Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thoughts from tonight

I'm not a big group kinda gal. I'm easily intimidated, embarrassed, and get very nervous when I have to verbally express what I'm thinking and feeling. As a result, I don't share much of what I'm thinking when I'm in class, or any other large group setting. But, I had quite a few thoughts from the chapters we read for class tonight and thought I might share my thoughts via the blog. The chapter on "Co-workers" was the one that really caused me to think. We talked briefly about the importance of having this support system in your life when you are a mother. While I think the author did a great job of recognizing that we need to have encouragement and support from others who are at the same stage in life, I wish she had elaborated more on the fact that we are all different and may gain support in different ways. It is nice to be involved in the lives of other young moms, but I have learned that it is very important to not shy away from setting boundaries for yourself. You know yourself better than anyone, so determine for yourself what kind of support system you need, not what you think seems to work for everyone else. As a self-confessed "people-pleaser" (or, as I prefer to call "approval addict"), I just assumed that what others' wanted and what worked best for them would be the best thing for me and my family. That wasn't the case. See, I didn't know how to set boundaries with people. I tried so hard to please everyone that I made myself into someone I didn't like. So after much frustration, heartache, many tears, and many months later, I have finally figured out what works best for me, my marriage and my children. Thank you, Lord, for your patience!

Priorities. Those are things that I allowed to get very mixed up in my desire to be a good "mommy friend." I cared more about "fitting in" and making sure I was liked and valued than focusing on what I was teaching my children. Shameful to admit, but so true. I was weak, had no self-confidence, and was constantly comparing myself to those around me. I desperately wanted approval from "mommy friends." In one word, I was MISERABLE! I felt trapped in this life I had created for myself. But, thank you, God for making us all different. I am fully aware that God made us all unique. We all have our strengths and we all have our faults. No one personality is "right" or "wrong". And, we need to give each other grace in our differences.

So, why the abundance of personal information to a bunch of women that I don't know that well? Well, let's just say that I now have a passion and desire to help others avoid the trap I fell into. I don't have a lot of years under my belt as a mother, but God has certainly taught me a lot and will continue to teach me how to seek Him more and more as I seek to raise my children to know Him. He is good. He is faithful. And, He can provide all the assurance you need to know you are doing amazing work in the mission field of motherhood!

**Thanks for letting me share. Has this made a lick of sense?! Please share any thoughts you may have.


Cynthia Bennett said...

Thank you so much for sharing Elizabeth! I love hearing perspectives that are different from those in the book. You (and others) have made this blogpage great! I know God will use what you've just written to encourage others.

Melissa Hall said...

I'm obviously way behind on reading this blog, but I really appreciate your honesty & authenticity, Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing your heart!