As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Being a Fraud

There are many times in my life when I feel like a complete fraud.  Like the person people see is not the person I really am.  Boxing Day this year was a particularly challenging day for me, because the busyness of the Christmas season collided with my husband's need to be at work his normal working hours and on call for the hours in between.  We were wiped as we usually are after Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and though I had made plans to visit my parents on Boxing Day what I really wanted was to just stay home.  Not to be by myself getting all six kids ready, tearing them away from their toys and their friends.  Not to have my husband at work and missing him like crazy.  Not to have my house upside-down.  I felt the simultaneous pressure of both cleaning and organizing after a whirlwind holiday, and of taking it easy and letting the kids celebrate.  So I let them have a friend over for the morning while I busied myself with cleaning, then lamented the fact that when it was time to leave nobody was helping.  Of course they weren't, it was the first day they had spent at home this Christmas!  And their mother was sending mixed messages, because she really didn't know for herself what she wanted.  

I had a breakdown loading them into the van, when I sent all of them out ten minutes before me and, as is quite common for us, no one was buckled by the time I got out.  Some were running around outside, some were fighting about where they wanted to sit.  "Nobody wants to help!" I cried, "I'm doing everything myself."  I couldn't hold the tears in, the kind of tears that flowed so hard they left imprints on my red-rimmed eyes.  And I knew that in twenty minutes I would face my family, and that I would put on a big smile and pretend that I was just peachy.  And that thought made me feel all the worse.

I had a similar experience this evening speaking with some out-of-town friends.  They asked how things were going now that we had started school again after such a long break, so I shared that I was happy to be back at it.  That I had been dreading the work, but found joy in the everyday (as I shared yesterday).  That was definitely where my heart was yesterday, but today though the circumstances were the same it was very much a different story.  About mid-afternoon I began to spiral downhill.  The trials that yesterday affirmed an awareness that this is where God has put me and a gratitude for the beauty of this every day life, today filled me with anger.  "Why is it always the same?"  I said often today.  Always someone fighting, always someone making a mess, always someone testing me.  When my friend asked how I was doing I shared yesterday's experience, not today's.  And I felt like a fraud. 

And then he said something that made me see everything in a new light.  We were talking about sacrifices, and I said how I thought making a sacrifice for a relationship was good because it strengthens the relationship, having to give something up for someone else.  And he responded that this only happens when we have the proper awareness before us.  That people can stay at home with their kids all day every day and hate it, because they don't have an awareness of who Christ is in that moment.  Or still others can be away from their children long hours and extended periods at a time, and yet be joyful because the awareness of Christ helps them to be more present in those moments.  And I realized as I reflected on the two days I have just spent I realize that this is the difference.  What today I allowed to point me to bitterness and unhappiness, yesterday I allowed to point me to Christ.  And by seeing my life through His eyes, even the bitterness is redeemed.  He makes all things new, and brings happiness even to the most mundane, the most burdensome, the most trying.  When I see my life through His eyes, the good is profoundly evident, and even the difficult has its place because it too, reminds me that I am not made for myself.  I am made for Christ.  I am made for happiness.

I guess in a way feeling like a fraud is a good thing.  Because it shows me that I am not where I am supposed to be.  


  1. Natasha, I feel like I struggle with this so often while adapting to my new role as a stay at home mom to a 6 month old. People ask me how I'm doing and the answer is always "good" but in reality I barely have a moment to myself, let alone 10 minutes to shower. Thank you for writing this. I really needed someone to remind me that I am exactly where Christ needs me to be and I need to try to see Him in my daily struggles. I'm happy to know not the only mom going through this.

  2. The question I dread most is 'how are you doing'? It's simple and yet complex all at the same time. Thanks for sharing your struggle.