Imperfectly, Perfect

My small four-year-old fingers are intertwined in her soft and silky long brown hair. In my ear, all I can feel is her warm breath as she inhales to sing another lyric of a song that makes every bone in my tiny body melt into her more. Love evaporates from her into me and molds me more into all that she wants me to be. The smell of her soft perfume permeates my senses and all I can do is melt into her and listen to each and every lucid lyric that comes from her soft mouth straight into my heart.

This is one of my first and very most treasured memories of my mother and I. In times of struggle and feelings I’ve lacked in self-worth, this memory has been one I’ve held on to many times throughout my life. The young remembrance of my mother’s love and her song all over me is really what I think of her when I dig deep into my memory bank. I haven’t thought of how clean our house was, what was served at dinner, or what she wore. My memory cave brings me back time and time again to the way I felt in her arms when it was just her and I. All that consumes me when I blanket myself with my memory of her is…love. Pure. Unapologetic, raw and beautiful love.

We as women get caught up in the idea we have in our heads as to what makes us a good mother. The pressure to be perfect has never been more intense and our own mind creates this version of what we should be to produce amazing children to gift to the world when we are done raising them. Having this preconceived notion that we have to dance a dance of perfection plagues this generation of mothers who are just trying in this life to do more than has ever been done before. We now have to add the task of providers, protectors, nurturers and loving creatures that will do and be what our kids deserve.

Is it ever enough?

A good friend of mine recently said that she thinks she is a bad mom. Now, this statement left me in shock and a bit angry. I mean, this woman is a GREAT mom who loves on her kids with every breath she takes,  kissing on them, planning great days filled with films of memories for them for when they are older. So, why does what I see as a perfect mom think she is, in fact, a bad mom get me so riled up? Possibly because I often times feel the same way about myself. The reflection she had on her defeated face was staring me blankly in the eyes that looked all too familiar speaking lies that can sink even the strongest of vessels.

This made me take pause at my own life. She said her house is a mess and she doesn’t cook really great dinners like you see on Instagram. Quite honestly if I was held to this regard I would be the worst mother alive. My house isn’t spotless (okay it’s a hot mess at the best of times) and I’m pretty sure if it weren’t for my husband Alan, we’d all completely die of starvation. Yet, as I sought out my reality in this encounter with my dear friend, I too have thought this of myself on many occasions.  But why as God see’s us as perfectly imperfect and that is enough for Him.

I’m a bad mom. I work too much and often times am writing when I could be spending time with them. They don’t have perfect little cubby hole things to put their toys in so their rooms don’t look like a hurricane just drove a deep dive through their bedrooms. I have vices I wish they didn’t know I had. I am tired and cranky at times and look like a zombie on the weekends. I’m sometimes quicker to anger than I wished and I don’t have them in five thousand activities that I’m sure would make them poised to be leaders of the free world.

Why is it so hard for me to hear my friend say those things about herself?  Although I can speak the same language to myself on more occasions I’d like to admit I have. Every time I sit in a deep sinking mud of self-loathing that wants to drown me, my husband reminds me of what a great mom I am. I do hear him and drag myself out of the messy quicksand and wipe myself off and try to remember that I do give them all the love I have. But, why is it so much more of a wake-up call now that I’ve heard my friend speak the bad mom language over herself? I truly think this is so because I see her as a perfect love for her 4 kids, so why do I not see that in myself? Why are we so impossibly hard on ourselves for being…well…imperfectly loving and capable mothers?

My oldest son who is 20 tells me that he appreciates all that I’ve sacrificed for him. My 17-year-old son tells me I’m his hero. My little ones who are 10 and 5 squeal with delight when I come home as I hug them longer than I’m sure they’d like. That speaks all it should, but at times it isn’t enough. I hold myself to this high and impossible regard that at time steals my joy because I can’t obtain the perfection that I have in mind for myself.

A messy house with unfolded clothes on the floor and dreams of play times that pass me by are always in the back of my mind but deep in theirs has to be the love I give them when I hug them. When I walk away early in the morning to work to provide for our family they see me laboring hard for us and the dreams I chase in the aftermath must mean something to them.  As a matter of fact, I know it does, as my (almost) grown children have told me so.

When you hold your baby to your heart (no matter their age) and allow them to feel the passion you have for them that is like no other it makes you a good mom. When you put down the distractions of the day to watch them play you truly take in the essence of motherhood. Breathing in the air that surrounds them is like filling your lungs up with oxygen and feeding your soul with enough water to travel decades in the desert.

When my daughter asked me tonight to sit on my lap, I immediately put my phone down, grabbed her on my lap and breathed in her essence as I sang a single lullaby in her ear. A messy house behind me, and my insecurity telling me that I need to be better, I recalled my encounter with my own mother and my heart lifted knowing that this is what she will remember. This is enough.

Soft sweet nothings sang in her ear with my love exploding all over her like a thousand stars lighting up the sky took over all my insecurities of what I have deemed it is to be a perfect mom. That is what she’ll remember and all I will treasure when it’s all said and done and I’ve given my best version of myself to the world.

My Launch Point

Abandonment of any kind can shake the human heart to the brinks of a combusting earthquake. When the loss of a parent can be filled with someone who needs you just as much as you desire them, AMAZING possibilities transpire. Join me on a miracle journey that will leave you spell bound at the power of faith.

12783536_1735157353396883_5710071028105993335_o In my pursuit of seeking freedom, love, and acceptance it came to my attention that I had not spoken my deepest of desires into existence.

