Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Maturing 35

I am maturing. It amazes me to realize that I was unknowingly immature in an area of my life (purposely immature- silly- is acceptable, right?). It encourages me to see myself growing.

I am learning to enjoy others and learning to let go of stress and the impossible standards I place on myself. Enjoying others (being hospitable) has provided me such joy. I wrote about my new perspective on hospitality here.

I am also learning to let go of stress and unrealistic standards that I impose on myself. My parents just left after a wonderful visit. I made a conscious and very determined effort to refuse stress and to be relaxed. In doing so, I was able to enjoy my parents (be hospitable) and not try to be something I am not. I discovered something that I wish I had discovered years ago. I had created tension without knowing it because my self-confidence was low and my standards were too high.

My mom enjoys doing things for other people. I haven’t read the book The Five Love Languages in a long time but based on the little I remember about it, I would say that my mom’s love language is "Acts of Service." She feels loved when people do things for her and she loves to do things for other people. This used to create incredible tension when she would come to visit. I could not understand why she wouldn’t just relax and enjoy my company and play with her grandchildren. I mean, it would frustrate me to no end.

My new hospitality perspective during her visit allowed me to realize that she was not trying to fix me, my parenting, or my house. She was just trying to love on me. I recognized that I had a problem with feeling inadequate. The tension had come from my fear of not being a good enough mom in my mom’s eyes. The tension was because I was focused on myself. I let go of my self-imposed stress. I let my mom be herself. She did laundry for me. She organized clothes. She cooked and cleaned. She was very happy. For the first time, I enjoyed the way she loved me. In doing so, my love and appreciation for her grew. Without the stress, we all enjoyed our time together more.

I love seeing myself mature as a mom. I am 35 years old and I am beginning to grow up! I laugh that it took having 4 kids for me to realize that I have to let go of unrealistic expectations and unnecessary stress.

8 comments:

He And Me + 3 said...

I really need to do that too. I tell myself to, but it is easier said than done. I stress about silly things, and I see that trickling to my oldest daughter...who at 8 should not have any worries, but school. Thank you for this post. I needed a gentle reminder.

John and Carrie said...

Wow! What you wrote is so beautiful and a great reminder! I too, struggle with letting people help when they visit. Thanks for a great perspective on it!

Beth E. said...

Great post! My mother is the same way. No matter how much I clean my house in preparation for my parents' visit, it's always cleaner after she's been here! lol

Liz said...

great post...
i just wanted to stop by to thank you for your prayers for my husband's surgery. you are so sweet.
love,
liz

Elaine said...

I love that, learning to let go of stress and unrealistic standards. Boy those are really thoughts to live by. I just turned 39 and I am still working on that. Thank you so much for sharing and being so transparent. God is working through you....

sarah said...

I love this post! Such a good reminder to me to enjoy others not manage them!

Anonymous said...

Jane Anne, this is beautiful....how lucky you are to have a Mom who wants to help...the raltionship between mothers and daughters is a tricky one...being a mother and a daughter I struggle with opposite sides of this story and at the age of 57 I am still trying to mature in this area. I've always had a problem accepting help from others...still do....however, four years ago on my death bed I had no choice...I feel as if GOD put me flat on my back and helpless so that I would have give in to accepting help....I realized during that time that giving in to it was o.k. and it allowed my friends to love on me in that way...I still struggle with the whole family thing being that my mother and I are not friends, but that too is helping me mature as a mother of a wonderful daughter whom I would do anything in this world for! So here's to mothers and daughters!!!! you are a doll and I love your blog ...Hi Carrie!!!!
GOD is good,
Patti B.

Anonymous said...

*sigh* I can really relate to this post. I look forward to being 35 and figuring it out, too... but I still have a few years. :-(