Recording Successes

From my long walk this morning.

I try to journal and share balanced and honest things in this blog of mine. But I need to do something a little different right now. I need to ride a wave of encouragement given to me as a gift from my friend and talk about successes.

I’ve been struggling behind/under a weight of anxiety and depression 70% of the time the last several months… maybe longer. There are a lot of thought patterns that have taken root… some noticed and others without me being aware.

Things like:
I’m not a good parent.
I’m not doing a good job.
I lost my temper.
I wasn’t patient.
I didn’t keep up with chores.
I didn’t keep up with social correspondences.
I can’t understand all the medical information.
I don’t know what to do sometimes.
I am not sure how to respond to different diagnoses.
The kids eat dinner in front of the tv frequently.
I can’t participate with the family after about 6pm most evenings.
The yard’s a mess.
My kid’s don’t have much social time.
My kids are picky eaters.
My boys are struggling.
And on and on.

My friend said some things today that touched me deeply. And there was some pain in the receiving. Analyze that all you want, but she said things like:
You’re doing a good job.
You did petri dishes and grew germs in homeschool.
You’re doing an amazing job with Daniel.

And now I’m crying again.

I’m so scared that that voice might be right. That doesn’t make any sense! I’m so certain that the dark voice is right. I made peace with the dark voice. I told it, “You may be right, but I’m not giving up anyway.” I can do that. I’ve been doing that. I’m chasing God’s perfect will for our lives sacrificially. I’m all in – I’ve given everything I am to raising this family and nurturing these boys. And somehow it’s easier for me to believe that I’ve messed it up.

So I’m sitting down at my computer in my cozy bedroom with sunshine and children’s laughter coming through the window. And I’m pushing through this wall of dark to claim and command some good things. I’m just going to start thinking and naming and claiming some good things. For me. Because I deserve it. Because God wants good things for me. Because He likes me. And he’s never rejected me. Or abandoned me.

I am a good mom.
I’m not failing.
My kids are doing well.
I am trustworthy.
I am smart.
I am educated too.
My girls know that they are loved and supported.
My boys have been shown that they are loved unconditionally.
I have navigated Daniel’s medical issues with flying colors.
No, Rachel, everything does not have to be figured out.
I am Jordan’s best, most committed mother in the whole world.
I have modified our home and family to help Jordan thrive.
I have not abandoned him when he’s pushed us away.
Jordan is able to eat a meal together with our family, without a feeding tube, thanks to my dedication.
Daniel has food preferences instead of 100% pediasure – thanks to my advocacy, determination and hard work.
Daniel’s raging means that he’s learning to care for me and does NOT mean that he hates me.
My girls are academically on par or advanced.
My girls are generally socially aware and kind and have multiple social outlets.
We grew rock crystals and we grew bacteria successfully in addition to regular schoolwork.
I took four of the children to swimming lessons for six weeks (once a week) and even Daniel was able to participate, because I advocated for him and because I became his private teacher in the water so that he could join his peers and siblings in swim lessons.
I mow our lawn on a pretty regular basis and it’s multiple acres large and full of holes that the dogs dug!
I am navigating an open adoption relationship with Daniel’s Bulgarian mother.
I have developed skill and competence in navigating tools for the depression and anxiety I experience.
Brian made it possible for me to go to counseling, and I have not wasted a single minute and have worked hard there.
I am a good mom.
I am a good wife.
I am a success.

So there.

Take that, enemy of my soul. Take that. You will not have me nor mine.

I know Jesus is in my boat – even if there’s a storm.

Matthew 8
25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.


Filed under Everyday Stuff

4 Responses to Recording Successes

  1. Debby Lyttle

    You are not just a good mom. You are an amazing mom! You have two children with special needs that their birth parents couldn’t raise and you are doing it. Just having two normal kids is enough to knock most of us off balance once in a while. You have a house full!

    Keep talking positive to yourself. It’s important for your brain to focus on your positives because what is repeated is reinforced and becomes permanent.

    I repeat. You are an amazing mom! I’m in awe of the woman you have become (even if you don’t speak Spanish ;-).

    Remember to take care of yourself, you have many little people depending on you. Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

  2. Dad

    Rachel (and Brian) What a great post! God DOES want good things for you. He DOES like you. AND he will NEVER rejected or abandon you!! He is good. He is faithful and He is near! Romans 8:32 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
    I love how I see you and Brian working as a team, along with your girls. It is a good thing!
    I love you.
    I like you.
    May you feel His presence , comfort and the power of The Spirit!

  3. Steph X


    I wonder where your ideas of “good” come from in the first two statements:
    I am not a good mother
    I am not doing a good job

    What does being a good mother look like? What does doing a good job look like? Are those things in line with your values? Are they your priorities? What are your priorities and values. Maybe you could re-define good.

    From reading this, it sounds as if you hold expectations for yourself that you cannot meet. Maybe they are even impossible. I would suggest examining the expectations, rather than examining your ability to meet them. I’d be willing to bet that it’s not you, but the expectations, that are unreasonable.

    Humans are natural born judgers, but we would be a lot more peaceful if we could reserve judgement and simply observe. When you hear a voice in your head that says “I’m not a good mother”, you can simply observe the thought and let it go. Or even think to yourself, “wow, my brain sure says some awful things. If the voice in my head were a friend, I would tell them to get lost!”

    I hope this makes sense. I have suffered A LOT with anxiety and anxious thoughts. I try to remember that the voice in my head isn’t really me! It says all kinds of things that I don’t agree with and don’t act on. It’s a terrible roommate, but I’m stuck with it. I do believe we can impact the voice, with practice, but boy is it tough!

    Sending love!

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