Making Do and Making the Best

So much has been on my mind lately.  One of those little times of life that really makes you think about who you are and what you’re striving for.  It’s not bad, but it can be rough to work through.

I’ve never been a very confident person.  I’ve made many choices in life based on what those around me are doing, or at least what I think they’re doing.  I remember has a pre-teen asking neighbors and cousins how to be “cool”, convinced there was some magic way to fix all my little social foibles and general awkwardness.  It was quite the paradox because I so often proclaimed that I didn’t care what “they” thought of me.  I didn’t want to be like “them”, yet I really struggled to have confidence and find out who I was regardless of what everyone else was doing.

I wish I could say I grew out of this, but I think in the end I grew around it.  I still look at other peoples lives with longing for their families, their clothes, their attitudes.  I still find myself falling into the trap of look at this counter-cultural thing everyone is doing, surely I must do that too!  And then I find I can’t.  I don’t have the natural eye for style, I don’t have the business sense, I don’t the have the calm or the trust and there’s that drop in your stomach.  It tells you that you’ve failed and what a disastrous feeling that is.

Except, I haven’t actually failed because I haven’t been living my life.  I’ve been trying to live someone else’s life, so what I’ve failed at is being someone else.

I’m working on this right now, but it’s hard.  There are so many things I can list that my life doesn’t allow me to do and won’t allow me to do for a long time.  Things other people get to do and ways they get to live.  When I start thinking about all these things I get attacked; thoughts of doubt about the self-donative and sacrificial nature of life and parenthood pour in.  Wouldn’t it be easier to work just for more money to do those thing?  Wouldn’t it be easier to have fewer children so I don’t have make those sacrifices for longer?

I know when I start asking myself “Wouldn’t it be easier” that it’s not me who is asking those questions.  I’ve let a little doubt open a door.

I need to start refocusing on what I have and like the tag line says, making the best of what I’ve been given.  I know it’s all temporary, and I know how quickly a few years pass and change, but it looks so daunting.  We’re looking at a few big changes within the next year; ones that mean I still need to keep working, but money will be just as tight as it was a few years ago if not more so.  It’s scary and daunting, and a big part of me wants to take it all back or have a tantrum about all the nice things I can’t have.

I know that despite whatever magazine, tv show and celebrity wants me to believe, this world is not for my comfort and in the end it’s not about the things I have or the places I’ll go.

I know everyone goes through tight times and makes big sacrifices for the important things.  I know that eventually those times end and you have a little more or life starts to look a little more like you wish it could.  It’s just hard to see sometimes.

I need to realize that I am meant for something great, even if it’s not the same as someone else.  If I’m meant to be a working mother I need to be the best working mother I can be, not a sad sap mourning over my situation.  If I’m only meant to be the mother of one or two children I need to love what I’ve been given and not spend these precious years wishing for someone elses family.  If I’m meant to send my children off to school, we’ll make it the best experience we can.  If I’m not meant to travel to far off places, I need to find the beauty in the world around me.  If I’m not meant to be someone else, I need to make the best of me.

14 thoughts on “Making Do and Making the Best

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  1. I love that verse and so needed to see it today. I find myself failing to live someone else's life all the time. It is something I struggle with constantly.

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  2. Yes! Thank you for writing this post! My anxiety has been bad lately, and I have been a big ball of constant worry. I needed the reminder that God made me to be me, not someone else. Thank you!

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  3. Just keep fighting the good fight. Those feelings will probably always be a struggle for you as they will for me, but at least we will fight against them. Love you!

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  4. Amen! Hubby and I have conversations about the sacrifices we've made over the last ten years and where we are now. Still watching the dollars, but sometimes I have to step back and remember how little we had those first few years.

    We have a tiny house and love simply, I work, but on starting to see peaks at all the years of extra schooling a hard work pay off (like my trip to Germany for work).

    We describe it as spending and saving cycles. We've just finished a spending cycle and now we'll be back to more diligent savings for the next necessity or adventure. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. May God show you your blessings and give you the fortitude to persevere.

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  5. Oh, the combox just ate my comment. I hope you can see it somewhere on your end, but basically it was a hearty “hear, hear!” because I have had exactly those same experiences and thoughts. Yes, yes, yes, to all the reflection and conclusions you have come to. I also want to share something helpful for me: Just because something is “good” doesn't mean God is asking that good of you. I don't have my bible here but I often lift up a couple lines of Ps 16 (????)- Show me your path, Lord, for to you I entrust my life.”

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  6. Another working mom here! 🙂 Reading all the beautiful SAHM blogs during lunch/mental breaks makes me wonder I what I am doing here! Missing my baby and my home! That scripture verse is by my sink and try to think about it every morning. Trying to be the best mom I can be is hard when I wonder if I am called to something else. Especially as we discern our budget and could probably make it work on hubby's income if we had to!

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  7. Lovely. It's hard not to think about the future so much and appreciate what we have today. I'm constantly thinking about how many children we may have one day or the house we may have and how we'll ever be able to afford it all. I need to focus on the children I have now and be thankful for the situation God has us in NOW, not getting stuck on the future.

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