We went camping this weekend for the first time since #3 was born. He is almost a one-year-old, so it was time to give this a try...my husband loves camping. I love the idea of camping...so I prepare my mind, talk myself into meeting the challenges, and think about all the memories we will make.
I'm a boy mom. I have to go camping.
It went pretty well. We didn't sleep, but we ate well, stayed warm, and had some great fireside moments, ranging from "The longer we look at the sky, the more stars we see, just like the longer we look at God, the more of Him we see" to "What happens if I pee in the fire?" Boys...
They were eating up all the stories we were telling. "Tell another one!" So, my husband told them about the first time he and I camped together. We took the looooong drive to Georgia to visit my Dad, and since we are so frugal, and since we were so young, we packed the tent and sleeping bag and decided that when we were too tired to drive anymore, we would pull over somewhere in the smoky mountains to camp. About 10pm, and 10 hours in, we found a campground with spots paved into the mountain. It was dark, we were tired, so we picked one quickly.
I am not making this up, the spot was a square of gravel with a parking spot beside it. We pitched the tent by the light of a flashlight. This was Kentucky in the summer, so it was hot. I had camped maybe three times in my life. I don't remember, but I think I cried.
In Jacob's version of the story, he told the boys "It was a tough night and we didn't sleep much, but your mom was so patient and sweet. I know she was uncomfortable, but she did not complain."
REALLY??? Did that happen? He promises it did.
I don't even know what to say about that. I feel confident that if we tried that today, EVEN IF we got to do it with no kids, I would not be sweet. I would not be patient. I also would not cry...because my default emotion is mad.
I am afraid I am not the girl Jacob married. I am older, fatter, more tired...I have three boys to raise, meals to cook, housework to tackle...I am not that young, carefree girl who does things like sleep on gravel because it is adventurous. And I certainly don't do it sweetly.
After the storytelling and we miraculously got three boys to sleep, Jacob and I were curled up and whispering and I got brave enough to tell him that I don't think I am as sweet as I once was. And I was sad that I'm not like I used to be. He didn't hesitate.
"Em, you are better."
"No way. That's impossible."
"You are definitely better."
Like he meant it. He didn't think first. Like he couldn't believe I think I'm not sweet.
Sisters, is it possible that we are doing better than we think we are? My husband and my sons seem to think I am this great mommy, this wonderful wife...all I can see is losing my temper, weight gain, last minute dinner attempts, and piles of laundry.
One of us is wrong.
And who am I doing this for anyway? For me or for them? So, whose opinion matters? Why am I so hung up on how I think I am doing when the people I am doing this for apparently think I am awesome? And furthermore, I am ultimately doing this for the Lord, right? Guess what He thinks of me?
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Clearly, I am not thinking correctly about myself. I should soak up the love of my boys and my man. And best of all, the love of my Savior. It's amazing how beautiful a woman is when she knows she is loved.