I've debated stopping this blog quite a bit. Mainly, because it's become such an infrequent occurrence. But I like this little corner of the internet, it's mine, so I think I'll keep it. I've decided that it will be more of place where I can go when I have something to say and less of a family album. (But if you would still like to peek into our family and the beauty I find in our everyday, you are welcome to come to my instagram account @kristinaboothe.)
Identity has been on my heart quite a bit. More precisely MY identity. Identity is a strange and mysterious in that is always changing, evolving, never staying quite the same. Establishing our identities is the ever elusive unicorn. I can become so easily dissatisfied with this, never quite satisfied with the "me" I am living or projecting based on a season of life or even my emotional state at the time. I am most dissatisfied when the "me" I'm projecting doesn't line up with the "me" I feel I am on the inside.
Motherhood has been an interesting time of identity for me. I've found both great satisfaction in my identity as a mother (more than I could've possibly known I would, ) but also frustration in having to put a lot of things on the back burner that were once a big part of who I am. That is the reality of this season, and there is a reason many mothers can feel like they've lost bits of themselves along the way. It's in the daily laying down of your own interests for the interests of others. It's a beautiful thing, but sometimes it's really hard to lay those things down, the things that made your soul come alive. And then there is the place where women can idolize their children and "mother" as their identity and lose themselves completely.
The thing about identity, is that we always want to be more than we think we are. We want to be better, more talented, do more. We want to be more. I want to be more. And the world, our culture....it wants us to be everything.
And isn't it even more so for mother's? To be everything to everyone. To do everything and do it well. In this, I am endlessly defeated.
If I try to define myself by what I do I will most certainly come up short. I do a thousand things a day as a mother, but I stay home so I don't have a successful career. Sometimes I parent well, sometimes I fail miserably, and some days I measure my success on if I've done the dishes or not.
If I try to define myself by how I serve, I miss the mark. I serve my husband and my children, which is my great privilege. But because of this, my desire to serve the poor, disenfranchised, hurting, and the broken is put on the back burner. My desire to serve the nation's is just not for this season. And sometimes this can make me feel like I've lost a bit of who I am.
If I try to define myself by my spirituality, it too fails. I used to spend large amounts of time in prayer and intercession, and in the Word. These days I feel like prayer and intercession is more of an afterthought. If I've even opened the Bible once, it is a good day.
If I try to define myself by my relationships, I am only disappointed in myself for not being a better or more present wife, friend, mother, etc. And relationships change. There are times when you can be surrounded by community and seasons where you are isolated from all those relationships.
If I try to define myself by my interests, hobbies, or even talents I feel like I'm an imposter because I say one thing but those things aren't playing a very big role in my life right now. For example, I love to read and would describe myself as an "avid" reader. But realistically, I used to be an avid reader. Now I hardly have the time. I am a creative person but these days I don't have much opportunity or energy to exercise my creative muscle. Many talents I desire to grow in are in a place of perpetual hold.
Really, I could go on and on.
The thing is, trying to define my identity by any of these things is a losing battle. I've already lost.
And as a Christian, we are supposed to know this right? We are supposed to know that our identity is in Christ. Our identity is that we are The Beloved. But it's so easy to lose sight of that. It's so easy for ME to lose sight of that. And what does that mean really? What does it mean to have our identity in Christ? And like, in a tangible way, that changes my outlook, my day, my experience of life? My contentment in who I am? Apart from my relationships, apart from my roles, apart from what I'm doing or not doing or how good I am at it, even apart from the things we "do" to be spiritual? Where is the place where I am content with who I am, whoever it is at the time, that it's enough?
And this is a question that has been subconsciously churning around my soul as of late. And the answer is simple. It is one I know but forget over and over again. Or more than I forget, I believe the lie that its is is in fact, not enough, shouldn't be enough. But it is. And here it is.
I am a Worshipper.
We were all created to worship something and I am a Worshipper of Jesus Christ, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, my Father and Redeemer. And that is enough. It will always be enough.
My deepest satisfaction will always be in that place of wild abandon, in freedom, in worship. The place where my heart is opened up and outside myself. The place where praise is on lips, in my groans, in my laughter, and in my tears. And when I'm truly living out my identity as a worshipper, all those other things don't matter. Fear of not measuring up, or not being enough falls away and I am just before the King and it is enough. And then in all those other areas, when it only matters that I was made to Worship, I am able to more truly walk in all the things I've been called and desire to be. And I have peace and contentment for the place I'm in, because in the place of Worship, is where I feel the tangible sense of God's love and affections.
When I believe the lie that I have to be other things my identity as a Worshipper is stifled. And when this happens, like a turtle, I withdraw inward. I don't walk into who I am created to be. My identity...shrinks.
And I lost this for a bit, and I could feel myself shrinking, but I coming back to it. Because I'm realizing and believing it's true. Nothing else matters as much. So I'm doing the things that make my heart of Worship come alive, without thought or care to how it looks or even contrary to how I even feel at the time. I will be that crazy dancing girl. I will sing at the top of my lungs in my car, in my house, in a public if I'm so moved. I will yell and cuss at God when I'm mad and then fall down and worship Him. I will paint and create, and shout thanksgiving. I will hunt for beauty in the mundane and through it see the Divine. Because I am a Worshipper, and when I worship Him, I see Him. And when I see Him, I find him. And when I find Him, I am found.
"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the Beauty of the Lord and seek Him in his temple."