Saturday, August 6, 2011

It was just a bed

From the time I can remember my mother made my bed for me. Once I was up and she made my bed I wasn't allowed to get back on my bed. Something so simple, but yet it has affected my life still today. Do you know at forty-four there has not been one day of my life that has passed without making my bed? Seriously. Of course, except for those days that I am sick and in bed, but still yet, I cannot have a wrinkled bed.

Now before you go thinking, "This girl is crazy", just hold that thought for a bit. Okay, you still might walk away thinking that, but you might have a better understanding as to why. It seems we all carry baggage from our mothers of some kind. I am wondering what baggage I have passed on to my own daughters. Yes, from the time I was little until I was in high school, my mom made my bed. She too cleaned my room, picked my clothes up and did absolutely everything. Once my room was cleaned I wasn't allowed to mess it up. I know my mom loved taking care of me. She loved doing things for me and my dad, but in doing so, it left me with a feeling that nothing I did was ever good enough.

I would try to make my bed and she would just come in and take the sheets off and do it again. Do you know I never even made cookies with my mom? Never baked a cake. Never cooked a thing until I left home. Now, there is a first dinner to talk about. She was one of those moms that simply did everything. She was always working and staying busy. Our home was spotless.

I would ask if I could help in the kitchen and she would say to me, "I will do it. I will get it done quicker and you will only make a mess." To me, I heard, "I don't need you in here and you can't do it anyway." My mom was the oldest of all her brothers. As she grew up she cared for them and helped her mother in the home. Being poor cotton pickers from Arkansas, my mother knew what work was. I love my mother with all my heart. I treasure her love. I just don't think she realizes the impact she made upon my life. I grew up feeling very insecure about myself. Always wondering what others thought of me and if I was doing something good enough, which I knew I wasn't. I found myself either struggling with trying too hard or just giving up all together.

When I get up every morning the first thing I do is make my bed. I feel like my house is a mess if my bed is not made. I have caught myself going by my bed and straightening the quilts. My husband knows this battle going on within my heart. Praise the Lord he understands this quirkiness, because even though I am writing it, I still can't understand. But, it is true. Our childhood has a lasting impact on our life. If we are not made aware of the things that affected us so, we too will pass them on to our children.

If you would walk into my son's room you would know he has not been affected. LOL His bed is not made every day and I do not walk in and make it for him. Now, when my girls were at home, they made their bed every day. Their room was always clean, but they played like little girls. My son's room was filled with Legos and trucks and cars of all kinds. I taught my children when they were small to pick up their toys when they were done. I didn't want them to feel like I did. I felt like if I touched something it would get dirty.

I can tell you the first time I made cookies was with my own children. My husband taught me how to cook. Thank goodness for his amazing skills in the kitchen. My children had this little cookbook and it is stained with chocolate still today.

I know my mom would be in tears if she knew. I have never shared these feelings I have with her. How could I? I would break her heart. But, how can I just continue to hold them in? I think after all these years I am finally realizing and am able to gently let go. I might even hold some anger and bitterness tucked in there deep. I don't have memories of baking and crafting with my mom. I wasn't even allowed to decorate the Christmas tree. I remember one year she was allowing me to put up icicles. Remember those? I was so excited I just opened up my hand and began tossing them across the tree. My mom took every single one down and replaced them herself. Again, what I had done was not good enough.

How do you get over that? How can you heal from that feeling of being unworthy? There are times I think of my dad and wonder, "Daddy, are you proud of me?" I know he is. I know he would be thrilled with how his little girl turned out. But some how there is still a pain there. See, I never heard the words, "I love you", from my dad until his last days. Of course, I knew my dad loved me. But those words were words he just never spoke. He came from a family that didn't share. They didn't even hug. I cannot imagine not hugging my son everyday. Maybe that is why I made sure my children were told every day that I loved them and I always made sure I placed my arms around them each day. My son still hugs me each night before he turns in for bed. I never wanted my children to wonder.

I thought I just might share. I thought I would be totally transparent. Why? Because I know there are others out there carrying baggage that is getting heavier by the day. We hide it deep within so no one sees. But each and every time I walk past my bed I remember. That's why I reach out and straighten the wrinkles so the quilt is smooth.

But see, I too remember my Savior chose me! He chose me! I didn't have to be perfect and He knows I am not and He loves me anyway. He created me with love and I am created in His image. Can you imagine that kind of love? That is crazy love, isn't it? There is no other love like His. I can envision myself upon His lap and I can hear His words of encouragement and love. I long to hear Him one day say, "Well done my daughter." But until then I know that He loves me. Not because I am perfect or imperfect, but just because I am me. He loves me when I make a mess of things and when I fall down flat on my face. He is always reaching out to me and always accepting of me as His child.

See, it takes time to unpack sometimes. For me, it has taken years, but I am unpacking one piece at a time and slowly healing is coming. Whenever I feel unworthy I hear my Savior's words, "You are My daughter." My husband knows when I am feeling as if I am not good enough and having a hard time. He too is quick to remind me, "You are a daughter of the King of kings. You are a royal blue blood. You have a heritage that goes beyond anything we ever expected." See, it's not my unworthiness, it is His worthiness.

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were note of them." Psalm 139:13-16

"You did not choose Me, but I chose you." John 15:16a

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
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