Our True Selves

This morning got off to a terrible start. Terrible. It was a rough night and early start to the day, and all in all I could not imagine feeling any worse.

I texted a friend, wallowed in self-pity, then cooked myself the most delicious breakfast possible.

Torre’s favourite thing lately is to pull himself up to stand against a chair or a table and then call me to help him down or help him walk to somewhere. As bacon sizzled in the kitchen, I tried to explain to him that he had used up all of me during the night, that it was just a sad shell of me lying on the carpet unable to help him. He mostly just stood there yelling. At one point he crawled over and bit me on the leg.

Finally breakfast was ready, and Torre warmed my heart by eating some banana and some egg. Feeding him is an area that I feel almost as helpless in as getting him to sleep. Like, babies come with no skills at all, and I just don’t know how to teach the basic necessities of life. Part of me knows it will all work out, but a tiny, panicky part of my brain insists after every wakeful night and every rejected meal that I will still be waking up in the night to nurse my 12 year old because all he ever eats is rice crackers. So with some real food in both our bellies, my dejection began to ease, and I grabbed my Bible to read a bit while Torre played on the floor.

God has been after me lately about reading my Bible, so my new best-effort to do that is not to get on my computer unless I’ve read and/or prayed. I turned to the gospel of John in my Message New Testament and read the familiar first chapter. What I love (and sometimes roll my eyes at) about the Message is how familiar passages become fresh through the modern day language. Verse 12 reads,

But whoever did want him [Jesus],
     who believed he was who he claimed
     and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
     their child-of-God selves.

It was so good to remember when I was feeling so very out of sorts, that I have been given the freedom to be my true self, that I am not trapped in my tired, cranky, self-centered pity party self. When I feel overwhelmed, it doesn’t mean that I am incapable, and I am grateful to have friends, family, and a God that I can reach out to for help. Because life is so much richer when you’re not just getting by, when you see glimpses of transformation and hope that your true self can show up more and more.

Even through the haze of a grey morning that came too soon.

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Tim Davis 19-10-2013, 13:06

I enjoyed this – especially the great laughs it gave me.

alyssa 20-10-2013, 15:52

It’s true that some of my most “tragic” moments as a mother are hilarious with the right perspective 😛

Dolores Mason 19-10-2013, 14:10

I laughed and I remembered (the sleep loss, the feelings of incompetence….) The good news is as hard as it seems right now, you will look back on this with sweetness and fondness. Hang in there, you are looking to the right sources for strength (God and His Word).

alyssa 20-10-2013, 15:59

Dolores, thanks so much 🙂 It definitely helps to remember that this is terrain all mothers have to walk through. And there are many aspects of this season that are so joyful too!

Susan 19-10-2013, 18:16

Ah yes, the tired shell on the floor situation… you’re completely right that it’s God, friends and family that make the difference. And these days/moments are the ingredients of family from the parental side, which of course is only a little different (can you hear the sarcasm?) from the child side.
I’m so glad we’ll get to see you all again soon!

alyssa 20-10-2013, 16:01

We are so excited to be visiting soon!

Joon 19-10-2013, 23:52

Yeah, although I’m in Montreal. I find this entertaining and helpful, I’m in a similar situation. ^^

alyssa 20-10-2013, 16:03

I’m so glad you keep in touch 🙂 Stay strong and never be shy to reach out for help when the going gets tough!


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