Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My Story

Wow look I still have a blog. Been a long time. I want to write and then I start to and just can't put my words into action and my blog just sits here. Its really ridiculous because I need to write, its good for me and my soul. Maybe its because I have to type and I would rather actually write with pen and paper. This week was tea and testimony at MOPS and I knew I needed to speak this year. I wrote one two years ago and then woke up with fever and couldn't speak, so I posted it here.  My MOPS Coordinating days are quickly coming to an end and i'm sad. It makes me sad. Its been a great two years. Its been something that has pushed me and something I have loved.  My story has changed in the last two years with this journey as coordinator. I figured I would share it. Yesterday was hard to share, I'm not the best public speaker and I would rather someone read it for me. So writing it here feels more comfortable and natural.

If you knew me as a little girl you wouldn't recognize me now. I certainly would never be up in front of 40 women speaking, willingly. I would rather have died. As a girl you would find me scowling and permanently attached to the back of my dad's leg. You know its really hard to play tee ball there, I tried. It was safe there, behind  my daddy. You guessed it. I was shy. So shy it was painful. I heard the word shy more than my name. I remember praying to get sick to miss out on school presentations. I actually got so sick that week. I remember the teasing, the hurtful words, the embarrassment. Shy is a dangerous word, one that shouldn't be tossed around lightly. Its a label. A hard one to overcome, to outgrow, to become something different. Yet here I am. In front of people speaking, and only slightly wanting to die. God works in us. Changing us as we grow. It took a long time to get here, to discover myself and not let the word shy be the only one to describe me. Knowing what I do now, the words extremely introverted would be right. I hate unexpected attention, I hate being called out or embarrassed, I write better than I speak, I don't speak up unless I feel its really important and I crave alone time daily. Like no one in the room alone. Every. Single. Day. Or I will shut down. Being in front of people is hard for me. I almost backed out of today. Walking down the aisle at my wedding was awkward and not fun. Why couldn't everyone just stare at Kevin? Thank goodness for daddys who hold your hand. At least I didn't hide behind his leg this time. People who knew me growing up would laugh to see me in a leadership position.

So I wanted to share how that shy little girl ended up here. God. It is all God.

I dreamed of being a teacher, a kindergarten teacher. College did not prepare me for that at all. Ok I knew how to teach but I missed the class on politics, drama and that frustrations that came with it. I was a good teacher, put my all into it but it began to eat at me. The unrealistic expectations, feeling like I was never good enough, always being beat down. I wanted out. Then God gave me a gift. An 8 pound, blue eyed little boy gift. We named him Jack. I remember the moment our eyes met. My heart melted and that second my life changed. Suddenly my purpose was clear. I didn't know I was missing it, but I was. Motherhood. My purpose, my passion became the job to raise and love this child.

I went back to teaching and hand no idea the hardship I was about to endure. I thought at first it was just adjustment, things would get easy, become normal again. I would balance work and family. They didn't get easy. They got worse. Everyday I ripped my heart from my chest, and wrapped it up and sent it to my moms with Jack. It hurt. I was miserable then add to it I had the worst class I had had in 7 years of teaching, some difficult team members to work with. The drama, the negativity were unreal. I had to fight the urge daily to not walk out of my class and run to my baby. I was being swallowed up by anger, stress, frustration, negativity, depression and guilt. Oh the guilt! Many mornings I sat in the front of the school in my car, waiting until the last second to go in. Fighting the urge to leave and not come back. The mama bear in me wanted out.

One day I confessed to my husband "I just can't do it anymore!" and he said "I know" And we figured out a way to change our lives. I still had over half the school year to finish and suffer through but at least there was hope. God all year had been pulling and yelling at me "this is not what I want for you. You have a new purpose" My new purpose was to be just mom and invest in my family. I couldn't handle working mom. I was not ok with being mediocre either. I finished my year and ran out the door with joy.

It took some time to recover from that person I became. Someone I was not proud of. The anger and the guilt subsided. God forgives. People forgive when you ask.

The next fall I joined MOPS. I wasn't sure what I would find here. It was a quiet year, I kept to myself, healing and guarding myself. And loving every minute of staying home. Feeling like I was actually good at something. Soon to find out baby boy 2, our wild thing was on the way. At the end of the year Tina asked me to join leadership. It hadn't crossed my mind. I'm not leadership material (or so I thought) I said yes. One of my best yesses ever! Suddenly this mom thing turned into connections, friendships and a tribe to support each other in this Mommy thing, which is not easy.

I started pushing out of that shy, introverted girl. Finding how my passion for motherhood was bigger than just my boys. When someone asks you to join leadership, know its for a reason, they see something in you that you may not see yourself. I know God led Tina that day. Just as he led me a year later. During a MOPS meeting I felt him tap on me and say "Ask about becoming coordinator" Wait? What? God you remember that shy, introverted girl that you made. I can't be coordinator, not my gift, you meant someone else. "Go ask!" So I went up to Tina and said "How do I become you? you know coordinator?" I couldn't believe I said it. If I hadn't answered God's push that morning I probably never would have. And we all know how that goes when you ignore God. Tina explained to me how I would be co coordinator for two years and then coordinator for two. I went home to tell my husband and he laughed, just as any person who really knows me would. Within that week things changed and two years became right now. And I was going to be coordinator starting that year. What? I'm not ready. I can't. I'm not equipped. But I was. God showed me that being a leader is about serving. Its not about being upfront and flashy, or even a look at me position. Its about serving others. 1 Peter 4:10 says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace, in various forms." How I got here was fast and unexpected but I have felt God's hand the whole time. It has been a wonderful blessing to me to serve. My prayer these 2 years has been to serve you, to make you feel loved, encouraged, wanted and noticed. That this journey of motherhood hasn't swallowed you up and you aren't alone. I never would have guessed God would use me as a mom the way he has. That shy, introverted girl. But he gave us all our own gifts to use. Some come easy and others are there to push us. I took a spiritual gift test last year with my sunday school class and my top three were service, faith and number 1- you guessed it, leadership. I just laughed! Not because its unimaginable but because how God uses us. He creates all so uniquely and uses us in ways we don't expect. I've accepted the irony of that shy girl being up here in a leader role. God has been working in me my whole life. Preparing me to be a mom, having me fall in love with motherhood and falling in love with moms and wanting to serve them through this journey. He used motherhood to push me out of my comfort zone. It changed me from that dark, angry person to someone who sees beauty in others. I used to hang my head down, avoiding eye contact and hoping no one spoke to me. Now I hope I greet others with a smiles and joy.

I feel like being just mom is my purpose, God's will and i'm ok with that. It doesn't mean its always easy. My beautiful boys drive me to the crazy house daily. They paint my couch purple and rub poop in my carpet (not kidding!)  They reveal in me my worst qualities. But they bring more joy and laughter that I thought possible. They make me grow and want me to better myself. Everyday I see the miracles of God in their eyes.

Being called mommy is the greatest gift. It has been an honor to serve as your MOPS coordinator these past 2 years. It has taught me how to be a better mom, friend, person. It has allowed me to use gifts God has given me. Thank you.

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