Monday, July 28, 2008

Selfish, Selfless, Self...

Brace yourself...I am being a bit vulnerable...

I was making a trip to Longview this weekend for a baby shower and on the way, I was thinking about myself and my identity. I have struggled before with who I am and it doesn't really get any better or easier when you get married and have children...actually, it gets harder. I was thinking about how, in college, I did everything for me. I didn't really have anyone else to answer to, not really. I got up when I wanted, I went to bed when I wanted, I bought groceries at all hours of the day, I went for a run without having to worry about putting anyone else out, I washed only my own clothes....do you hear what I'm saying, I could have called myself a little bit selfish...not that I didn't want to give my time to others, because I did in different ways, but I didn't have to, it was my choice. So now I look at my life in the last 8 years and I realize how I am forced to step outside of myself, my selfish wants, to meet the needs of those I love so dearly. I know that this is starting to sound like "whoa is me", but that is not what I am saying at all, I am actually talking about how our perspective and our desires change as we are given responsibilities to take care of and meet the needs of our loved ones. When Stephen and I started dating, I looked forward to marriage and being a wife. As married life came along I realized that I was now not only responsible for me, but for meeting the needs of my husband. Being his wife, meant that I had to be selfless and willing to compromise. I started to get the hang of that and then came children...anyone reading this who has children, knows what this means. I found myself, well, losing myself. Who was I, Stephen's wife, my children's mother...just Beth...well, this is where the real thinking part comes in. I realize that I have come a long way since my single years. I have learned how to be selfless (by no means am I saying that I don't get selfish on a daily basis). I have learned that I have to remember the things that I like, I enjoy, and that I am not only a wife and a mother, but I am still Beth and that is important and it is important to remind myself every once in awhile about things that I love.

So, as you read this, I hope you in some way can connect. And if it doesn't do anything else besides make you stop and say thank you to the good Lord for using seasons in our lives to teach us so much about ourselves and about his grace and his mercy, then so be it.

The next time you clean spit up off of your clothes or pick up a toy or wipe a runny nose or clean up a mess you didn't make, remember that this is a season and that there is something great to be learned.

****Remembering who I am in HIM!

5 comments:

rick and sharyn mc said...

Thanks for your vulnerability Beth. I hear what you are saying...oh how life changes...as fabulous and wonderful as it is to be a wife & mother...it sure changes you and your priorities. As great as that is, it is easy to lose sight of you and who you are. What a daily struggle, yet what a huge blessing to have these things to "struggle" with.
Love you girl & miss you!
Sharyn

Summers said...

I loved the post. Ditto to being vulnerable...and also to the way things change. I shutter to think of how things would be without them, but cannot believe how little I knew about what life would be like when I wanted so much to be married and be a mom. There is a GREAT book about this called The Invisible Woman (When Only God Sees). My mom got it for me and my sister-in-law a few Christmas' ago before children. I reread it recently and found it SO much more powerful. I recommend. : ) Have a great week, Beth, and thanks again for sharing.

Toni said...

So true, I catch my thoughts going there too, and at times it can be so frustrating and makes me feel that my "job" is so insignificant. BUT, thank you for reminding me of finding myself in HIM and that all of this craziness is furthering HIS kingdom!

One of them Youngs... said...

I love this Beth...you are so right on. I miss that carefree feeling in college, but when we were there...it still felt binding. We are just smarter and more aware now! Every day I have to remind myself that my kids won't be toddlers forever...and that one day they will actually be kind of self-sufficient (at least be able to wipe their own butts). I know my old crazy self is still hiding in here somewhere.

Jarvis Noelle said...

Hey Beth-- I can honestly say that my life is on the opposite end of the spectrum from yours, but not a day goes by that I don't think about what my life would be like as a wife and mother....so I guess I should thank you for reminding me to enjoy the journey I am on, and it's all in His timing.

P.S. Your kids are stinkin' cute!
~Jarvis