In some ways I've grown stronger. I'm doing those things that I never thought I would be able to do. I am supporting my girls all by myself. I am doing it. The mommying isn't the hard part, but the parenting is. Some will understand that distinction, others will not. I've come to terms with the things that I am and the things that I am not. I am not superwoman. I am not that woman who will have an immaculate home, and truly I am ok with that. My house does not define me nor does the clutter within. Many equate an untidy home to be a reflection of what is in a person. Me, I know it is more that I work 50+ hours a week and have 3 children. There are some things that are simply not that important; being able to eat off every surface and passing a white glove test is certainly one of them. But what I have is a house we are happy to come home to. I am also not a five star chef, but my babies are well fed. Nor am I a dry cleaner and though our clothes come with wrinkles (not the kind you pay for at those fancy stores) they are clean.
Actually, I am just an average woman, and I'm ok with that. It isn't that I want an award for this average-ness or as some would call it mediocrity, I just know that I'm good with being the woman I am and in that regard have no shame. Truth of it is, I'm getting the hang of this, this finding the me that God created me to be. It's taken a couple rough roads and poor choices and hard learnt lessons, but I've come to the place where He is defining me. That place where I am LETTING Him define me. In that place I am coming to grips with knowing I don't have to be what other people expect me to be, or who I think they think I should be. I may not be the most popular, have the best of everything, or have the most amazing stories to share, but what I have is sincerity and openness. This I know about myself. I'm also learning that those people who know me, really know who I am, know that. They see past what the outside portrays and see the inner person, they see past the harsh words others say in order to really know the woman I am.
Several weeks ago the adult Sunday school class that I am in started a series called Soul Detox. The first lesson was about toxic words, those we say to ourselves and those others say to us or about us. The point of it was that our words can either lift up or destroy. Our self talk can do the same. (“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up.” Ephesians 4:29a) In that lesson our teacher came up with the idea that we should all share a word about each person in the class that describes who they are, something that reminds you of them. You know, I will tell you this was the easiest thing for me to do. I loved putting my thoughts about my friends down on paper. They truly are amazing people, but I was scared to see what they thought of me. I was worried that I wouldn't have anything. Then, a week ago, the email came in with those words. Those words that describe the woman I am, as they see me. And you know what, I'm blessed by their truth and the love they have to see me as someone more than the sins I had committed.
These are their words: Mandy R. - honest, willing to share, big heart, humorous, honest, thoughtful, great writer, loves her kids, strong, reflective, passionate