[This is a guest story by contributor Ann Grace. Ann’s post last month was “Longing for Loneliness” and this post gives more insight into Ann’s spiritual journey after the death of her first husband.]
This week has been filled with tears, laughter and exhaustion. It’s been 4 years to the month that my late husband, Shane, and I took our children to Colorado on a ski trip. For years I wanted to go again, but the fears of traveling alone after my husband died, kept me from ever embarking on this adventure.
Traveling with 5 children is A LOT.
Not to mention going back to the same place that we went with Shane. Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Sigh. To think of the emotional journey alone was just overwhelming!
But we finally did it! After 3 days on the road, the kids and I arrived in Colorado safe and tired. Well, take that back… I’m was tired. Kids seem to have regained a massive amount of energy and were ready to play in the snow! Haha.
At first, I just figured that the kids could go outside and play with each other as I rested on the couch. But then, reality hit me. I realized that they don’t have their father to play with them anymore.
They needed me. Tired and worn out Mom.
So with a quiet prayer asking for some strength from the Lord, I picked myself up and we headed to the snow covered hills to sled and have a great snowball fight! It was SO much FUN!!! It’s been years since I’ve just been able to act like a “kid” with my kids. For years, it was Shane who was the “fun” one while I took the “Martha role” of our family.
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ ” Luke 10:38-40 ESV
Now don’t get me wrong. I do believe that my role as a wife and mother was to be that “Proverbs 31 wife/mom” for my family but NOT in the way I believed of having to be “PERFECT“.
I forgot the high calling of just being “MOM” and enjoying my babies.
Did that mean sometimes sacrificing the dishes being washed or the house NOT being spotless?
YEP! But in my quest for perfection, I just couldn’t let “playtime” with the kids interfere with my plans. And now…
Everything in my old world has faded away.
I was talking to a friend today over the phone and as he was telling me about church today. Our conversation led to my desire to be “perfect”. Then, in pure love, he reminded me of Christ’s love and how I needed to let the Lord take complete control of my life. I needed to accept His grace in my imperfections and believe that I am NOT a failure because the kids have mismatching socks! I needed to enjoy life to the fullest! I spend so much time trying to be a “perfect” mom, that I miss out on playing with my kids.
The idea of being a “perfect wife/mother” has now vanished.
The Lord just wants the imperfect me! He wants me to be “a Mary” and just sit at HIS feet and bask in HIS grace. The desire to control my world was just keeping me in bondage. I want to rest in Jesus’ arms as tears flood my eyes every-time I feel my life is out of control.
This vacation was our new journey of healing and restoration. It’s exactly where the Lord wanted our family to be.
Broken and Imperfect.
“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’ ” Luke 10:41-42 ESV
Lord, As perfection drifts away, may I find Your love and grace in my life until the day You take me home and make me PERFECT.
Ann Grace married her first husband, a Marine and Firefighter in 2002 and they were blessed with five beautiful children. She was widowed in 2015 and re-married in 2017. She had a stillbirth in 2017 and now seeks to share her passion of how Christ rescued her with other grieving women and children.