I feel as if I’m in a constant state of improving. 

Improving myself. 

Improving my marriage. 

Improving myself as a mother.

Perhaps criticizing is a better word, as improvement usually requires some type of action.

Truth is, my criticism isn’t often based on how I actually feel, but how I feel those closest to me and those not closest to me, perceive me. 

Do my kids see a kind and patient mom, or do they see an overly stressed, anxious, somewhat disconnected one? 

Does my husband see a loving and attentive wife, or does he see a woman who is constantly annoyed, underwhelmed and never satisfied by his efforts, financially, mentally, spiritually, sexually?

How do others see me? 

As a successful business woman, who is also a wonderful mother and committed wife?

Or as a fraud, barely hanging on most days, annoyed with the trivial things much like they are, laundry, dinner, monthly bills, messy rooms, dirty cars and the inevitable crash of the economy as we know it. . .  

Also unhappy with themselves as mothers, wives, humans. . . .

But I know the truth, as I write now and I wanted to speak it to those who may not.
No one is worried about you. They’re worried about whose worried about them.

We made the Sunday service today, & my kids wanted to sit with me in the sanctuary vs going to kid’s church, so I allowed them to.
& this morning, Joe sang louder than anyone else in the auditorium.

As the worship leader encouraged us to “sing out” joe decided he’d like to sing out as if every single hymn was his own personal solo to Jesus Christ himself, because it was.
He sang loudly, off tune and also with poor timing, he didn’t care.
Even as those in front of us turned to see where this “noise” was coming from, disrupting their own worship, he sang loudly, completely unaware.  

He sang, loudly and proudly simply because he wanted to, because he felt the music deep inside of him and wanted to sing along, at the very top of his lungs. . . . 

His unawareness of onlookers wasn’t felt three seats down by his own father. . . as I could see Jason laughing in between chords,  as members started to turn their heads from all over the auditorium,
peaking to see where this loud little voice was coming from.

I wished I could take each one by the ear and tell them God would prefer if each of them focused more on their own worship,
than allowing themselves to be distracted by my six year old lifting his voice to the highest of heavens.

He didn’t have to have a perfect voice to sing loudly, if that’s what he wanted to do.
He didn’t need to be able to follow a melody to worship to be worthy of belting out the sacred hymns.

In fact, his ignorance of his own imperfections allowed him to sing exactly as I’d imagine Christ wants us all to sing.

Being imperfect, and living life anyways, knowing your worth despite all your worst days, and despite what anyone else thinks of you or speaks of you.
That’s the best part of grace.

There is no right way to worship.
Just like there is no right way to exist. 

I believe deep down, not only does God want our whole voices, as loud and off key as they may be, but that he truly desires for us to love & to really be able to love others, you must learn to love yourself.

Not because you are a perfect mom or wife, but because GRACE says you’re enough.

I’ve decided to be the wife I want to be, when I can.
Grace covers me when I can’t.
Sometimes that’s like something out of the wildest films a man could purchase
& sometimes that’s just a wife who simply doesn’t sleep with other men.
Sometimes I am the wife who has the entire house cleaned (not often)
and sometimes I am  simply the wife who didn’t take all of her antidepressants at one time because life felt too heavy and she felt unappreciated in any / all aspects of her life and thought her family may actually be far better off without her. 

I’ve decided to be the mom that I want to be, when I can.
Grace covers me when I can’t.

Sometimes that’s the patient loving mother who encourages her off key son to sing at the top of his lungs, and sometimes it’s the mom who doesn’t go to church at all.
Sometimes it’s the mom who plans the funnest day, filled with all of the activities and sometimes it’s the mom who stays on the sofa under a blanket and pays her own children to keep their siblings alive while she sleeps off the seasonal depression or failed business venture.

& I’m not happy because my life is absolutely wonderful & my voice is always on pitch, I’m happy because I choose to be.
Thus, my life is wonderful because I’ve chosen to be happy, despite all the shortcomings and dissappointments.
& in spite of how other people / the world / social media tells me I should be. .

My hope is that you’ll find from my posts, a perfectly imperfect woman, but also a happy one,
and one who is worthy of an incredible life as a wife and mom, during the highs and the lows and all the in betweens.  
I want to be intentional about not only who I want to be, but that my worth as a human,
as a woman, a mom, a wife, doesn’t change depending on which version of myself I am that day. . . 

& neither does yours.

Joe is worthy of singing loudly. 

It’s inspirational honestly.

His complete ignorance of anyone or anything else during worship was the highlight of my morning.

But the truth is, he won’t grow up beside many other kids / adults who are as intentional. 

& neither will you.

In 2022, my hope is that you know, that you deserve to sing loudly in a sanctuary, whether you’re musically inclined or not.
And to remember that anyone who turns back and looks at you is simply deflecting from their own insecurities.

So sing louder. 

Just like you’re allowed to live the life of your dreams, even if you’ve messed up.

Even if you got pregnant in high school.
Or have been divorced 4 times.

Even if you were arrested or addicted or had to move back home.

No one should EVER make you feel as if you don’t deserve to be on stage or live the life that is out there waiting for you, just because of your past, and if they do, I hope you choose in 2022 to distance yourself from them.

Be an encouragement and be true to YOU, no matter how the world and how others view you,
or even how you view yourself on your worst days>>>
knowing that your emotions don’t dictate your worth . . .
& the world’s approval, doesn’t have to dictate your decisions. 

Real life is singing off key, figuring out what’s for dinner, arguing, and messy spaces.
It’s failed friendships, struggling marriages, complicated diseases, mental illness and so much more.

& I am saying this aloud, to myself, because this is one of my most important goals of 2022. . . 
Maybe I don’t sing loud, or even at all some days, but either way, it won’t be because I am worried about what those around me may think>>>

and more importantly, I hope that if you look to me or any of mine,
for an encouraging glance while singing your own tunes, that you find it.
That you’ll see us, living our best lives, because we know deep down we are worthy of it, off key and all
just like you

Happy 2022

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