Heart Check Up

So Ellie’s valentine box.
She wanted to make it all herself.
So, I let her.
Compared to my “mom intervention” with Phoebe’s valentine box complete with ‘hinge action’,
it was less than stellar.
But she was so proud of it because she did every bit of it.
She painted the crap out of it
When Jason dropped her off at preschool and saw all the boxes lined up in the hallway he said the hallway looked like Pinterest blew up.
And then there was Ellie’s box.

You know what old Jill would have done?
She would have fretted and stewed and thought of a dozen excuses that she would have given to the imaginary people who were judging her.

You know what new Jill did?
i don't give

It really came down to this:
what’s my motivation?
Was it to spend time with my kiddo making memories and a Valentine’s box that she’d love?
Or was it to create something Pinterest worthy so everyone who saw it would laude and magnify me?
Oh my gosh!  Did you make that? It’s so adorable!
How did you come up with that?!
That. Is. Precious.
Yeah, usually it’s the latter.
You know where Ariel is right now?
Guarding the suspense section of the middle school Library.
I just can’t let her go…

The same with birthdays.
I would go cuckoo for coco puffs for my kids birthdays.
Everything matched the theme.
Even the food’s labels coordinated.

Scuttle's Sea Punch, Ariel's Octopus Dogs and Flounder's Fruit Salad.

Scuttle’s Sea Punch, Ariel’s Octopus Dogs and Flounder’s Fruit Salad.

You all.
I drew a face on a half peeled banana.
It was quite a sight.
I was literally exhausted when the last child left.
And completely broke.
I guarantee if I ask my kids what they remember about their birthdays it wouldn’t be the food spread that matched the My Little Pony theme.
The adults LOVED it.
The kids…well, they didn’t give two craps.
All they wanted was cake and to suck the helium out of the balloons while they chased the cat around the house.

I’m done wearing myself out.
Putting myself up against an impossible standard is so exhausting.
Let someone else do it.
Ellie’s birthday is Saturday and you know what?
I’m not even feeding these people.
I’ll give you cake, ice cream and a pat on the back, thanks for coming.
And you know who will have fun?
That’s all that matters.

And please Jesus, I am not saying all this to condemn you mamas who do this so effortlessly.
This attention to detail may be your spiritual gift.
And you my friend, can praise God for it.
May He put those gifts to work in your local church in hospitality and lovin on people.
I on the other hand was letting it rule my heart because I wanted people to make over it.
And me.
My heart was in the wrong place.
So what did I do?
I sent Pinterest packin.
Because the sting of rebuke from Matthew 6:1 says “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”
Thanks a lot God…all I want to do is brag about how awesome I am…
This now causes me to evaluate the heart behind what I do.
So the status that I put on Facebook.
Why am I doing it?
Is it for me?  Or to encourage someone else?

New moms.
Take Nancy Reagan’s advice and
just say no
The ONLY expectation you have to live up to is your Heavenly Father.
So that next party you’re planning?
Save yourself.
Enjoy yourself.
Enjoy the people God has given you.
You’re welcome.

I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.

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