The Great Surrender

Copy (1) of IMG_2082One Surrendered Mommy…

Hi there! My name is Lori Benjamin—better known as Mommy, Mom, or Hannah’s Mom, Samuel’s Mom, Bethany’s Mom, Lucy’s Mom or Sarah Noelle’s Mom. It used to be Lori, Mrs. Benjamin, Coach Lori or Coach Benjamin. When did it all change? 7+ years ago when we had our first child, Hannah. I don’t think, no, I know I didn’t think it would change quite so fast, but it did. And, it has taken me a while to surrender to my new title.

I knew I always wanted to be a Mommy, but that was going to happen later, so was marriage for that matter. I was going to travel to Florence to start work on my Masters Degree in Art History, work towards my Doctorate to teach Art History in college, specializing in American Art. And marriage? Yeah, that wasn’t happening until my thirties, no doubt. Huh, NONE of those things happened. Instead I met this baseball player, who defied all the adjectives associated with collegiate baseball players. Fast forward quite a few years and here I am; married to said baseball player for over 11 years, with a house full of five beautiful children. And, oh yeah, I am a stay at home Mommy, not a professor of Art History. So, yes, I am “just a Mom.” (Oh how that used to sting.)

I was not that girl growing up dreaming about being a stay at home Mommy. My parents worked, both of them, so that was normal for me. They were teachers, which was awesome. We had tons of time together and I never felt as though I missed anything. However, once my life was radically changed in college when I accepted Jesus Christ as My Savior…everything shifted, especially my priorities. But, this relationship is called “a walk.” And, I think for me, it has been more like “a crawl.” At least in the beginning. Maybe that’s why we, as new believers are supposed to be fed milk, not solids yet, because we aren’t even walking yet!

The Great Surrender. There are countless areas in my life that I have finally surrendered to. Here are just a few…my life to Christ, my role vs. my husbands, my need to be perfect, my need to keep up with other Mommy’s, my role as Mommy, my need to make everyone happy, and I could go on and on. About two years ago, I finally surrendered, to ALL of it.

Prior to my great surrender, I had my quiet times, but they were inconsistent at best. I need Him, His grace, His mercy, His love, His wisdom, everyday. I surrender.

More than a few years ago, I still was trying to be equal in leadership with my husband—meaning, if we were at a stalemate in a matter, I wanted to win. What a joy it is to be surrendered to his leadership. Granted, he is an amazing leader, so that makes the whole submission thing beautiful. You lead, I will follow. I surrender.

I am, nor will I EVER be perfect, neither will my kids for crying out loud. I am counting on the fact that He’s not done with me yet and I will get better, but perfect—ha! Fat chance. And, you know what else was so freeing to REALLY discover? Not another person in this world is perfect, no one, not one, so why was I trying so hard to keep up with someone/thing that didn’t even exist? Lord only knows. Maybe because in the early years of parenting (and as far as I can tell, it is going to continue throughout parenting), we never really know if we are doing a good job, making the right choices, etc. But, The Lord chose ME to be Hannah, Samuel, Bethany, Lucy and Sarah Noelle’s Mommy, so that makes me a perfect fit, for them. I’m not perfect. I surrender.

My role as Mommy. Good grief where do I begin!?! To say I was overwhelmed is like saying the Titanic was like a dingy. Oh, and I was completely overwhelmed when Hannah was 2 months old. Yes, that’s right, only one child, hardly 2 months old, and I thought I was going to DIE—literally. Now I have 5, and sure, there are times when I still get overwhelmed. Not sure I’d be human if I didn’t. But, those times are few and far between, thank heavens. Why? I FINALLY surrendered. I took a hard look around and realized that these children needed a leader, and after looking at what I was doing to be a good leader, it was clear MAJOR adjustments needed to be made. So, I pulled up my big girl Mommy panties and am now leading my children, as a Mommy with a plan. Hallelujah! I surrender.

The final major surrender was trying to make everyone happy. I am a people pleaser—to the core! I am hyper sensitive. I want everyone to like me and think the best in me. Guess what chick, it ain’t happening. No matter how hard I tried, I still let people down; still offended unintentionally and NEVER could I make everyone happy. And it HURT! I hated feeling as though I wasn’t good enough, doing enough, saying enough, etc. This was probably the hardest one to surrender to, but I did. My job is to love The Lord with my whole heart, mind and soul and to love others. I do the best I can and surrender all the rest. I surrender.

I have such a love of family and especially Mommy’s. Oh how I LOVE family and I LOVE Mommy’s. I think Mommy’s are amazing. Period. Just amazing. And I want Mommy’s to thrive!! I have learned so much over the past 7 years, that I WISH I knew early on, oh the pits I could have avoided. My hope is to add value to your life and your family’s life in some way. DISCLAIMER: Not many—if any for that matter are my ideas!! I am going to gladly give credit to every person that I have learned from. If it is one of those rare ideas that did develop in my brain, I might just write it in all caps, as I get pretty excited to have an original idea that actually works! Ha! But, really, if it is any good at all, I’m sure The Lord gave it to me as a “Here you go my sweet child, try this, it might help.” So, never mind, none of these things are mine. But, I will gladly share!!

So, why blog? Good question. Well, for starters, I love to talk. And, being a stay at home Mommy, leaves me with little faces to talk to. Love it, yes. But, oh how I enjoy adult conversation!! Even if through comments and discussions. Also, and I say this with complete humility and thankfulness…I have had many friends encouraging me to do this for a long time now. Pretty sure that is the best compliment ever—“please start a blog to tell me what you are doing, learning, and teaching your kids!” One of my biggest hold ups as to why I haven’t started one yet is FEAR. And the biggest fear: people thinking that I am claiming to be super Mom or the “best” mom, or that I have all my junk together. I DON’T. I DO have a lot together and I feel like we are on the right track, but I have much to learn…everyday.

So, here it is. My blog. Lori Benjamin’s guide to Motherhood. Lessons learned through horrible failures, great triumphs and the grace of Jesus Christ. I think I will start with the beginning…for the new Mommy’s or the future Mommy’s. Things like: “What you really need to buy for this baby” and “How do I get this baby to sleep so I can sleep!” I am a FIRM believer in sleep!! Both for Mommy and child. It can happen, I promise. I’ve done it five times now—with 5 very different personalities…

And, on top of my love of being a Mommy, I love art, home decorating, photography, eating healthy, exercising, fashion, scrapbooking, being outdoors and all things old…in hopes to do something creative with it…when time permits of course…

I sure hope you’ll join me on this journey…and pass along your Mommy wisdom too. We are in this together.