Okay, okay. If you know me, you know that I am not a “Plan B” kind of person. However, in the past year I have often thought to myself, “Maybe I should look into Plan B.” Let me back up, paint a picture for you — I like to deep dive into subjects without really starting at the beginning. My Husband says I have a tendency to think of everyone as if we are #besties! Ha, I actually do not really care for social media ( use of #), but I do it without thinking because it drives my husband crazy, and let’s be real, who doesn’t love getting under their husband’s skin from time to time? I digress . . . which will happen a lot, just letting you know. If you are looking for a systematic, well organized , perfect grammar, nice graphics type of blog, this is not it, sista. (Ha, he doesn’t like when I drop the ER either. ) However, if you are looking for a REAL,” “take”on life as a mom of young children, sinner trying to follow Jesus, and type A control freak married to someone who will likely be late for his own funeral, I am your gal! Oh, I forgot to mention, struggling with balancing it all while not letting anyone else down, which I am sure none of you deal with, EVER!
Now, let’s dive! About a year ago I decided to stay at home. It was a tough decision. Tough more so because after having my first child, I really struggled with working vs being at home. DISCLAIMER: I had it made, I was in sales so I ate out, and I had a flexible schedule, all while making some serious money. That said, my role at home is WAY WAY harder and more taxing and draining. It would be easier for me to go back to work full time. So when I say “working,” I just don’t want all my stay at home friends to think I do not consider this a job, because I do. I am just not a big fan of “CEO Bailey Corp” or ” Work at Home Mom.” Just putting “lipstick on a pig” if you ask me. Oh, I do it all the time; I am the queen of slathering on a good coat to make things look better, but in this case, let’s all be okay with the terms ” working” and “at home.” No Tears, great! Everyone around me, even my own husband, doubted that I could actually stay at home, because, duh, I was smart and driven, so obviously not capable to be with my kids all day. I mean, we paid a good amount of money to a girl to watch my oldest, so obviously I value the role. But, I really felt God tugging at my heart to stay at home, at least for a while; I knew he wanted to teach me something. or some things?? Let’s see . . . grace, patience, humility, selflessness, to name a few. He also wanted me to look up and realize there was more than my commission check, that there were people out there, relationships in my community that needed fostering, and more importantly, a family who needed ME, yes, ME.
So the first few months I was “rocking it.” You know how it goes — nursing, reading stories with M (my oldest), making 3 meals a day, working out, getting up every hour, on the hour with A (my youngest). Then I “hit a wall.” About 4 months in, I kind of fell apart. No, nothing major, but that is the point, I was not me. I was going through the motions but not taking the time to enjoy the gifts of these two children God had provided me. Often I think about the words in 1 Peter 5:8, “…. our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Well, he was on me, and I started to doubt this whole stay at home mom thing. M was a nightmare, A was not sleeping through the night (oh yeah, she didn’t do that until she was 13 months — I KNOW!!!!), my husband was not giving me the credit I thought I deserved, and, well, I had saggy skin and a mom pouch that would not go away, which is still there by the way (but maybe this year is the year, fingers crossed). Everyone’s “wall” looks different, but I did what any person seeking answers would do, I READ A LOT OF BLOGS AND BOOKS. Ha! It is actually humorous to me that I am blogging now, but like I said, this is more for me than anyone else. The thing all these books had in common was that they were all (in my opinion, which can be as strong as blue cheese left out in a hot car in the middle of summer), sappy, and I am not a sappy person. I did not really think I was much of a complainer until my mother, nearly choking on her pork chop when I mentioned that, said, ” You complain all the time!” Two things to note: 1) Should I be taking advice from someone who eats every last atom of meat there is on a pork chop bone? 2) I mean, things I say to mom shouldn’t really count, right?? So back to the books . . . I just felt like they were all just giving a bunch of pep talks, which is great, but I wanted to know if what I am feeling is normal? Is it totally normal that some days I want to change my name and run away? How about the fact that while it would be awesome to go somewhere fun, I really just want to put on my sweats and binge watch Netflix (oh, also with a pizza and grasshopper cookies that are calorie free, of course). Or that I do not overly love going to to the library, park, or jump places, but it keeps me from being in the house all day and promotes longer nap times for the girls. I wanted a book that basically made me feel that I was not alone. Ultimately, I found comfort in the many mom friends that I have. I have always envied girls who had large circles, but that was never me. Instead I have a hodgepodge of friends from all walks of life and countries, who, for the most part, would not really enjoy each other’s company;however, they all enjoy me, or to my face, and, well, I enjoy them. I live in Gaffney, SC, admittedly, not where I would have EVER thought I would have ended up. I often say, “God has a sense of humor.” Well, let me tell ya somethin’ — the fact I live on 25 acres and pick okra in crocs to come back and cook it in my cast iron skillet — He is the greatest comedian. Needless to say, God knew what He was doing by putting me here as I have found some really GODLY mothers in my area, and they have helped me in my journey. So if you do not have a group, or even one or two friends to talk through things you are dealing with, you need to have them. Everyone needs someone to tell them they are not crazy or sometimes, ” Yeah, youare crazy.”
Back to the original point of this post . . . my Dad sent me an article with the headline “God Has No Plan B for Your Life.” The article really hit home with me, more so because daily I am questioning if this is the right plan. A good friend of mine once told me that she heard God call her name while she was getting into the shower, and it scared her to death. I went home, got into my birthday suit, shower steaming and said, ” OK, God, I am listening. What is the plan for my life?” Surprise — it did not work, probably because He was getting a good belly laugh at my trying to plan out His speaking to me while I was naked as a jay bird! Anyways, the article basically just said that where you are is where you aresupposed to be, right now. We talk a lot about being in God’s will; people say to read your Bible and pray to know His will. Well, I am going to be honest. I do feel led in directions, but then I also wonder, “Is this Satan?” If anyone else struggles with God’s will, or wondering if you are where you are supposed to be, you are not alone. I think I am starting to feel comfortable knowing that plans CHANGE, directions SHIFT, and things that humans say would never happen, can happen. I feel a comfort and peace about tomorrow and the future, a feeling I never really felt in years past, but I have to constantly, sometimes numerous times in an hour, remind myself who I serve and that this is not my ultimate resting place. I have the verses Colossians 3:23-24 in my kitchen, since that is where I feel like I do most of my work. Amen? Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as though you are working for the Lord and not for human beings. Remember that the Lord will give you as a reward what he has kept for his people for Christ is the real master you serve. WOW! That means finding joy in the mundane, the ordinary, the small, everyday things that take up the space in our lives. A childhood friend of mine lives in Mechanicsville, SC. Literally, it takes a mile to get to her house from her driveway where she has NO NEIGHBORS, and, like, 20 minutes to the nearest gas station. In my opinion, she has a lot to complain about — she is often at home with two kids under 2 by herself with a lot of chores. Yet, she has a gift of always sounding joyful and excited about things like her husband coming home early or finding gluten-free bread! I mean, what?? That is what gets her going? But I want that joy in my life, and it is so hard in a world that wants us to be filled with BIG, BOLD, SHINY, “post worthy” nights. I do not know about you, but the more I have of that stuff in my life the more really unhappy I feel, just waiting for the NEXT thing to make me happy.
So I challenge you to find contentment in the ordinary, talk with a good friend, realize that while you are unique, but your problems are not. And know, if you are believer, that this is not your real home. I do not know about y’all, but “streets of gold,” pretty cool, but let me tell ya somethin‘, I am holding out for the All You Can Eat Desserts Buffet!