If I Wasn’t ____________, I Would Still Be ________ .

Man alive, life’s busy around here.  Prepared for and celebrated Alex’s 4th birthday and my parents come for a week vacation today!

This all is coinciding with a time of renewed alertness for our munchkin of the 7.5 mos variety.  He has seriously woken up to the world and is PRESENT, ready and raring to go.  My painful neck, back and arms prove this vigor and excitement {either that or my feeble 5:30am attempts at 24 Hour Fitness}.

Anyway you slice it, it’s busy.  My days aren’t filled with huge to do lists.  Might just be:  grocery store, unload dishwasher, fold laundry.  But small or mundane, it’s still a challenge while trying to keep Drew napping or entertained / away from outlets and power cords.

I read two amazing posts yesterday on the topic of “If I Wasn’t _____, I Would Still Be _____”.  Both written by women in similar circumstances, various hybrids of FTSAHM (full time stay-at-home moms).  And man, did they resonate.  Basically, thinking about the importance of understanding some aspects of your essential self, even if the season you’re in is largely overshadowed by a demanding role or obscured by some drama of its own.  My drama??….an almost 8 month old and a 4 year old.  Both are rather intense beings in their own rights.  Both are hilarious.  The oldest is a non-ending stream of entertaining comments these days.  Both can be draining (thank God they’re cute to make up for those “rip your hair out” moments!).  So when I say, “drama”, I don’t mean to be a drama queen about it. Just to say, I’ve been thinking about who my “essential self” is, the self that is still there, even though I’m in a different season these days.

Parenting one child was a new season, but I still managed to work and have a stronger sense of “vocational self”.  These days, I am realizing that I need to just say no to Craigslist, edjoin.org and the like.  These websites have become my daily check-in.  The starting blocks of my day.  I check, just to see if something catches my eye, figuring if I skip a day, that the perfect, part-time teaching position will pass me by and be snatched up by someone else.

Maybe this is my “rubber necker” moment.  Knowing I shouldn’t look, that looking will just “slow down traffic”, that it’s none of my business, that it doesn’t involve me, but looking nonetheless.  So, I’ve been thinking about this question, “If I Wasn’t _____, I Would Still Be _____ .”  For example, no matter what’s happening in my life, I’m still a faithful friend.  No matter what, I still celebrate important passages in the lives of the people I love.   No matter what, I still love to cook a fun meal inspired from Sunset Magazine.  I think you get the picture.

Last night, while out with some girlfriends, we were reflecting on the resilience required for our kids lately.  Maybe due to a move, job transition, school/friend changes, etc.  And then I started looking around at their faces, and the ones I’d seen earlier at a park play date and thought, “Man alive.  How did I get so lucky?!?”  We made this huge transition just over six months ago, and I am knocked down by the gifts of people God has put in my life.  Women, especially, at the same stage of life as me.  Women who can be reminders, even though they may have only known me for six months, of who I am at my core, no matter what.  And then there’s the women who have been in my life for twenty years….the ones I email at midnight saying, “Who am I again?!?”  The ones that still love me, and respond back with emails and calls even though I’ve asked that question countless times.

I’ve been seeing some similarities between Drew and I over this.  Lately, I notice a full-on obsession with his older brother.  {As you can imagine, Alex **hates** this…..um, no….}  He’s got the rubber necker syndrome too.  He is always doing acrobatics to observe, watch and find Alex.  I’m sure the minute he’s mobile {which is scarily coming upon us sooner than we realize!!!}, he’ll be glued to Alex’s every move physically, not just with his eyes.

So, how are you with this question?  Who is YOUR essential self?  Where is your identity?  Who are the people in your life that remind you of that….remind you that even if certain drama and life stages are going on, you STILL are ESSENTIALLY _________ .

I am guessing that focusing on my identity in Christ, surrendering to the stage I’m in, letting go of the job search for now and being mentally and emotionally present is the key to it.  When Drew just enjoys the moment, this is the look I see….

Call that look what you will, but for me, I see an acceptance of place and time and space.  And yes, I truly think almost 8 month olds can feel that acceptance….probably more than us “pulled together adults” many times.  Guessing that’s why Jesus told everyone time and time again to have faith like a child and that if we wanted to serve him, we should become like children.  So take some time to think about it today.  If you weren’t ______, who would you still be?

Sometimes overused, but such a truth to cling to….

I am confident of this,

that the one who began a good work among you

will bring it to completion.

~Philippians 1:6

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