A Trip into the Mountains and Perfectionism

This weekend we spent both of our days in the mountains. We found ourselves in and around Estes on Saturday, and in Nederland on Sunday. It was leisurely, filled with beauty and necessary. I think both Josh and I needed to be surrounded by God's majesty, and we needed an opportunity, away from the obligations of our home, to be with our children. To see the ways they've grown up, laugh at their humor, and take pride in their brotherly love. 

This was needed as we've gone through a "coming back to earth" phase after our recent losses. We've had to spend most of our free time paying bills, responding to lapsed emails, cleaning, and just down-right catching up on the responsibilities that were put off, but could no longer be ignored.

It was exhausting and kind of emotional to "enter" back into life in this way. It somewhat felt like I was consenting to "moving on". (I actually don't think that term is ever appropriate in the situation of a loss.) Also, during this time, George turned five, and a couple of Theodore's due date buddies were born. Such joyous occasions!! But, all the emotions!

In the midst of it all, I was struck with how inadequate I can feel when mothering. Sometimes in moments of chaos, I'm at a loss. I ask myself, "what am I supposed to do in this situation to help my children, to correct my children, to form my children?" Many times, I have not a clue what the best answer is to that question. For the perfectionist that has somehow survived inside of me, this lack of a clue is not acceptable, but for the heart of mine desiring sanctity, it has to be. 

Still, the unanswered questions continued to weigh on me. I wondered at what sorts of lessons God HAD to teach me. What sufferings had I and my family experienced because of MY inability to let go of my pride, or to be grateful, or to let go of control. I felt guilty, and angry at myself for not being perfect. If I was, perhaps God would not have to teach me such hard lessons. 

My trust in God has never been deeper, but my trust in myself was what I was occupied with. 

Then, when I took a moment to write it all out, it struck me. Something I've always known, but couldn't apply: To be outraged that I am not perfect is the only tragedy. To fail in these ways of weakness is what humanity is all about, these failings send us running towards God. Part of trusting Him, is trusting that we can be small, we can be bad at things, and He's got us. We don't need to dwell on what our own shortcomings have merited in the way of hard lessons, for God is not a harsh parent. He works for all of our good, and for all of our happiness. My own weakness is not bigger than his love. 

Now I laugh because, DUH.

But I'm really, really prideful, so these things take me time to realize.

In the end, it's incredible how being small, and not the best at anything is relieving, and brings peace. It's on Him, not me, and He's actually perfect. Thank God.  

So we spent the weekend being small in the grand beauty of the mountains, and learning from the example of our small children, who can't even put on their own shoes, but gladly bring them to us to help.