When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was a go-getter. I was organized and driven. I worked out every day and helped out in our church's youth group twice a week. I cultivated the relationships in my life and made time for coffee dates and phone calls.
I cared about my physical appearance and wore stylish clothes. My nails were always painted and I would rarely go out in public without making sure I looked "presentable."
My relationship with the Lord was great and I spent an hour in the Word in the mornings. I would spend time in my closet praying at night (I know it's weird but I had to be somewhere dark and quiet so I wouldn't be distracted ha) before I went to sleep.
I was fun, semi-adventurous, and spontaneous. I felt this zeal for life and when a challenge presented itself I enjoyed working through it.
Now when I roll out of bed in the mornings, the person I see in the mirror isn't that person at all.
She looks tired. Her eyes are puffy from a lack of sleep and her face is round from extra pounds gained from having kids. Her hair is in a two day old bun on top of her head to keep her kids from pulling it out with their tiny little fingers.
My time with the Lord most days is spent whispering prayers in times of need or reading a chapter or two on my phone while scarfing down lunch.
I don't feel strong like I used to. I no longer meet the challenges in life head on...honestly most times I feel afraid that this will be the one that breaks me.
Motherhood has created a vulnerability in me that I have never experienced before. The question "Am I totally blowing this whole thing?!" is something I find myself wondering daily. Am I going to mess up my kids? Am I doing this right? Why did God entrust three little souls to someone like me???
I love my kids. They are one of the Lord's greatest gifts to me outside of salvation and Chris. I treasure my days with them. I love their cuddles, their laughter, and their different personalities. They make life so sweet!
But through their little lives the Lord has brought me to a place of brokenness. A place where my sin is ever before me and I am raw and undone. The imperfections in my life are now running around on the outside in the form of three cute little kids. They are the aroma of what is inside my heart...if mommy is having a bad day, that manifests itself in the behavior of my children. If I am short and grumpy, my kids mimic my behavior. And even if I am having a great day and my kids are whiny and mean, I am still judged by others based on their behavior.
What was hidden inside of me is now visible to the world and totally out of my control.
And the Lord is using it to mold me into His image. He is not wasting my brokenness. Even though at times it may not feel like it, I AM becoming more like Jesus every day. And that is beautiful.
And while sometimes I struggle to remember the Courtney I used to be and miss her like a long lost friend I used to know so well, I would not trade this daily death I am dying to myself for anything. Being a mother is the most rewarding work I have ever had the privilege to take part in, but anything worth doing requires sacrifice.
And if I'm being honest, sometimes I miss the things I gave up.
I want to fit into my old jeans again, I don't want to feel like a barge when I walk past a mirror, but working out is a real struggle in this season of my life. I am trying though!
I want to WANT to have fun again and not just fall into my bed at night and pray no one wakes me up before the sun rises. I want to belly laugh and be adventurous and travel with my man.
And I believe those things will happen again soon. Seasons are always changing.
But I also want to be faithful in this season given to me. This season of planting. I know the harvest will come and I pray by the grace of God that these kids I am pouring into daily will grow up to be warriors for Him. I pray that my harvest will be immeasurable for His kingdom. But I have to plant the seeds, water them, tend to them daily, if the harvest is ever going to come.
So if any of you momma's out there are feeling like you've "lost yourself," I understand. Some days I feel that way too.
But oh to lose yourself to find Christ. It is a loss that is not a loss at all.
All of the worthless things that stole my attention before are now being dimmed because of this refining fire in my life. The important things, the things that have eternal value are now my priority, whether intentional or not. My kids HAVE to have my attention in this season, but I'm thankful for that. Because I am forced to do eternal work, even on the days where I am tired and lose focus.
Jesus is teaching me to look ahead, like a horse that has blinders on each side.
"Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left." (Isaiah 30:21)
So let's walk that way.