Monday, October 6, 2014

My Highlights Reel?


     You know how I've mentioned that sometimes, a mom sees TheZoo out and about and raves about how amazed she is with how 'together' our family seems to be? Do remember how I laugh and point out that 'seems to be' is really the key phrase in that sentence? That cheesy facebook meme about the highlights reel of life is rather fitting in these times. I almost wish I had a laminated version that I could pull from my purse and hold up at times like these.

                                                           

     When people are amazed because all seven children made it out of the house with shoes on and backpacks ready to go, and they stop by the table we are eating lunch at and see healthy fare on the children's plates, that they are eating, and I am instruction and couple of kiddos on some bit of academic pursuit, I feel the need to stop them and explain.
     Here's the truth. I actually lost sleep over this lunch menu. I needed something healthy, because we are trying to omit refined flour and sugar from our diet. They are happily eating it because they are hungry from refusing the dinner the night before and the breakfast this morning that was so full of healthiness that they deemed it disgusting. Now their stomachs are demanding that something, anything, fill that void.
     All of the kids are out of the house with shoes on and backpacks ready to go. Their was a 20 minute aerobic workout just as we were going to leave the house to move furniture and dig through laundry baskets to find matching shoes for at least two of the children. Also, I guess you didn't see us last year when the then current 4 year old could be seen wearing two shoes, but unmatched ones on various occasions.
     The two children that are currently receiving academic instruction are politely and quietly doing so because for whatever reason, I did not help them manage their time to get this finished before today's due date, and they need this done for the class that meets right after lunch.
     What you see isn't always what you get. Please know that I am not hiding the reality. Go ahead and ask! I will be real with you! For whatever part of our family that looks smooth running and easy, there is a part that is challenging and crazy.
     Recently, I received maybe one of the best compliments ever in my motherhood life of 18 years. A friend told me that her group bible study is using a study that asks them to identify a fellow mom that they admire for some reason or another. She put down my name as the admired mom. That isn't the amazing compliment part. The amazing part is that this lady is a friend. A good one. She knows me. She knows about how my family's life really happens. She has seen my family grow over the years, she knows the struggles we face, and the victories that we celebrate. She's heard me nay say the 'have it together' phrase. 
     I'm not big on receiving compliments, they make me uneasy. I have a hard time reconciling whatever the compliment is with the whole view I have of my life. I'm not talking about "I love your shoes!". I'm talking about any compliment that has to do with perceived personal success. My life is a series of successes and semi-successes interspersed with an even more impressive series of failures. 
     When you see our family out, whether what you're seeing is a success moment or a fail moment, please extend the grace that comes with understanding that it is just a moment. In fact, please extend that grace to any person that you come across! 


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