I was asked to speak at the Mother-daughter banquet at Church, and I just wanted to share my "speech"...that's a very loose term used here....
Anyway, my mom was not able to come so this is mostly for her, since I know I will not stand up and do it again:).
I love you mama.
Making Your Cake and Eating it Too
Happy Mother’s Day!!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Rachael and I have been a member here at Rio180 for a couple of years now. A few weeks ago Tammy asked me if I would be attending the mother-daughter banquet, and if so she would like for me to speak…me….speak. Yeah. My internal response was oddly enough the same way my husband reacted, except he actually said, “Ok, so why did they ask you to speak?”. I gave him the same answer I’ll give you today…I have no idea. But I will give Tammy credit; she knew what she was doing when she caught me right after service one Sunday morning. I am totally the first one to leave. Hi, I’m that person. So suddenly I have this small obstacle standing between me and the exit and what am I gonna do? Of course I will name my daughter after you. Need a kidney? We can make that happen! Speak at a banquet? No problemo senorita! Just scootch a bit to the left there…all righty, seeyabye.
So here we are. Before I tell you a bit about this person standing in front of you, thinking they’re all somebody, I will tell you what Tammy asked me to speak about, and that’s balance. Not standing-on-one-leg balance, but balance in our lives and how important it is. Like I told you a minute ago, my name is Rachael, I am 30 years old and I am frighteningly far from perfect. Chuck and I have been married for over a year now, and my stepson Caden turns 12 Monday. I am a fitness fanatic, baking enthusiast, avid blog reader and I work cattle for a living. My closet is a wreck, I never wash my truck and I am a serial plant murderer. I have been through some things in my life that have taken their toll on me. A genuine fear of meeting new people, anxiety over being talked about and a desire to go unnoticed are just a few of the things I struggle with each day. But each day I remember how much God loves me, and each day I get better at being me.
So let’s talk about balance and what that means. I actually entitled this talk, “Making Your Cake and Eating it Too”, maybe if I was talking to a group of men I would change it to “Having” instead of “Making”…because we all know how that goesJ. The reason I entitled this that way is because when Tammy approached me, she really wanted me to hit on how I bake so much yet still manage to keep a healthy lifestyle. I would love to tell you that I have this awesome metabolism and I can eat anything I want, but I don’t. For me it’s a system of checks-and-balances. I know how good I feel when I have worked out in the morning, so if I am going to have a big hunk of cake, then I make a deal with myself that I will enjoy it immensely, but hit the gym. We are all busy with our own schedules, then you have your kids activities and friends who want to get together…the list goes on and on…I know. Caden doesn’t always eat a good, nutritious meal, especially when he has ball games. Keeping that in mind, I buy no junk from the grocery store. Occasionally Chuck gets bummed about it, but oh well. At least I can make every effort to have a nutritious option for both of them while they are home. Checks and balances. I have gone from not in shape, to competing, to where I am now…which is pretty content. Now, don’t get me wrong, I come home and look in the mirror and poke and prod myself to death, but I have to remember that I am not perfect, and I’m not going to be. If I ate too much candy today then I will make a conscious effort to try harder tomorrow. When I started a new work schedule last year, I went from working out around lunch to now, where I am waking up 4 hours before I have to be at work to get to the gym. NO I don’t like waking up that early, but I don’t like the way I feel not working out more. Checks and balances. I have a good friend who has no time to workout early or after work, so at lunch she walks around her building. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but it is! Making an effort to exercise creates the likelihood that you will make healthier decisions during your every day routine. Ladies, our health is just as important as the health of whomever you are worrying about! Don’t act like you’re not worried about so-and-so and how she is doing…take care of you so that you can take care of them!
Women are a lot harder on themselves than men, we hold ourselves up to such high expectations, yet we don’t always expect the same in return. Why is that? Is it because we want everything to run smoothly, so if we are in control then maybe nothing will go wrong, and if it does we can just blame ourselves? I think this happens more often than not. Marriage is an area where balance is constantly changing. There is this huge misconception that marriage is easy. It’s so not! Marriage is work, and anyone who says otherwise is single. Boom. It’s not like working 60 calves work; it’s like tending a garden. It’s fulfilling to watch it grow and be able to reap the benefits, but as soon as you neglect it you start having trouble. When the communication stops you might as well invite the weeds in and let them take over, and before you know it you don’t even know where the problem started in the first place. My husband would agree that not only am I a plant murderer, but I can torture a problem until it screams “uncle!”. I don’t like for the air between us to ever get cloudy. I just can’t stand it, because then we get so far out of whack that neither one of us knows exactly how to fix it, and at the end of the day all I want is my best friend to smile at me when I come home and tell me he loves me. One of my friends told me that something she continues to remind herself is that, “marriage is never 50/50, it’s 80/20, but it’s never one-sided”. I like that perspective. Learning our love language has helped me a lot as far as expectation goes. I now recognize how Chuck shows me he loves me, and that helps me to not have unrealistic expectations. No one wants to be let-down. If you realize that your husband’s way of showing he cares is by putting new tires on your truck, instead of hand-holding and touching, then you are saving yourself from being let-down. We are constantly changing, and so is our love. If we don’t check in on how “we” are doing from time-to-time, then we get out of balance.
One last thing I want to talk about is something that has truly changed me. This may sound futile but I credit it with where I am now as far as mindset goes. One day, about 2 years ago, I was driving my brother home from school and I turned the radio to a Christian rock station that I knew he listened to. I had never really listened to it before, but after that day I found myself going back to it periodically. Finally one day I needed some help, and I turned it to that Christian station and it has been there ever since. This station balances me out. The words speak to me, I relate to them. When I am stressed out about work or life 99% of the time it’s because I don’t have the radio on and I am not putting the emphasis where it needs to be. Think about it, if we took 3/4 ‘s of the problems we spend our time worrying about-problems that we can’t do anything about but worry-and asked Jesus for help, how much more time would that give us to enjoy what we can change? Philippians 3:13 says, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking toward what lies ahead. I press on toward what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us”.
What in your life is keeping you from a sense of balance? What can you afford to let go of that is really just another ball you are juggling? He has given us this beautiful life ahead of us, one that He sacrificed for, not for us to spend worrying, stressing or thinking we aren’t good enough, but for us to learn from and grow stronger as we push towards the goal…the “cake” if you will.