Today Jeni is sharing her heart with us. She is a Christ-follower, a full time stay-at-home mom, and a part time photographer at Acres of Hope Photography (www.aohphotography.com). She has a passion for ministering and encouraging new moms through the challenges and struggles that often comes with raising little ones. She believes in embracing who Christ made you to be, imperfections and all! Jeni resides in Kansas City with her amazing husband Brandon, and their two beautiful children, Zoey and Ezra.
I have to admit, being an adult has been way harder than I’d imagined. I remember, several years ago, sitting in my dorm room, dreaming up a pretty darn amazing life for myself. It would go something like this: I would grow up, get a job, get married, have several kids, and be gloriously happy. Life would be easy! I wouldn’t experience hardship, I’d have plenty of money to spend, kids that always listened to me, a clean and well-decorated house, and I’d fall madly in love with my husband, every single day.
But my personal favorite? I’d never gain weight. EVER.
Well, you can imagine my surprise, a few years later, when my sweet little story got flipped upside-down. Marriage was hard. Being a mom was even harder. I had lost who I was, somewhere in between the diaper changes and the sleep deprivation. The body that had once been toned and valued, now felt gross and unworthy. The brainpower that I had relied on to stay focused and in control, was slowly sinking beneath the weight of fatigue and comparison. I’d lost sleep. I’d lost friends. I’d lost people I loved. I’d even lost my mind.
But you know who was there the whole time?
Whispering to my heart….
Sweet daughter, I am here. Life is hard, but you can do it. You’re not alone. For when you are weak, then I am STRONG.
He was there, whispering to my soul, reminding me that HE was my father, when I so desperately wanted to melt into the arms of the father I’d had here on earth. Reminding me that I was flawless and beautiful in His eyes, despite my aging body and sagging skin. Reminding me that I was worth it, that He didn’t make a mistake when He made me.
He’s made me for a purpose. He made ME. Perfectly. On the good days. On the bad days.
And every day in between.
I have value. I have worth. But I don’t have to have strength…He has it for me. I don’t have to do this alone. I can draw from HIS strength to make my marriage stronger, to make my home more peaceful, to make my heart more content. I am beginning to see that it is nearly impossible to see my value in Christ if my eyes are on the world. I need to spend less time listening to the lies of the enemy, and more time focusing on the Voice of Truth.
I don’t want the perfect life. I don’t need to be the best wife, the best mom, have the best job. I just want Christ. I want His plan for me. I want His plan for my life and for the children He has so graciously entrusted to me. I want to sift out the fluffy, meaningless stuff that the world promises, and embrace what HE promises. Life. To the fullest.
In fact, just as the apostle Paul states, I think I can even learn to be content with my weaknesses. Because, when we are a child of the King, we can be weak, and STILL have strength. In fact, lots of it. And we can boast about the fact that we are imperfect, about the fact that we can’t do anything apart from Him. Because it brings Him glory. It brings Him Praise.
And because, when I am weak (which is A LOT), then HE is strong. HE is in control. HE is there.
What a promise. I think I’ll rest in that.