Never did you know that unconditional love, heartburn, and frustration could be wrapped into your DNA, but some how everyday you lay down completely thankful and overwhelmed by the privilege of being called ‘mom.’
There is no doubt that being a parent is a privilege, but with that privilege there are responsibilities and questions. Not the light weight questions like “do we go cloth or disposable”, but more on “what is right and what is wrong? what is best and what is ok? what do you let go and what do you fight for? ”
I’ve been doing the motherhood thing for a short time compared to most, but I have noticed in my own life and other that somewhere between the calculating ovulation days and the + sign we knock God off of His throne and decide to be pushed and directed by our Children. We no longer operate as people indwelled with the Holy Spirit and instead bow to the pressures of schedules, unsaid expectations, and hidden insecurities. So Mom to Mom lets talk about a couple things:
Give Yourself Some Grace
One of the things I battle with daily is feeling like it ALL has to be done. That in order to be a successful mom I need have my children parsing greek verbs and memorizing whole chapters of the Bible as well as making sure their whole grain intake and green vegetable digestion is at its prime. I need to have well rounded children right now so that when they enter adulthood they don’t drain society and most importantly move.out.of.my.house. Our expectations as moms can seem to be a big overwhelming and we forget one of the most beautiful concepts of God’s love for us: His grace. He works in the messy play rooms as much as He works in the perfectly (5 minutes max) spotless home you have. Stop being motivated each day by survival mode, and begin it with asking God to work and move in you no matter what you have scheduled planed or expected for the day. Cut yourself some slack. Only Jesus is Perfect, and he wasn’t a parent….is that heresy….yeah lets just leave it at ‘Only Jesus is Perfect.’
Remember You’re The Parent
Often times I think we can get lost in our schedules.We stop getting together with friends, stop going to church, we can’t leave our newly lysoled houses because there are germs ‘out there.’ Everything we do is dictated by our children. When they sleep, what they want to eat, if they might get a sniffle or a bug bite. Obviously I’m being a little hyperbolic to make a point, but in many ways my hyperbole is true. You are the parent and you set the priorities. Missing one nap time, or making your kid go to something that they don’t want to do won’t kill them, in fact if will probably shape them more then hurt them. I breaks my heart to see so many families have children and fall off the church role, while in the meantime they feel isolated and alone because they have disconnected from the very thing that they need; the church. This same mentality grows up into families dictated by sports schedules, recitals, and every other activity under the sun, and over years of time church and God get pushed out of the family. You are the parent. You set and allow schedules and by those schedules you scream to your children what’s important.
Peace and Quiet…Whats That?
I saved the most important for last. I’m sure even as you read the words you chuckled to yourself and thought I had a couple too many sweet tea glasses and I’m on a bit of a sugar high, but I’m serious. In my house of a 4 year old, 2.5 year old there is ALWAYS noise. No hyperbole here…ALWAYS. Some days I’d like to just put in some ear plugs and see which one survived by the end of the day. Our lives have so much going on that its often times the only time we seek Jesus is in the seconds before our head hits the pillow if any time at all and then we wonder why we feel so far from God. You and I both have to have quiet. Whether that is during nap time, or before our kids wake up, or a half hour on our back porch before bedtime. The Spirit wants to guide and move us in so many different ways to show us God’s goodness and faithfulness, but our worlds are so loud that He can’t even be heard. You need time alone, you time with other women who are trying to navigate this whole parenthood thing and Jesus thing, and to talk about what it looks like, where we struggle, and how to encourage one another when we start geting the Cray Cray Mother Syndrome (its a legit medical condition I promise. Ask your doctor).
I can honestly say that motherhood is the very thing that presses me into Jesus on so many levels. Its shows me the depths of my brokenness and how incredibly selfish I am, but in the brokenness there are sweet smiles and innocent prayers that show me God so purely. I’m thankful for the role God has allowed me to have in my sons lives as the Spirit teaches me through them, its just when I get them mixed up and begin living for my children instead of through the Spirit all kinds of things get turned upside down. I pray that we would be women, moms, who are reflections of God’s love, mercy, and justice as. Our children are horrible Holy Spirits, but they are amazing canvases on which we get to blend colors and style, successes and failures, we learn and then we teach, as we all see more of God in His great picture.