" can be so overwhelming it seems impossible to really excel at. I guess in reality, "it" is simply life. And so I wonder, am I doing life right?

If there is anything being named Utah's Young Mother of the Year has done, it has made me more aware of my mistakes and weaknesses as a mother. Maybe it's because I'm afraid my life is under more scrutiny now; maybe it's because I know I have a lot to live up to; maybe it's simply because I never want to be a hypocrite--encouraging mothers to be something I'm not being myself. Whatever the reason, I have definitely spent more time in introspection, wondering deeply if I am doing enough and being enough.

I think being aware of weaknesses can definitely be a good thing. It can bring humility and earnest striving to be better. But I also know for many, me included, it can also be a source of discouragement. The thing is, I know discouragement doesn't come from God. He may prompt me to change, show me a better way, and plant seeds of desire in my heart for me to understand my true potential and strive for it, but he doesn't prompt feelings of failure or doubt or uncertainty. So, if God's true desire for women is to feel capable and worthy and valued and loved, why do we as mothers so often feel the opposite?

Maybe one disadvantage to blogging is that we tend to record the good and silently deal with the bad and the ugly. And I think that's a good thing overall, but I promised myself when I began writing about motherhood that I would be honest. That I would be real. And so, today, as tears fall on my computer keys, I will tell you, that no matter how things look outwardly, the truth is, I feel so inadequate.

I am no one special. I can look at the women all around me and see so much that is great and fabulous and incredible, while I stumble over the simplest things. I long for peace but my heart only seems to feel unrest. I want to be so much more than I am, but something--maybe lots of somethings--hold me back. Why is that?

Maybe it's because, without even realizing it, I've begun to listen too much to what the world thinks of me, and not enough to what God thinks. Today, while in the shower, I stuck a new CD in, Woman of Destiny, hoping to find some vision and some clarity. I listened to the uplifting words in the songs and before I knew it, I was wracked with sobs. Not because I was sad, but because I remembered something I had forgotten momentarily--that God knows me and loves me, and He sees me so much differently than I see myself. He knows my weaknesses, but He also knows my strengths and He knows what I can become, and so He believes in me. He's not constantly disgusted with me, as I sometimes envision He must be; instead, He's filled with deep love and respect--and even admiration at times--for my willingness to be a mother at this time in the world and my desire and effort to do the best I can.

And so, for anyone who feels like they are not enough, who feels lonely and inadequate, listen to the words of this song and remember Who You Are. (even better, watch and listen: It's by Hilary Weeks: )

I know you wonder if you'll ever have a day
When the kids stay calm, the laundry's done, and the dishes are put away
And sometimes you feel like your days are spent and gone
And the question running through your mind is what have I gotten done?
And when you finally have a moment to slow down
At the end of your day
I know Father would say

Believe in what you're doing.
Believe in who you are.
Hold tight to the truth that you're a daughter of God
Believe in who you're becoming
Believe in who you are.

It may seem simple--all the little things you do
But the lives you touch matter so much
And there's no one else like you.
And Father needs you to stand tall and faithful
To be all you can be
Oh, if you could see what He sees you'd

Believe in what you're doing.
Believe in who you are.
Hold tight to the truth that you're a daughter of God
Believe in who you're becoming
Believe in who you are.

When it's hard to believe in yourself
And you feel like you're beginning to doubt
Remember . . .

He believes in what you're doing
He believes in who you are
Don't lose sight of the truth that you're a daughter of God
That He believes in who you're becoming
He believes in who you are.

If God believes in me, how can I doubt? If He knows I can do this and do it well, well . . .

I believe it, too.

So today, when I feel the desire to be so much more, I'm grateful to remember that to God, I am enough. And so my tears of sorrow are now tears of gratitude for the knowledge of who I am. And even though I know I will still make mistakes and do "it" wrong sometimes, it's OK. I know God believes in what I'm doing. And so I will, too.


Taffy and Tony said...

No matter how well we are doing, I think we all feel that way at times. This exact song touched me deeply about a year ago. I was in my kitchen preparing Sunday dinner, wondering all those exact same things. Tony is in the Bishopric, and I had struggled alone with my kids through sacrament meeting that day. I felt that I wasn't doing a good enough job since we hadn't (and still haven't) totally mastered the reverence thing. Anyway,as I was feeling overwhelmed with inadequacy, this song came on my computer, and its message was so powerful, I also just sobbed. I have loved it every time I have heard it since. Thanks for reminding me once again of its great message!

Bryce & Charly said...

I think every mother can relate to the feelings you described. Thanks for your thoughts and I forgot about that song and how much I liked it when I first heard it until you wrote about it and so I'm excited to listen to it again! :)