I’ve spent a good portion of my life feeling like a hot mess. I don’t even have the greatest view of myself as a little girl. I remember myself as the difficult child and I felt very much like the black sheep in the family. I believed my sister was the prettier of our pair and the smarter one too. At some point I resolved myself to being okay with that. I should mention that this hasn’t affect my view of her…she’s still my favorite person in the world today.
For three straight years in high school I was voted “Most Likely to Push When the Sign Says Pull”. Finally, in my senior year I decided that I’d had enough. I asked that my name not be attached to the yearbook photo. Regardless of whether I did or did not deserve it, I’ve carried that title with me, always secretly wondering why I couldn’t pull myself together enough for others to take me seriously.
I don’t write any of this to evoke pity. I am fully aware that we all have wounds that we walk through life with — often blindly. At some point the hope is that we recognize those wounds and choose to face them head on.
I share this because I have become increasingly more aware of how this childhood view of myself has played a role in the way I see myself now. As a friend, a wife, a mother and most importantly, how I believe God views me. I’ll go a step further and say that the way I learned to see myself growing up has also directly played out in how I’m affected by “mommy blogs” and various avenues of social media.
I had an epiphany a few weeks back. While puttering around on Pinterest during my son’s naptime I realized — my own insecurities are what cause me Pinterest angst. My own wounds are what trigger feelings of not measuring up when I’m reading through blogs. When a momma posts about her baby’s successful sleep schedule or the great dessert she concocted out of pure genius, she’s not pointedly trying to make me feel bad. She’s just owning the good stuff! She’s appreciating her strengths! And I, in turn am honing in on my insecurities.
You see, I’m the momma who throws together a last minute Easter project and then wonders why she couldn’t remember something as simple as purchasing the cotton ball for the bunny’s fluffy tail. I’m the wife who absolutely loathes meal planning and begs her husband to order pizza two nights in a row because she couldn’t sit still long enough to come up with a meal plan for the week. I’ve often been a called a human tornado. I can destroy a perfectly clean room in under 5 minutes, all because I’m searching for that one item that I “set aside, so I wouldn’t lose…”
My insecurities have led me to the place of using my own self as a punching bag. I’m unorganized and I do feel frazzled a great portion of my waking hours. But here’s the beauty in the midst of all of the mess — First of all, my mess demonstrates my need for Jesus and His grace. Second, God created me! Who am I to criticize His design?
I’m almost 30 years old and it’s finally dawning on me that I wasn’t made to be just like the Type A woman who thrives on using a daily planner and having a clean car. I was never meant to be the momma who puts her kids on a schedule and keeps all of the day’s receipts organized neatly in a binder. I may never be the homemaker who diligently has breakfast planned out for the entire week starting on Sunday. I could do those things with some intentional work. I’m certainly not incapable. But those just aren’t my strengths. And by goodness, I’m sick and tired of making myself the victim of another momma’s blog when all she thought she was doing was posting a really fantastic banana muffin recipe!
So this is me, the real me. I may be a mess but I’m a pretty awesome mess. I’m spontaneous and fun. It is from this spontaneity that I envision an idea like leaving breakfast on a friend’s porch and then beg my husband at 10pm to drive around town looking for mimosa ingredients. God bless him. I have determination and a drive that allows me to be a long distance runner. I’m not a detailed planner but rather a big picture dreamer. I’m the momma who impulsively bought bunnies for the Easter baskets. I do wish I had researched more to know how much rabbits poop. But hey — I’ll never lose the memory of my babies waking up to a basket of fur and whiskers on Easter morning! I live big and I love very deeply. I’m a creative. I envisioned my blog and had it designed and that’s something I can be really proud of. I was strong enough to beat postpartum depression and I am brave now enough to write about it and walk alongside other hurting mommas.
I look at my daughter and I see a lot of myself in her. She’s hard to pin down, often flighty but she’s got spunk and she lights up a room. She loves to create things and gift her creations to people she loves. But she leaves the kitchen table to look like a Michael’s Craft Store exploded in our dining room. When I think of Mackenzie though, I don’t think of her as a mess. I think of her as amazing and special and one of a kind. And you know what? I bet that’s how my Heavenly Father has seen me all these years.
So let’s do this for our daughters! Let’s teach them how unique and special they are and encourage them to cheer their little girl friends on! I’m ready to stop feeling bad about myself as I stand in the shadow of another woman’s greatness. I’m ready to cheer her on for the things she does well and then cheer myself on for the things I do well.
What if we just resolved together to model a lifestyle of being our very best selves? What if we decided today to root for one another and be excited about what each of us has to individually bring to the table rather than being afraid to feel less than.
I want to embrace the best parts of myself rather than try to hide all that I am ashamed of. God designed me one of a kind and for a specific purpose. And truthfully, I don’t think I’ll ever discover my purpose if I am focused on how to shed the parts I don’t love of myself rather than on embracing all of the really wonderful parts of me.
So here’s to being me. Here’s to accepting grace in my hot mess moments. And here’s to proudly owning the really, good stuff. Here’s to being each other’s biggest supporters! Now, who’s with me!?
About the Author
I’m a 29 year old big city girl turned little mountain momma. Five years ago our family left the skyscrapers of Chicago for a new life near the mountains of Colorado. At the time I was walking a hard road of postpartum depression and I found that putting pen to paper was the greatest way for me to heal. My love for writing came from a place of desiring to share and be transparent with other women and mommas who need to know we’re all part of this journey together. I blog at http://www.littlemountainmomma.com about life as a wife, momma and imperfect follower of Jesus and His perfect grace. When I’m not writing I love a good cup of coffee, traveling, exploring mountain towns with my family and long distance running!
Photo Credit: Pix-Elated Photography