Friday, March 23

"You Raise Me Up"

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary; 
when troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up; To more than I can be.
There is no life- no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be! 
A few days ago I had two "new" mom's over and when they left- they said to me, "I don't know how you do it. I'm exhausted just watching you and knowing that you have to do this all without us when we leave. You are amazing. I could never be a mom like that" and I have to admit that I was flattered and was thinking, "yeah, I am pretty amazing- I'm glad someone finally sees it!!" But, then reality set in (about 3 seconds after they left and life fell apart...) and I got sad; actually heartbroken to think that I had portrayed this view of me that wasn't true! You see, I can NOT do any of this! I can't keep my house clean, I can't keep my family fed and in clean clothes, I can't even hug and or hold all of my kids at one time! The only reason that it may seem like our family life is running well or smoothly is either a) I've lied to you and shown you a part of me that isn't true or real- a fictitious Jenni! b) God lifted me up that day and gave me more strength than I could even begin to muster up on my own! 
Yesterday, in Bible study we sang this song by Selah and as I was reduced to tears it made me think- how often have I ever let people see that it really is God's strength that lifts me up? God who makes me more than I could ever be on my own? You see, I really like to think that I have it all together- I like you all to think that I have it all together; but I don't. I am just a flawed little mommy, striving and working to love my kids, love my husband and half the time I have no idea what that even looks like! 
In fact, I realized, yesterday, that I had never; not even once invited a friend over to my house when I hadn't cleaned up; hadn't vacuumed; hadn't even put the laundry baskets in the laundry room...when one of my dearest friends came over, on the spur of the moment, and I felt that embarrassment over what my house looked like creep up I was so thankful for her, for her humbleness and graciousness to say (without words), "don't clean for my sake; don't pick up the toys, Jenni; you're fine. I love you just the way you are and I don't care what your house looks like"! It was an incredibly freeing moment and it was amazing to just sit and chat on the messy floor, amid all the clean laundry overflowing out of the baskets and the dog hair swirling around us- amazing how much deeper and more real the conversation becomes when you're not faking what your house looks like!! 

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