Unfinished

For the past few months I have been really into re-finishing and painting furniture. I love the french farmhouse chic formally known as shabby chic house decor, but I have a limited budget for any decorating or re-decorating. Like my stepmom used to tell me, I have champagne taste on a beer budget, and boy that couldn’t be anymore true! For the most part my house follows my farmhouse theme to a T, but I wanted to make my furniture and cabinets in my house a little more “me”. So I decided to take up painting.

It all started with these bar stools that were left behind by the previous owners of our house, I loved the style and they fit our bar height perfectly but most importantly they were FREE. Two of my favorite words are free and cheap although I’m told, I should say thrifty or frugal instead, but alas old habits die-hard. I re-painted those stools and distressed them and from then on I have had the itch. I have gone from bar stools, to the vanity and mirror in our master bathroom, then our laundry room cabinets to our entertainment center, the head-board in Scarlett’s room and my latest project is this cute little miniature antique roll-top desk for Scarlett. I have found that I really love to paint and re-finish furniture it gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing I have a brand new custom piece of furniture and that I was able to do it myself and for peanuts really. I have also found the process to be quite stress relieving as well. What is stress relieving for me though kind of drives Abe crazy, well not all of it just the unfinished cabinets in our laundry room.

When I took on the job of re-painting our laundry room cabinets I had two different shades of gray and couldn’t decide which color I liked best so I decided to paint one cabinet one shade and the other the second shade. After I painted the cabinets I decided what shade I liked best. I painted all three cabinets and left the fourth kind of unfinished. It is painted but just a different shade than the other three and it drives Abe crazy. He always asks why I’ve started a new project when I haven’t finished that cabinet in the laundry room yet. I’ve always just laughed it off and continued on with my projects. The truth of the matter is though, I like to keep the door the way it is because it serves as a reminder to me, that like that cabinet door, I too am an unfinished work of art. The one big difference between me and that door is, I am an unfinished work of art being “painted” by the master artist, the most masterful artist there ever was or ever will be, Jesus. He is sculpting, painting and re-finishing me into the person he wants me to be. I like to have the reminder because I am often times very hard on myself for my struggles and downfalls. But when I look at myself as an unfinished custom piece of art I am a lot less tough on myself.

I do have some anxiety, specifically around traveling, I am terrified of flying and long car rides. I am always afraid it is going to be horrible or something will go terribly wrong. I am trying to over come that anxiety and sometimes it gets the better of me but I just pray and continue to look at myself through the eyes of my heavenly Father and see how he looks at me as an unfinished work of art. He is continuing to sand and chip away at the old layers of  me and make me into the Godly woman he wants me to become. I know that anxiety stems from fear and fear comes from satan telling me that the Lord isn’t capable of protecting me and keeping me calm and giving me peace. Sometimes I get so frustrated with myself for letting my anxiety keep me from realizing that Jesus will protect me and he will give me peace and he is ultimately in control of it all. If I just truly trust with not just my words and my head but with my heart and truly trust he will be able to take away every fear and anxious feeling.

I, as a person have so many layers of my old self that still need to be chipped away and sanded down, and covered by the love of Christ. The day I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior is the day I said, “Here Lord, here it is, all of me and I am trusting you to take control and do with it what you may. I want you to plan my life and give me direction, peace and guidance on all my future endeavors because Lord, I cannot do this life without you.” Saying those words and putting them into practice is where the difficulty lies, for me anyway. These days I am trying to put those words into action and continue to let the Lord chip away and sand me down to the christian wife and mother he would have me to be. Next time you cannot see anything good in yourself, remember that you are a beautiful, unique but unfinished work of art created by the master artist and he is not finished with you yet.

