Easter in Arkansas. One of my favorite things. The grass has greened and there are touches of color. My parents have a courtyard in the middle of their house and I’m sitting on a pollen-covered patio chair wanting time to stand just a little bit still.
But it doesn’t.
I hear activity in the house but I’m wearing my invisible cloak so that no-one can see me.
Sitting. Sunning. Listening.
My sister’s in the kitchen and she tells Coulter to take a shower.
My Mom is trying to un-tangle the nest that is Emma Claire’s hair.
Mike is showing no mercy with nephews playing indoor hoops and my Dad is recovering from a day spent horsing around.
The peace that is Arkansas.
I breathe it in.
This. Is my village.
And it takes us all.
Last week I came across a blog post about how to be a step-mom.
The first thing I read.
YOU ARE NOT THE MOM.
And I’ve written and re-written this next part several times.
My first reaction.
And then I deleted that. Not exactly a dignified answer and I don’t even use that word.
But I did think it.
And I deleted that.
And then I argued with the blogger.
Really? Not a mom? Maybe not THE mom? But not A mom? It’s flippin in my title. Step-mom.
And then I deleted that.
And y’all. My backspace button is on fire. And the Lord is working on my hard heart!
Delete. Delete. Delete.
I am a mother. And that’s what I do. I mother. And I’m pretty sure that’s what we want.
We are mothers and fathers and we are sisters and brothers and if we are only looking out for “our own” then shame on us.
My sister adopted brothers when they were 5 and 8.
She is their mother.
Sometimes it’s not DNA that makes a family.
But here’s the thing. I’m struggling.
And maybe you guessed that already.
I’m struggling with how this should work.
I hate getting it wrong.
No clue. El zippo on how to get it right.
And I have like a super strong need to be right.
And a need to be heard.
And what I really need is more of Jesus.
More of His truth.
Because my truth?
I’m jealous that my husband has other women in his life.
I’m jealous that they had his children and I never will.
I’m jealous that his ex-wife is beautiful and around her I feel small.
Not good small. Like, icky-tiny small. Like I’m a tiny little bug and—oh never mind.
And God is a jealous God so I think I’m in good company. ☺
And that could be the end of the story. Me.
That could be me.
And I’ve lived small.
How do I keep my eyes fixed on Christ?
How do I give up my need to be heard and to be right and how do I give up being small?
Ann Voskamp says we have to fight hard for joy.
Our children need us. All of them.
Need all of us.
So I will fight against jealousy and I will fight against regret and will fight.
Fight hard for joy.
So. Here’s the thing. It was brought to my attention that writing about Mike’s youngest son and referring to him as “our oldest” was hurtful to his mom.
And I don’t want to be hurtful.
And if it hurts his mom, then it hurts Mike’s son.
And if it hurts Mike’s son then it hurts my husband.
Proverbs 31 says, “an excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of a husband trusts in her, and he wlll have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life.’
She does him good and not harm.
This house is full of love. Broken, bruised, rising from the ashes love. I can know it. I can live it.
I just won’t write about it.
Yesterday we celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday. As a gift, my sister and I sang in church. Well, it was a gift for my dad. Not too sure how everyone else felt about it. ☺
Emma Claire was in the front row singing along and she leaned up to the woman next to her. A perfect stranger and she said,“That’s my mom.”
She knows who her momma is.
And so does Lucas.
I couldn’t threaten that strong mother-son bond for all the tea in china.
And I wouldn’t try.
So the decision rests with me. Can I humble myself and censor myself and filter myself for the boys in my life and the answer is yes.
Proverbs 31 continues. “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.”
Jealousy doesn’t really lend itself to laughing and continuing to write after I’ve learned it to be hurtful does not show strength.
Chapter 28 and 29. “Her children rise up and call her blessed and her husband also, and he praises her. ‘Many women have done excellently but you surpass them all’.”
I’m not Mike’s first wife. But. Keeping my eyes on Jesus, I humbly desire to be his 31st.
His Proverbs 31st Wife.