This translates over to parenting as well. Sometimes I get so caught up in being “the good mom”. You know, the mom who has all her ducks in a row? I strive for the mom that I am sure I am supposed to be instead of relaxing and realizing the strengths I have as the mom I am – while not turning a blind eye to the areas I need to work on. (My husband and boys are sure to have a list. J ) Sometimes that translates into just realizing that yes, my kitchen is a disaster zone and I know that my ideal mom would have it cleaned up. But the me mom, well, I’m the one who says, “Daddy is late tonight so how about dinner on the front porch and I read to you from this Paulsen book?” And the peace that comes over me – yes, my kitchen is a mess and I’ll have to take care of it – but the peace in doing what I am supposed to be doing (reading) has an air of freedom to it. I am not locked to being the mom I invented, I am free to be the mom I am. As always, there is a balance. I am not perfect (oh goodness, I hope my boys and husband don’t read that one! Oh wait, being authentic here…and really, they totally know I’m not perfect. Sometimes they just let me believe it.) and I am still figuring out this whole “freedom of authenticity” thing. But I know enough to be kind, I know when to keep my mouth shut (sometimes) and I am guessing most of us do as well. You can be authentic without airing out all your dirty laundry so that when someone sees you coming they aren’t bracing to hear what you have to unkindly say and are looking for any way to escape.
I don’t know Jen Hatmaker, I believe we would get along smashingly though. Her end of the school year post is exactly what I am talking about. She was authentic. She was also hilarious. And if one is going to be authentic, well, heck, you might as well be funny about it because – Hello! Life is funny a good bunch of the time! - http:// jenhatmaker.com/blog/2013/05/30/worst-end-ofschool-year-mom-ever. So here is my summer project for you (because summer has so much free time (and all the mom’s laugh because they know summer is the busiest time!), learn to live your life with the
freedom of authenticity. And how better to do that then to turn to the Author of your life, Jesus Christ? Learn who you are in HIM, not what someone says you are, who you really truly are. Look to Him to guide you in this life, after all, he IS the Author of your life (Hebrews 12:2). Share your journey with me, because, girl, I am right there with you.
Denise Dykstra, co-editor of Praise and Coffee the Magazine. Denise is heavily caffeinated and joyfully married to her truck driving, farming husband. They reside in Michigan raising their four boys (ages 14 to 7) on a hobby farm that keeps them hopping busy. She updates friends on her sons’ latest escapades and caught snakes on her blog “Life With Four Boys...Coffee Please!” Dense@PraiseandCoffee.com
Cuz there are those people out there too. You know what I mean. Don’t be them. 21
Praise and Coffee | Summer 2013