I received a note this afternoon in the mail. There was no return address, though with an infant at home, I figured it was a friend or family member sending well wishes for our new little family member. Instead I found a typed letter. After reading it, I felt like I should address it somehow, but yet, how? Although the name was left (and maybe you don’t realize, but I am well aware of who you are), how was I to address the situation when someone felt the need to be so anonymous that they didn’t want to leave a return address? Since the letter was written with concern to a blog post I wrote for Mother’s Day, I figured you followed my blog enough that I could openly let you know I received your letter, and I have a few things to clarify.
The letter started with you telling me how beautiful a bride I was in my profile picture. I thank you for that, however, I sit here blushing. You see, if you know me well enough, you’d now that any compliments make me uncomfortable. I blush uncontrollably and I change the subject as quickly as I can. I’d rather not claim humbleness, but just know that although appreciated, I felt quite flustered.
Next, you mentioned that it’s “heart-warming in this day and age to read a blog that proclaims a love for God.” So, I’m assuming you also know me well enough to know that, obviously, I’m a Christian. Though, really, don’t take this personally, I’m not at all trying to impress you (or anyone for that matter) with my faith. At the end of the day, I don’t have to answer even to my own husband or children, or my parents, friends, other family, etc. I have my faith for one and ONLY one purpose. And that is to serve, love and honor my God. Though, again, I humbly thank you for your affirmations.
In the next paragraph is where you threw me for a loop. After proclaiming that you had read my previous posts and claiming to know and understand not only my faith, but who I am as a person, it seems that you should understand what I was trying to get at in my blog post. Though… I’m not sure you DO know me that well. The exact words were: “We ALL have accomplished great things in our lives-thanks be to God-however, only those with a hole in their soul need to publicly boast about them.” You went on to tell me that my value is only because of God.
Now. I have to say, thank you again, for pointing out to me that my God has created me. I’m well aware of that. Didn’t necessarily need the reminder. But hey, I’m going on roughly 4 hours of sleep, so I guess it doesn’t hurt to point something so blatantly obvious out to me right now. Being totally honest here, I put the washcloth in the freezer this morning for who knows what reason. And it took me roughly 4 hours to figure out where it was.
But I’d really like to address the assumption of my ‘boastfulness’. You see, I wrote that blog post at, give or take, 36 weeks pregnant. Though I don’t feel in anyway that I need to justify myself to you, I’d like to bring to light that at that point in my life, albeit only a few weeks ago, I was struggling. I was struggling with the demands of raising a toddler. A toddler, who since you have been reading my blog, you also should know has significant developmental delays and requires different therapies several days each week. Not to mention the anxiety I was dealing with going into delivering my second child. If you knew me, you’d also know that this wasn’t just the typical anxiety of going into labor in the middle of the night, not making it to the hospital in time, etc. This anxiety was related to the difficulty we had shortly after the birth of my first child. When she was taken from me only minutes after she was born and put in NICU for 5 agonizingly long days. Then, the anxiety that, after we had her home for only 3 incredibly SHORT days, she again was taken from me and placed in the hospital. You see, she had jaundice. SEVERE jaundice. So, anxiety was also an issue for me. Add that to the normal worries of a second time mom, such as how financially we are going to make ends meet on our single income family; how am I going to be able to juggle having a newborn and still make time to love on and play with my toddler; how is my aging dog, my first child, going to deal with yet another family member added to the madness.
Not to mention, I am frequently single handedly managing my household. My husband (you claim to know him) is an incredibly hard worker. He does so much for our little family. I just can’t even tell you how proud and honored I am to be his wife. But with all that hard work, he frequently comes home tired. Exhausted, actually. And falls asleep on the couch. I don’t like to wake him, because I know how tired he is. So, even though I personally am not working outside the home, I really am a single mom. But I swallow that horse pill with a drop of water. Though, you should know that also fueled my need to write a blog post for Mother’s Day.
My blog post was not out of self pity for myself. Again, I am honored to be doing what I am doing. But I know I am not the only one who feels stuck in this rut of the day in and day out, never changing activities of a stay at home mom. Maybe you too, had young children at once that you stayed home with. If you’re like any other sane person, you likely also reflected somedays on what your life used to be.
For me, my reflection was not to ‘boast’ about how wonderful and perfect I am. My post was to reaffirm to myself that God did indeed give me these gifts. He also put me in these life situations to help mold me and shape me for what he knew was coming in my life. Though I knew at the time I wanted children someday, I didn’t know if He had that included in His plans for me. But, thankfully he did. And I’ve been blessed with these little ones. I’ve been blessed with appropriate situations and tasks in my life, so that I can be the mom I am.
I know there are other moms out there that have had these same feelings. This ‘stuck’ feeling. I know, because I have talked to them. Close friends as well as distant friends. We’ve talked about it. Shared coffee in our yoga pants, with bags under our eyes while wearily looking at our disheveled children running around with yesterday’s breakfast on their faces, because we just can’t find the energy to clean them up. Since I do know a little about you, I know that if you have children, it’s been many MANY years since you’ve had children at home, albeit YOUNG children. Just a friendly reminder, it’s HARD.
I was not “boasting” about my accomplishments and claiming that it was all me, and not my Creator that helped me through each of those experiences. I was not claiming these things in an effort to bring attention to myself. You may think I have a “hole in my soul” because I need to talk about it. Unfortunately you assumed that. If you knew me, you’d know I had a hole in my soul, because I’m flawed in that I am extremely hard on myself. I have exceptionally high standards, and I needed, for myself, to acknowledge that I AM good enough. Though God was not mentioned in that post, He was speaking to me and saying, “Look, Erin. Look at all these challenges I’ve placed in your path. You’ve completed them. You’ve done well. Motherhood is your task right now. And it will be hard. But know that I am with you. I am with You as I always have been, and I have trained you well for this task. I will walk with you in this journey.”
I opened my heart and showed my personal struggles, so potentially, another mom feeling the same could also understand she is not alone.
You asked me to reflect on Psalm 139. Specifically verse 13. I read from ‘The Message’, so it may look different from whatever version you prefer. Here’s what I found:
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.
It’s a shame you haven’t taken the time to get to know me well enough to realize my knowledge of this. As I’ve just mentioned, I know I’m doing what I am because it is God’s plan for me. Again, very disheartening that you read a 600 word blog post, and after claiming to have read other posts and knowing my love for my God, the assumption was made that I am “boastful”.
A true Christian doesn’t judge. A true Christian, instead of sending a hurtful letter to a mom with her hands full with a newborn and toddler, would make the effort to care for and love a fellow sister in faith.
Lucky for you, since I do tend to juggle a lot, I have a long list of people to pray for, for various reasons (being forgetful these days, I do have to write down what I’m to be praying for for each individual, lest I forget). As a fellow sister in faith, know that I will add you to that long prayer list. Know that I will care for and love on you in my prayers in the coming weeks, months, maybe even years. I pray that it would be revealed to you how hurtful judgement can be, and how being so narrow minded can close off connections from people. Not just myself. But others, who TRULY need Jesus in their lives.