Her. The one who has it all together. The one who can meal prep and cook like a boss. The one who can keep the house clean while simultaneously making the kids feel happy and seen. The one who takes life seriously enough to do big things, but also not too serious because she’s super fun and spontaneous too. The one who studies scripture and has words of wisdom on her lips at a moment’s notice. The one who doesn’t lose it when her kids do. The one who keeps up with her friends regularly and can go spend time with the girls without feeling guilty. The one who takes care of her body, exercises and drinks enough water. The one who knows how to keep things fun & fresh with her husband. Her.
Let me tell you ladies, SHE does not actually exist. So, we can all do a huge sigh of relief. I mean, honestly, it was exhausting just typing that. But, she’s who I was attempting to be. I didn’t even realize it. I remember at one point in our marriage a few years ago where were under quite a bit of stress. Our son Brixton had just come into the world 8 weeks prior, 3 months before that we had taken in a teenage foster son, and I was headed back to my full time teaching job with all the anxious post baby feels. I remember telling my husband, “I feel like I’m juggling while riding a unicycle and I’m constantly dropping at least one ball.” It was crazy times, you guys.
In hindsight, I realize I was still trying to do #allthethings even though I was carrying so much more than usual. I didn’t see an end to it and I didn’t know how much longer I could sustain the overwhelm. I had never expected perfection from anyone else, so why was I expecting it of myself? Why couldn’t I just give myself a break? Well, eventually I did…I had to. One day I opened my hands wide and I offered it all to God. With tear stained cheeks, I told Him everything…all the ways I had tried so hard and felt like I was failing, how tired I was, and how no matter how much I tried I couldn’t handle the burden of it all on my own. In that vulnerable space with my heart laid bare before the Lord, I felt peace. I felt Him whispering to my heart that I was doing just fine, and also that I was never intended to carry these things on my own. I decided right then and there that it was time to let some things go—some mindset things, some physical things, and most definitely some lies.
I started giving myself permission to leave a messy sink when it was too much for this tired mama to handle that day. I gave myself permission to sit and nurse my son in peace without also trying to plan, and think, and do things for everyone else. I started asking my husband for help. I said no to extra things that I knew wouldn’t be healthy to take on. I said no to the lies that popped up in my mind throughout the day. More importantly though, I started saying some better yeses.
I said yes to Jesus first and foremost. I said yes to intentional time with Him in whatever crevice of my day I could fit it in (and let me tell you—the craving for that time with Him grew and grew). I said yes to healthy and honest conversations with friends. I said yes to being more present and still. I can’t tell you that I don’t still struggle from time to time with some of these things. I think everyone does to some extent. I can tell you, though, that the choice to surrender whatever it is we’re carrying is a beautiful sacrifice to our Maker and incredible weight removed from our shoulders. So, let it go, sister! What in the world are you waiting for?