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 Ephesians 6:11-12

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

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Guilty

The mom guilt is real y’all. I am constantly reminded of all the wonderful things everyone else does with their babies and most days all Scarlett and I do is hang around the house. Social media makes us more aware as parents to what everyone else is doing and we, or at least I sometimes seem to think, well gosh, I am just as boring as they come. We aren’t doing all those fun activities and adorable and age appropriate crafts and science experiments. I count it as a win when Scarlett will draw or color for ten minutes while I wash the dishes or vacuum the house, let alone sit and do some sort of painting or what have you. It goes back to that ol’ comparison thing…

I noticed the days I am off of social media and don’t pick up my phone at nap time to check IMG_5746Facebook “quick” or to scroll through my news feed while Scarlett is playing independently, I am overall happier. I am also less likely to feel that mom guilt creeping up in me, because when you only have yourself from the day before to “compare” today to it makes you feel pretty great! I have been actively working to reduce my screen time, I want to show Scarlett that a phone or some facade we put on social media isn’t important, and definitely not important when it is up against time spent together laughing and cuddling and just being together. It has made me a much better mother, person and wife. I am more aware of all the fantastic things in my life and blog1just how wonderful my life is when I am not constantly focused on what everyone else is doing and how much more exciting their lives all seem compared to mine. I am not sure what brings out all of my mom guilt, it is different some days than others and some days I just plain don’t care what anyone else is doing. When I do get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I am just sucking at it all, it comes on strong! I start to question everything and worry that I am not a good enough mom. I think it makes it more difficult too when we as mothers are constantly feeling judged as well, it adds an entirely new dynamic to it all.

“There will be SO many times you feel like you’ve failed. But in the eyes, heart and mind of your child you are SUPERMOM.” 

Stephanie Precourt

IMG_5523You know what I mean by judgement too… IT IS EVERYWHERE! I am guilty of judgement too, I may not have ever said it to someone’s face but the Bible says by thinking it, you are just as guilty as someone who does it. You get judgement for vaccinating for not vaccinating, for not feeding your kid organic grass-fed everything, for feeding your kids processed food and McDonald’s, for not taking your kid outside enough, for not making them say yes ma’am and no ma’am for potty training them too early or too late… Trust me, I can relate to each and every one of those statements. I’ve gotten side eyes and tons of unwanted advice over the past two years. Scarlett is a terribly picky eater and it is a daily struggle to get anything nutritious in her and honestly some days I just am tired of fighting and stressing out about it. But that doesn’t make me immune to the criticism I have gotten because all she had eaten in a day was Cheerios and cheese puffs. It’s the, “That’s not good for her, you need to change that,” comments that seem to cut the deepest. It is like a blatant attack at my parenting, or at least that it was it always feels like, even if it was just intended to be friendly and helpful. Sometimes, it just hurts to feel like you are failing and that someone else noticed. It always seems to play into that mom guilt insecurity that you aren’t doing enough or you’re just failing… Guess what though, you aren’t!

 

We as mother need to stop trying to give unwarranted advice, I am SO guilty of this on occasion, I try so desperately not to ever give unwarranted advice or to not make another momma feel insecure or like their decisions are wrong. Because honestly, I believe that every momma is doing a fantastic job and they are doing exactly what God intended them to, after all, he did give us our babies because he knew we would be the mother they needed. I personally feel like being a mother is the absolute greatest gift and job the Lord has ever bestowed upon me. I am so thankful to be Scarlett’s momma and she is just the absolute best little girl I could have ever asked for, she is the light of my little world and one of the biggest parts of my universe. I am sure every mom would say the exact same thing about their babies as well and that is why I truly believe every momma is doing an amazing job at being a mother.

Encouragement is what we all need, whether that be in form of prayer for one another or through fellowship or just personal quiet time with ourselves and Jesus but we all desperately need our tanks filled at the end of each day. I get my tank filled through love and laughter and in the quiet moments I spend with the Lord in prayer and praise. Getting my tank filled rejuvenates me as a mother and helps me to be the absolute best I can be for Scarlett, my temper isn’t as short my worries are almost non-existent and I am less likely to let that mom guilt creep into my thoughts and heart. We are all guilty in some way of judgement or just succumbing to that ever-present feeling of mom guilt, but it’s how we decide to change or recover from it that truly matters.

Her children rise up and call her blessed. 

Proverbs 31:28