All the Wrong Walls
That morning when you wake up to the unfortunate sound of your alarm chirping at o’ dark thirty after a week of school break. Then you swipe open your phone and touch Facebook (against your better judgment). And, lo and behold, your eyes fall upon a post that, while written in all good intentions, makes you feel, somehow, less than invisible.
While uninvited irritation sets in, you still manage to wrestle two kids out of bed, into clothes and through the whole morning routine, and out to the bus stop just in time to give them kisses on the heads and send them off for eight hours.
Then you muster up every bit of will power you possess and start off on your morning run, hoping it might burn off more than just calories (i.e. that lingering irritation).
And it does… a little.
Until you return home and dare to step on that belittling tool, known as a scale, which reveals you’ve gained ten pounds since this time last year. Ten. Freakin’. Pounds.
So you take a shower and wish that it would somehow wash your insecurities away with the morning’s sweat.
You emerge refreshed, but then open your closet, eyes falling on a worn and limited wardrobe, then attempt to piece together an outfit that will appear more put together than you actually feel.
You race against the clock—and still-sleeping toddler—to apply makeup and straighten your hair into submission, but hear cranky cries before you can manage to finish. Times up. And yet another day of cleaning spills and changing diapers has begun.
Nobody sees anything I do.
These small shards irritate the wound of worthlessness you wear.
But you pick yourself back up. Because that’s what you do.
Until you visit a friend’s house whose stunning décor rivals that of Better Homes and Gardens. Where your toddler decides she’s tired of mommy talk time so she empties the contents of the diaper bag and strews diaper wipes all over the floor.
Your time culminates in said toddler throwing herself in a dramatic fit, then you decide it’s most definitely time to go.
Returning home, you put Toddler in her bed… more for your sanity than hers.
Then you have it out with God in the laundry room…
For once, God, just for once.
But, like with any other conversation with God, He so calmly and lovingly puts you in your place.
And you have that moment of realization where you begin to see that you’ve had your Worth Ladder leaned up against all of the wrong walls, again.
And you remember the One Wall…
You remember that God sent Christ, Deity in the flesh, as a ransom payment for you. Imperfect, ungrateful you.
To give you incalculable value.
To give you unending love.
To give you limitless grace.
He is the One Wall.
The solid, unmoving wall where we find true significance.
The One Wall you don’t even have to try to climb, you just lean on.
When you’re feeling invisible, you lean.
When you’re feeling forgotten, you lean.
When you’re feeling set aside, you lean.
When you’re feeling tempted to prove yourself, you lean.
One Wall. Christ. The Rock.
Suddenly all of those other walls lose their sparkle. And so you pull your ladders down from the walls of Accomplishments, Appearance and Accolades and you lean in to Jesus and hear Him whisper…
You are my Daughter. You are loved, you are lovely, and you are worthy.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
Pain & Change
I knew it would happen eventually.
After two months of packing, end-of-schooling, moving, renovating, paper-working, day camp-ing, writing, and working (all at 100 miles per hour)…
I lost it.
My toddler insisted on feeding herself, refusing to let me feed her chicken and rice, after I had just put her in clean pajamas for the night.
I don’t remember the details other than shouting a few obscenities and slamming the door to my bedroom… annnd the door to my bathroom as well, locking myself away to “cool down” with a hot shower.
It’s amazing what thirty minutes alone in silence can do for a mama’s soul.
By the time I pulled myself together, my husband (bless his heart) had already rounded up the crew and all their loveys, and taken the Littles to Nana’s for the night, per the usual Friday routine.
I emerged from my bedroom, picking up stray Goldfish, toys and video game controllers, while acknowledging the eerie silence of the empty house.
I picked up a diaper box, and could hear the voice of my son echoing through my head, asking for help cutting it so he could turn it into some elaborate project.
I walked into my daughter’s room, and picked up the giant pink balloon I had used to distract her so I could take care of just one more thing.
Closing the blinds I felt a strange sadness wash over me. All day long I couldn’t wait to get my children out of my hair so I could have a moment of peace to myself. But now that they were gone…
I missed the heck out of them.
This seems to be the epic irony of motherhood.
I used to allow the pain of these moments to point fingers at my mistakes. I rolled through the list of “should have”s, “could have”s, and “would have”s…
I should have spent more time with my kids today.
I could have paused the dishes for a moment to help Avery with his craft.
I would have been a lot less on edge today if I had planned better.
But those personal guilt trips never took me anywhere other than Depression Drive.
Over time I’ve learned something: these little moments of pain serve a protective purpose. They are like tiny tremors, warning of much greater damage that is to come if changes are not made.
Ecclesiastes 7:3 tells us, “Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.”
Burning away the chaff and bringing me back to what matters most.
Cutting away my selfish and unloving humanity, and molding me more into the image of Christ.
But we don’t change when we’re comfortable.
The pain of staying the same must be greater than the pain of change before we will ever pursue it.
Can I be honest? Over the past few months, I’ve experienced pain.
The pain of exhaustion.
The pain of depression.
The pain of strained relationships.
The pain of lost time.
All this pain has brought me to where I am today. Pursuing change.
Some of you may have noticed a few weeks ago that I am passing off Rooted Moms to one of our amazing contributors, who will now serve as director.
I’m learning that sometimes God prunes good things to make room for the best things.
My husband needs my support.
My kids need my presence.
My life needs margin.
I don’t intend to “fall off the map”, but you may hear less from me in the coming months.
It’s all good.
As unsure as I feel some days, I’m excited to see God’s plan unfold during this next, new season of life… and I can’t wait to share everything the Lord teaches me through it with you.
“Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Rooted Moms founder, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.