My days all seem to start the same. Around 4 am my little bug climbs into my bed. She’s realized that I am useless at this time of the morning so she uses me as kind of a launching pad to pull herself up and over into the coveted spot in the bed: The middle. She then proceeds to work her cold little feet into the back of my underwear. Talk about a rude awakening! It’s this moment that I realize she has arrived. I then drift back to sleep as easily as one can with wiggly ice cubes in their panties, only to have her wake my slumber once more… this time for her sippy cup… you know the one that’s all the way in her room? So I stumble across the hall, locate the sippy cup in her covers and slip back into my bed… the cold feet/bum routine happens again and everyone settles in for a couple more hours of sleep.
My alarm goes off at 6:15 and my first life altering decision of the day is before me. Do I throw on the neatly folded workout clothes that I laid out the night before in the hopes that I’d wake up a 24 year old with energy? Or do I grab myself a hot cup of coffee and curl up on the couch with Gracie dog? Most days the coffee siren wins this battle but today I ran. Well, er, I jogged and walked and tried not to die. I, like every other woman I know, am unhappy with my body. Shocker right? I’m finally getting to the place where I just eat healthy and exercise a few times a week and try to be happy with whatever weight, shape, size that makes me. I still can’t help but find myself watching my fit friends on Facebook or Instagram and thinking “Why can’t I get it together? She has time to work out and raise 3 kids, why does she look like a fitness model and I’m here praying to squeeze back into my prepregnancy jeans?” I don’t see the differences in our lives at that moment, just the differences in our pant size. She doesn’t necessarily have more time than me, she just spends her time differently. She’s on a different journey than I am. God hasn’t called her to homeschool her 3 young kids so she has 8 hours per day that she can be in the gym, grocery shop, meal plan… I don’t have the same luxury. God has called me on a different journey.
Last week we went to a couple friends’ new home. They have just moved in to this beautiful, custom home and it is amazing. Her decorating skills are unbelievable and that place is perfect! I found myself walking around her beautiful new home and I was envious of all of their beautiful things. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and I am so very happy for their family, but I thought of our new home. Our home is fresh and beautiful too but it’s not decorated yet. We still have boxes filling the garage overflowing with things we probably didn’t even need to bring. We have a closet that we have tucked a few pictures away in, waiting until a free night where we can actually put them on the wall. We’ve had curtains for a month that aren’t even hung, simply because we haven’t had the time to get it done. You see my friend works part time and has adult children. She has time to decorate. She’s in a stage in her life where they don’t have the day to day financial strain of young kids. They have the time, money and energy to make their home beautiful and she has done an amazing job! Again, I am reminded that God has called me on a different journey.
We all have people in our lives that we compare ourselves to. We covet their homes, pant size, lifestyle… maybe even their children. The grass is always greener right? But God hasn’t called them on our journey. He’s designed one specifically for them. I wish God had given me the same metabolism that some of my naturally thin friends have but He didn’t. That’s no accident. He knows that I struggle with vanity and perfectionism and so He’s making me learn to appreciate imperfection in myself. He’s organized my day just the way He wants it. He’s given me 3 little souls to raise and He’s set my day to remind me that they are my priority, not my weight, home or bank account. When we compare our journey to those of the people around us we breed jealousy and discontentment. We begin to look at our own lives and see burdens. The blessings that God has given us, the tools for our path, the unique life that He has carefully designed for me can never be a burden.
One day my house will be perfectly decorated, I’ll be more fit because I’ll have time to be in the gym. One day I’ll wake up without cold feet crammed into my underwear. I won’t wake with my face in a wet spot in the sheets from a leaky sippy. My kids will be grown and gone and starting their own journeys. I’m sure I’ll miss these days. Even as I sit here and type this my little mess maker is beside me… on the desk, coloring. One day I’ll be uninterrupted.
Please don’t waste your journey wishing for someone else’s. Please don’t squander your time with your babies watching your friend’s lives through the screen of a phone or tablet. I’m guilty of this myself. But I’m vowing to stop. I’m going to take a seat upfront for my journey. I’m going to watch my children grow. I’m going to drink my coffee in a living room that’s scarcely decorated. I’m going to write with a toddler on my lap, I’m going to wake up to cold feet and leaky sippy cups. I’m going to pass by the fit moms at the gym with my car full of kiddos on the way to Co-Op. There will be time for workouts later. Today it’s plastic solar systems and paper mache volcanoes and I wouldn’t have it any other way.