Letter to my former {20/30/40/50} self – how I learned to let go

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Letter to my former self

Do you ever wish you could have a do-over?  Like maybe a span of several years?  Most moms do.

I have regrets about my life too, but sitting down and writing it out has made me see that it wasn’t all bad.

Actually, I did a lot of things right.

We moms get to thinking that because we’re moms, we should be perfect, right?

Wrong-0.

If you’re playing hardball with yourself, give this letter some thought, and then maybe you should sit down and write one too.

 


 

Dear Ruthie,

I’ve been mulling over a few things for the past, oh, 20 years that I need to get off my chest.

Today is the day.  Here goes.

 

Dear 20-something me,

 

Untitled design-You picked a good husband

He is a hard worker, a good provider, and he loves you to the moon and back.  He can cook, is the funniest human alive, and can literally fix anything.  (Bonus points!)

-You started your little family

Kids #1 and #2 are a couple years apart, one of each sex, and you’re teaching them about God’s love.

-You learned to cook

After much trial and error (poor Jim).

-You’re a great housekeeper

-Also a great decorator

-And your mom says you have the organizational skills of your grandma

(which is saying a lot.)

 

However:

1)You will learn you can’t control everything in life

2)Stop stressing about getting zero sleep.

You can do more on smaller amounts than you realize.  You’ll catch up later –  I promise.

3)It’s ok if friends drop in unannounced and it looks like a bomb went off – relax and be hospitable.

You won’t die (and neither will they).

4)It’s ok if you and your husband don’t do everything the way your parents did.

Your decisions are between you and Jim, and you need to respect and support him.

5)Your expectations of what life should be like far exceed reality – and your perfectionistic self just doesn’t want to accept that.

6)Stop being mad at God and accept the fact that Jim lost his job and moved you away from home and family because he had an offer in the wings.

(You’re acting like a big baby.)

 

Dear 30-something me,

-You’ve become proficient at packing and moving Untitled design (2)

(Even though in a packing frenzy, you accidentally sent your wedding album and Jim’s overcoat to the Goodwill when cleaning out.)

-You survived childbirth 4 times

Kudos for popping out the last 2 without meds.

-You had all four kids within the span of 7 years, by age 31

Which is both hard, yet rewarding, and you won’t regret it when they’re older because they’ll be close.

-You’re much  more easygoing with your housekeeping skills

You’ve learned your home is not a showcase – it’s a house.  With people living in it.

-Good job on expanding your horizons and becoming a top marketer in the Mary Kay Cosmetic field

-You’ve learned to come together with your husband and make decisions based on your family’s needs

-Jim and yourself remain actively involved in church

 

However…

1) You’ve still not learned you can’t control everything in your life

(Even though child #4 was unplanned.  Surprise!)

2) You need to appreciate your husband

3) Your husband is not one of the children

4) Are you getting the message?

5) You need to make a priority of spending time in the Word and prayer

You’re slacking majorly because life is moving at the speed of light.  (And that’s an excuse because baby, it ain’t never slowin’ down.)

 

Dear 40-something me,

Untitled design (1)-Congratulations.  You won the Mother’s Day prize at church for “most teens in the house”.

-However, you’ve done quite well as a mother of teens by enjoying them and earning their trust.

-And yet, you’ve established that you’re still the mom, not the bff.

-You regularly exercise a great sense of humor with your kids

-Good job on that homeschooling decision.  It’s one of the best you’ll ever make.

-You became proficient at driving large SUV’s in your role as chief taxi driver.

-You learned that your husband was indeed THE best decision you ever made and began treating him thusly

-You experienced a renewed walk with the Lord and grew more in your faith than in previous years

-And, you have earned the title of “Gigi”!  You are good at it, too!

 

However…

1) You struggled in your faith for a season and received a few setbacks

2) You realized you were indeed not in control when your life fell apart due to your parent’s health crises.  You did not handle this well.

(When I grew up an only child, I never suspected they’d be double-teaming me someday.)

3) You held some pretty good yelling matches with your husband

(The kids either cleared the room or stood around bawling their eyes out.)

4) You did not support your husband on all decisions regarding the teenagers

(You later found out he was right.)

5) You did not wear bug and tick repellant when hiding from the kids in the woods while playing “kick the can”.  Which resulted in the famous Lyme Disease episode.

Recovery took a full year, still dealing with weird symptoms.

6) You showed your ugliest self during this decade.

However, God was so very merciful, and made all things beautiful in His time.

 

Dear 50-something me,

Untitled design (3)-Congratulations.  You are half a century old.

-Stop worrying about getting old and start rolling with it.  It’s called life.  People age.

-You’re still young – compared to a 90 year old.

-No one has ever been harder on you than yourself, you perfectionistic person.

Give yourself some slack.  Even your husband commented, “Well, our kids turned out pretty awesome, so I’d say you did way more good than bad”.  Accept your life, and move on.

-You’re doing awesome at this new Gigi gig, and you’re getting a granddaughter in the spring!

-You’re now able to enjoy travel with your husband, who spent all those lonely years on the road while you kept the home fires burning.

The fact that his main office is in Florida has been a pretty great perk, eh?  (Especially since you’ve always been in love with the beach.)

-Yes, your kids are almost all out of the nest.  It’s gonna be ok.  Life will go on.

-You have a myriad of blessings for which to be thankful.

And God is good.

And even if things don’t go the way you want them, you’re learning that God is at the helm, and…

You can trust Him.

As the Psalmists and Isaiah so aptly expressed,

How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God!  Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.  ~Psalm 36:7

Thou art good, and doest good. ~Psalm 119:68

I will mention the lovingkindess of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness towards the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. ~Isaiah 63:7

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!  How great is the sum of them! ~Psalm 139:17

O taste and see that the Lord is good. ~Psalm 34:8

God is good.  And consider this:

He is present in perpetual and continual eagerness, with all the fervor of rapturous love pressing His holy designs.  If you don’t FEEL that way about it, it’s unbelief that makes you feel otherwise. ~The Attributes of God

 

So Ruthie, that’s about it for now.

Hope you enjoy the memories, and don’t internalize the heavy reminders.

The point is, you lived and learned.

And,

God was with you each step of the way, guiding you and forgiving you. Click To Tweet

 

Keep on walking with Him.  Keep on writing, and keep on encouraging.  God has given you something new in this new phase of life, and there is joy and hope in the new!

 

Love,

Your older, wiser, yet more humble and thankful

…self.

 

 

 

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