Throughout my trip I received encouragement and kudos from all of my male colleagues for juggling being a new mom and being on a business trip. The majority of these men have children and understand what a precious and tiring time we are in with a six month old.
I had many conversations with these men about raising their kids, remembering the young stages of parenting and vaguely remembering the tired fog that sets over brand new parents. Over and over again they kept encouraging me and giving tidbits of parenting advice and even allowed me to discuss the questions that arise from thinking about introducing solids into Camden's diet to sleep training and child-proofing our home. Surprisingly, they had a lot of input!
My take away from this trip was refreshing. People know that above all else, being a parent and trying your best to raise your kids is the most important role in your life. In an industry where I'm mainly surrounded by men, it's nice to know that there are men that vocally recognize this and support it. I'm not trying to make a stereotype, in fact, I'm thrilled that all of these guys were so vocal about parenting and their experiences!
God was gracious in surrounding me with colleagues who "get it" and love their roles as dads and totally encouraging to me as a new mom. In doing this, the Lord reminded me over and over that He is for me!
I often get caught up in feeling defeated and as if everything is working against me. I want to give 110% in every aspect of my life. I want to be the best wife possible, I want to be the best mom, I want to do well at my job, I want to maintain positive close relationships with friends and family and I want to be the best friend I can be to those that mean the most to me.
The past couple of days I realized that I don't need to BE the best, I just need to do my best. I also need to recognize that sometimes being a better mom (ie staying home with my sick child) may come at the expense of my work attendance and being a better wife, may come at the expense of not spending every waking moment with my son. At the end of the day, my priorities need to remain God, husband, family and all other things will follow after that.
God took the time and worked through other people the last two days to remind me that He is for me in all aspects of my life - I just need to allow Him access and invite Him into every part.
When I try to compartmentalize my life and put God in a box, it doesn't bode well for my overall wellbeing. I'm glad that the Lord spoke to me and reminded me that I don't have to do this on my own. He is always there. He is always for me.
I challenge you to ask what areas of your life you haven't given God access to. Are you feeling defeated? If your answer is yes then I would recommend you take some time and ask God to stand for you. Give Him access to your burdens and I promise He will lighten your load. Don't strive to be the best, just strive to do your best and God will honor your heart.