It was good the other day to visit with a couple of good old (as in for a long time - not our age!) friends. Lisa and I met our freshman year in college and we've been friends ever since. She and I spent lots of time together when our kids were babies and toddlers. A few years ago, our kids started school, our schedules changed and we switched churches, so it's been harder to see each other on a regular basis, but whenever we're together it makes me happy.
Anyway, we were talking about how changes in life can make us long for the way things used to be. Both of us were acknowledging that there are things we miss about the early mommyhood stage of life. (Staying home more is top on my "I miss that!" list right now.) BUT we spent enough time together back in those days to know that for both of us that season was FILLED to the brim with challenges, frustrations and discouragements along with the joy and fun and excitement of having little kids. So why do we wish we could go back? That's what nostalgia does to us, I guess... it helps us focus on the rosy parts of the past especially when we're unsettled in the present or uncertain about the future.
Every week or so I find myself wondering why things seem hard still. Yes, this is a season filled with change, but really? How long will I struggle with keeping my emotions in check? (It's been really good for me to be paying more attention to the little thoughts I wrote about yesterday. It helped me a lot today!) It's also good for me to realize that many of the things that made life a challenge before all these changes have not just evaporated. Most of them (like housekeeping, mothering, etc.) are still here beneath all of the obvious sources of stress. So again, I find myself needing to receive the grace God gives me for today. And I have to be patient with myself.
I always say that we don't "forgive ourselves" (we receive and accept forgiveness and believe we are forgiven! But that's another post...) but I wonder if grace is the same way. It's not something we give ourselves but something we receive from God (and maybe other people) - especially in the light of all I wrote a few weeks ago about that it means. I need to be merciful and patient with myself, but grace comes from others. I just have to be willing to accept it.
Day 20 (Woohoo! Halfway!!!)