I Love You

As a teenager one of the biggest emotional killers my parents could give me if I’d really displeased them was to say that if someone asked about my eligibility as a partner in courtship my parents would say I am not mature enough. Even as I type that it sounds ridiculous, if you live and breath in the year 2018, or maybe at any time since like the beginning of feminism at all. However, for me it was such a punch at my esteem that those words could knock me back as if I were told that my cat had just been run over intentionally and that my other loved animals were next. Why did I care so much? Because I was bred and raised to be a submissive wife and loving mother.
My parents job was to mold me to be the most pleasing I could possibly be in both those roles. Now, as a 33 year old, I hope that my husband and my children consider me to be doing a pretty good job. I’m not ready for my kids to realize that other people do what I do better. Currently I’ll take the hugs and, “Mom, you’re the best” for all they’re worth and save every bit of joy my people have now to last me through when I’m old and they’ve grown.

Before you throw my parents out as one sided and old fashioned, let me continue.

My mom watched her friends get married young and she felt at times if God had someone special for her. Of course He did!!

Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

My mom has so much to give, of course God wouldn’t leave her single when she had the desire for a husband and kids. At age 29 she got pregnant and by age 41 she had a total of nine kids. My dad’s pretty awesome too. Both are a wonderful testament to Christ’s love and continual provision.
I hope to spend all of my days filling my stories with ways both parents have blessed my life–from misconstrued perspectives to stories about God and salvation that I really hope are true.

When my mom would see I was experiencing sadness that she thought was legit, she would say, “It’s OK, sweet you” then give me a bigger than the present stress story about how everything works out. Her baseline for a lot of things is that you have to love yourself and discipline yourself to be a servant of God before you can help others to any truly worthwhile manner. Mom never kissed me on the head and told me she loved me, she showed it by being an emotional support and watching over us in our chores, baking and cooking. My parents taught us to love God, who gets credit for everything good and is worshiped for his provision and creation of all living things. I sing to my kids every night, my mom prayed every night that God would, encamp His angles around us and protect us from evil. A lot of what she did could never be done by another person, but from her it just fit.

In all this reflection, I’m nearly losing my way…
Here’s my photo of guidance:

This is me. I’m still getting used to the fact that I’m 33. Anyway, here I am. It’s summer again, and as I’ve been doing for as long as I remember, I’m laying out in the grass thinking about what I’m going to be when I grow up. Grow up used to mean what I was going to do when I was older, now it just means what I’ll do if I wake up in the morning. I want to spend each day being useful and making someone else happy, because a day lived without helping another isn’t much of a day.
What I do think about on this day is how many fears I have busted through, how many prayers have been answered in a fashion that I did not expect.

And on today’s subject of love, how I no longer live under the fear that those two most important people will say I’m not worthy of courtship! They did good. :) I’m not sure if they ever had to turn anyone away, because the one who is just right for me came, just as they prayed for all their kids.

There are ways I want to be like my parents, and one of those ways is to teach my kids to love themselves. So far, they don’t seem to be having a problem with it whatsoever! I’m laughing a little as I write that, because they do not live under very tight rules and experience culture themselves which I did not. My parents successfully were able to keep me is a very removed from any realistic taste of life. Our food was whole wheat, our milk 2% and our entertainment only from the stories in the bible, our relaxation was flashlight tag and jigsaw puzzles. Darren and I have never for a moment tried such a ruse. The kids live out loud, and all have either phones or tablets, living very much like any other child in the modern world. My kids go to school and I truly hope will never be afraid or embarrassed to bring anything to us.

I read this and knew I had to include it:

Yes, I realize this poem is about love between two people. But for today’s purposes, it’s about loving yourself. For myself personally, I’ve looked in the mirror as a preteen, for example and hated my “huge nose” and “terrible ears” and at 21 looked at the scale and wondered what the hell had happened to me. How did the numbers go from 135 to 210 in one year?!?! Well, both worked out. To the first problem: My huge nose and terrible ears, you’re one of those lovely elements that make me who I am and really, I think now that you’re totally ok… especially when you smile for real. As for that weight, it went down as fast as it went up and these years later, I’m OK and have four kids so that worked out as well. Loving yourself is a choice, and I can’t love and respect anyone without taking a look at myself and giving myself a silent nod of approval.

My kids haven’t 100% noticed yet, but I’m fucking full of flaws. I have to tell myself and mend my ills every day, every month and plan to continue doing so until I die. I accept me, I regret nothing and I just want to glorify God, enjoy him and his creation forever…now and beyond the grave.

I hope in loving myself, because Christ first loved me, I am continually becoming someone worth loving. At this point in my life I’ve lived long enough to have friends who have died, and friends who for one reason or another I cannot reach out and hug any longer, but what I can do is cherish those with me now.

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