Six months ago I made it known to my God that I needed a mother and father figure who would take a presence in my life and the lives of my children that could provide some semblance of consistency.  I knew it was possible for God to provide me with my deepest of needs, because, I had seen this kind of thing happen in my life many times.  But, not recently in my years of rebellion I had chosen to shut out the unconditional reaping of love that can flow from a pure heart that is raw and unhidden.  In my anger, I blocked out a possibility of change, for in the state of aggression I took a stand against forgiveness and eventual joy.  I lived in that place for far too long, but not any longer my friends.  Anger and denial is no longer a resting place for my heart.

This summer after my oldest son, Caleb came home from a mission trip he shared with my husband and I that our testimony is encouraging youth across the globe.  He went on….”I fasted, prayed night and day that my parents would come back to God.  I ached, cried, felt your distance, and now you’re running back into His loving arms, is a blessing to all the people I have the ability to speak to.  I give them encouragement that their parents can find God in the black of this world.  That anything is possible through Him.”  My son never gave up on me, even when I was intense with the fire of distrust and furry, and neither did my God.

My family never forgot me.  And my family is defined as who God has written it to be.  My husband, children, my ex-husband, his wife and her children, and many friends who rally around me loving and offering encouragement at every avenue.

But the lacking of a mother and father figure can be detrimental.  It leaves me feeling lost, stumbling through this bleak life at the precipice of fire without a shield.  It was the last missing puzzle piece to complete me toward my greater purpose.  

I approached one of our pastor’s wives at church one Sunday completely, broken.  I told her that I’m completely aware I’m not as loved as much my half siblings are, and it is torture.  A constant reminder that I’m not good enough.  I mean really, if your mom and dad don’t love you, then who can?  Because I’d sacrifice my life in front of the worst of the worst to save my children without a second thought.  She encouraged me to pray for God to send me a mother who could nurture a child and a father to love me unconditionally who isn’t of my flesh and blood but sent from our Maker who transforms our deepest of pain into possibility.  I took Mrs. Remus advise and I prayed for six months for a mom and a dad who needed me just as much as I need them.

I met her on the Sunday my husband accepted Jesus as his personal savior, hours before we were to be baptized in the warm waters of Lake Andrea.  A place my church calls Launch Point, where new believers or visitors can get plugged into the many facets  that’s Journey Church offers.  Alan, proudly presented himself at the footsteps of a dark haired beautiful women, with blue eyes of compassion and acceptance.  Her husband stood by her offering much of the same as i stood back more proud of my man that I had ever been.  Her eyes met mine, asking me if I knew who she was.  My face turned a bashful shade of red as I declared “no, I’m so sorry.”  Taking the awkward out of the situation she let me know she read each and everyone of my blogs, deeply enjoying them all.  I hugged her immediately allowing her to feel my grateful heart.

From that moment a deeply meaningful relationship took flight.  One that was pre-destined for the both of us to propel our deepest needs toward our greater purpose that our God has yet to transpire. The bond had already formed, deeper than I could have dreamed, and further than I could have pleaded for being an adult orphan crying out for a parental figure.

She read my words that poured from my heart and bleed from my soul, and I accepted her kind encouraging words as truth and unconditional support.  Something I have not had much of in this life from a parental figure.

One Sunday after Pastor Kevin Taylor spoke straight into my soul, past my flesh, and vastly into the fibers that make me, well me.  And I like most Sunday’s,I was left a big hot gutted mess.  There happened to be an alter call for prayer.  I couldn’t deny the truth that I needed prayer, hands on me, and love abound.  The first two people I saw were her and him.  Not a coincidence indeed.  

I broke.

They glued.

A storm gate of tears flowed from me.

They coupled them with love and mercy.

I opened up.  Told them of my demons.

They still loved me.

Okay, let’s back up for a second.  

The last part left me in awe

I gave them my truth.

And they loved me.

Do people like this actually exist?

They do, indeed.  They knew my darkest of secrets and still loved me.  Healing began to take place in the most remarkable was.

For I am not accustom to such unconditional love,  especially when it comes from my father.  That being one of my toughest battles.  Having four of my own babies I cannot fathom not loving them through all of life’s crazy ups and downs.  I laugh, bleed, cry, rejoice with them.  Every step of the way.  Yet sadly, I haven’t been gifted such grace from my earthly parents.  God says in that moment of abandonment that I am loved.

I am His.

I will be fortified, lifted up, in ways I cannot imagine.

Because that is the very power of salvation.  After being encouraged by a pastor’s wife to pray for someone to fill the deep void of a parent God surely met me where I was, I was gifted one of the greatest joys possible…

I long for a mom and a dad surrogate who I can lean on, love and laugh with.

And they possess a deep seated need for grandchildren.

A void filling a void.

God says, I’m closer than you could ever know, and I fill all of your emptiness with my grace and abundance.

I met June and Bill Pysto at Launch Point on a Sunday that forever changed my life, one that made my husband and I New.  

And the replenishing of fulfillment has exceeded my every desire for what I’d love to call family.  

In the spring, when the dawn of newness is upon us our great big blended budding family will join in joyous union on an adventure to Florida.  They’ve bestowed on us a generosity I’ve not seen.  A dream I’ve captivated in my wildest of closeted dreams.  We will be their guests in a plush and stunning land and our children will experience for the first time magic, the joy of…a launch point of their very own…the possibility of grandparents.  And I, one who feels like an adult orphan whose parents chose to not have me, may possibly have found what God intended.  A mother and father figure that will not forsake me in the the times of Joy or sorrow.

My Launch Point is taking off in the most miraculous of ways, because of simply praying, asking, and having that one thing that we are required to have; Faith.