Do you ever feel like sometimes your past just clings to you. When I first met Scott he swore that I smoked and I always felt like I smelled like it. My hair, cloths and my car just reeked of smoke, but I couldn't figure out why. I don't smoke and I wouldn't even allow my friends to smoke in my car.
Once we got married Scott borrowed my little two door hatchback Geo Metro and drove it to work so he could get the oil changed. He realized that the smell that clung onto me wasn't because I was secretly smoking behind his back. It was because my car was pumping carbon monoxide into the vents and covering my hair, face and clothing.
I sometimes feel like my past can be just like that carbon monoxide that was pumping into my car. That once its spoken it clings on you. That when I walk into a room people will see me and not think of the positive things about me, but instead think of me as that girl who smells like smoke, or who had that abortion when she was 17, the girl who worked for mclean bible church or the one who sometimes really sucks at being married. Then their are so many other things that I left unspoken in the blogosphere. Struggles and hurts that I've entrusted to people for prayer and yet when I walk into a room I always feel that I'm carrying around the stench of what I have shared.
Sometimes the stench of things said or done to you tend to sneak up on you in the worst moments. Like today when I took Judah to the library. He immediately started throwing tantrums in the parking lot because I asked him to not run away from me. I was carrying a canvas bag full of 20 books to return. My shoulder felt like it was going to pop out of place from the weight of it and I was tripping over my moccasins as I was running after Judah. Once we got inside Judah immediately started talking about the rocking chair in the reading area. To distract him I asked him to help me return the books. Then had him grab a basket and told him once we find a few books and if he behaves we will go to the rocking chair. He was pretty decent, ran away from me only twice. I decided now was a good time to let him sit in the rocking chair. Our rule is that he has to sit down and rock he can not get up and push the rocking chair and let it crash into the wall or kids around him. If he does then we leave. He rocked for a few minutes then got up and started pushing the rocking chair and letting it crash into the wall. When I said it was time to leave he started screaming and throwing books at me. At this moment I am MORTIFIED. I keep thinking of false words that were spoken to me. Hurtful things that smeared my character and wounded my heart. I started to BELIEVE these words and proof that these lies are truth is my child screaming at me and not behaving in the library. So I calmly took Judah by his hand, distracted him by letting him help me check out the books and left the library.
Being Judahs mom I put a lot of who I am in how he acts. I figured if I raise him well then he should reflect how I am as a parent. His character should reflect my character. When he throws a tantrum I am mortified because I feel that this reflects on me that I am a bad parent and my mind is bombarded with negative words about myself that were at one point or another spoken into my life. I will begin to stink of those discouraging words and believe that they must be true. Believing bad things about myself when my child throws a tantrum is just like believing that I am a smoker when in reality my Geo Metro was pumping my air vents full of carbon monoxide. I may have really bad days where I struggle with being a mom. I mean really struggle. Those bad days may turn into a bad week. That should be ok. I shouldn't paint a label on my head and call myself crazy then start believing lies about how I parent my child or even who I am as a person. We all have our bad days or weeks. It should be ok for me to admit that sometimes I get anxious and feel like I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel when my husband is working long hours, that my heart aches because I don't have my sisters around, that its hard to fit into certain communities and I sometimes don't know what to do when my child is taking out his frustrations about life on me. On days where I can't see the light it doesn't make me any less of a mom or wife. I shouldn't question my sanity because I am having a bad day. We shouldn't finger point or mom shame. Instead we should encourage one another and remind each other that they are doing a great job at being a mom. Speak words of truth of who they are in Christ into their life. Affirm that its ok to have a bad day that we all get them.
I do not want to smell like my past. Its not saying that my future smells like roses and daisy's because I know it will not. But I don't want to carry around the trash bags of lies around any longer. I give myself permission to have bad days and know that I am still a good mom to Judah. I still love his guts even when he throws big tantrums.