A couple weeks ago I was on my way to pick up my boys from school and I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror. I said out loud, “this isn’t who I am”! I legit looked awful. My hair was a mess, there were remnants of mascara and blotches of eye shadow from the day before (or a few days before, let’s be honest!) and I just looked like a spider monkey on steroids. I remember thinking to myself, “this isn’t who I am”, and these people don’t KNOW that this isn’t who I am because this is the only version of me they’ve ever seen! NOOO! They’ve never seen pre-kids Amy, who used to wear jewelry regularly and not just on Sundays, combed my hair every day, wore real pants and put makeup on before leaving the house!
When that realization hit me I started to have an identity crisis. Wait, IS this who I am now?? If you could feel what I felt in that moment…maybe you’ve been there. A moment or time in your life where you felt like you weren’t being your best you; where you weren’t representing who you were on the inside.
I have felt like that in this season of my life. My husband and I have 3 sons, ages 5, 3, and 1, and my husband had heart surgery 14 months ago, so our life has been kind of in survival mode this past year and a half. I don’t take time for myself like I used to and therefore look like a rabid-haired alpaca most days (my bed head should have it’s own Instagram) Leggings have become one of two clothing choices, the other being jeggings. I find myself running to meet the needs and demands of my young boys, who although are delayed in speech, have very loud voices!
I spend my days running from mess to mess…getting trucks out of the toilet, cleaning up cracked eggs (because at least one of my boys is obsessed with them!) to saying things like “What’s in your mouth, why is this wet, and who pooped??”, and rescuing them from getting stuck in numerous places…drawers, air vents, etc… (you’d have to follow me on Facebook to completely understand.)
Life with kids is never dull and ours is definitely crazy and wonderful. I love our little family so much and I wouldn’t trade the crazy, but what goes along with it is not looking like I have it all together, which is super humbling.
Speaking of humbling, if you’ve ever had a second child, I bet you can identify with being humbled. After our first child, who was sweet, pretty obedient, and eager to please, came our second-born who, when boundaries were established, said (in his head) “Challenge accepted!” Sigh…we ate many words we’d spoken about parenting after our second. Our third is a little spitfire too, so that’s fun!
A week and a half ago I took our third son to the doctor for his 15-month well check-up and during the course of the appointment I got to pray for his pediatrician. On my way home I heard God say, “THIS is who you are. I teared up because in that moment God said to me, “You may be kind of a hot mess right now on the outside, but I care about the inside. Amidst your crazy day, and dealing with your boys being boys during the appointment, you listened and were not only my eyes and ears, but also my hands and heart. You took the time to pray right then and there, baby in hand. You were present, and willing to connect. That’s how I see you.”
That has been SO encouraging to me because the season we’re currently in is one where I sometimes struggle with my identity. I look like I’m barely holding it together on a good day, but God knows He can trust me. I’ve learned to listen and look for opportunities to connect and pray, no matter how many days it’s been since I’ve had a shower or used dry shampoo in a row.
God can use anyone who’s willing and I want Him to use me. I’m so thankful for that!
I’ve mentioned this season of our life a couple times and that’s because we ebb and flow through different seasons of life…some good, some more challenging. This season I’ve probably spent the least amount of personal private time with God and been on the worship team the least, so you could assume that I would be less connected and struggle with purpose, but that hasn’t been true at all! God has been so gracious and shown me in very real ways that EVERYthing I do is an act of worship. Raising our boys, even in the mundane, is loving Him. Kissing owies and praying for boo-boo’s and teaching them about love, sharing, and forgiveness are all acts of worship. Being on the worship team doesn’t give me purpose. I am a worship leader on and off the stage, and although it’s incredibly fulfilling and I love it, that’s not my purpose in life.
My purpose is first and foremost to love Jesus and to love those around me. To see people as He sees them. To love my husband and children to the best of my ability and savor the crazy as well as the sweet moments. To ask Holy Spirit to guide my days and be obedient when He “interrupts” my schedule.
This season may not look pretty, but we’ve grown…grown closer to God, learned to hear His voice more clearly and stepped out in faith, trusting Him like never before. It’s a season I’ll cherish and never forget because we’ve put in equity…blood, sweat and tears. God has shown himself faithful and we are forever in love with Him.
Whatever season of life you’re in, worship Him with what you have and remember to keep your eyes open for opportunities to bless those around you. I love you guys and count it a privilege to be in the worship community with you!