Lessons in Motherhood

The after school pick up line. Can I get a witness?! I don't even have to say anything else to extract an emotion out of all the mommies reading this. I've been thinking a lot on what I have learned so far as a mommy, and what I have to learn still. Of course, what I have to learn far outweighs what I have already learned! I feel like the Lord wants me to share my struggles in this area just like I do in other areas, so I'm trying to be obedient. :) I feel a bit unqualified to share but hey, God works really well with unqualified! I think there are two things I have struggled with more than anything in these past seven years. Maybe you can identify...

One, being a Mom means signing some invisible contract about having everlasting patience. Dear Lord, help us all. Can I get another witness??! Patience is a virtue and apparently one that mom's need in vast supply. Thus, I say again...the after school pick up line. Nothing teaches patience like that! I know I have it in me to remain calm but...well...it all depends on the day...how much coffee or chocolate I've had and...whether or not I've showered. Patience can seem in short supply as the Mother of little ones. I'm learning in this one to lean very heavily on God's grace to help me. Yep, his grace works great in parenting too! I am learning to tune my heart in to hear his voice even when I'm in the midst of a four going on twenty four year old's temper tantrum. He does speak in those moments just like he does in the quiet moments. I just have to sift through the other voices...like the one telling me to short circuit and yell, or slam doors. I don't always get it right but that's where God's grace abounds; in my weakness and failure. So, I may be a hot headed little mommy in the pick up line at school because of the ever present "rule breakers" BUT God's grace will get me through and never give up on me. I can start each day fresh, with no mistakes in it!

The second thing I've learned so far is not to compare myself to other mommies out there. Really, every family is leading a different life...their life...and it will not look like mine. I can only live in the space God has given me to live in and do the best with what I have in front of me. This comparison war is more about our personal struggle than our "mom" struggle. We were comparing ourselves to each other long before kids came into the picture. The truth is that God doesn't have some mom out there that he wants us to copy. He just wants us to follow him, to be faithful. He knows what each of us needs to be to our kids and he is more than willing to guide us. You are not called to be like her. You are called to be like you. Yes, we all have room for improvement. Yes, we all have lots to learn, but God wants us to learn it the mold he has made us in...not someone else's.

This lesson has come to me as I've found security in Jesus. Being safe in him means I don't have to try and feel safe being like other women out there. Of course there is a fountain of wisdom out there that I can draw from. There are so many wonderful women who have raised wonderful children and you better believe I am gonna ask them questions when I hit bumps in the road. That has nothing to do with comparison though. That is just me being wise! :-) I think the danger us mom's face when we play this comparison game is that we never ask for help and so we isolate ourselves. In our attempt to be super mom, we try to go it alone...and that never works. Isolation means burn out, depression and a whole list of other pits we fall into. Let's just be the Mom He has called us to be! God is not measuring you up to other Mom's out there and you shouldn't either. Find all your security in Jesus and the rest will fall into place.

Being a Mom is the hardest job I've ever had. Mommy hood reveals the ugliest parts of my nature and the most beautiful. It seems that daily there is a lesson to be learned. Jesus reminds me though, and often, that he is walking this road with me just as he walks all the other roads this life brings. When my ugly nature pops out and they forgive me, that is Him at work in me. When I get it right and they get the point...that is him at work in me. Either way, he gets the credit. When my girls grow up and look back at their childhood, I think what will stand out to them is not the number of times they ate Mac n Cheese for dinner or how high the laundry pile was. I don't even think the mistakes will stand out the most. I think the love they saw in Mom is what they will remember. I think the mercy, kindness, compassion and forgiveness will leave the deepest impression on their hearts.

I pray for you, Mom. I pray you will be filled with the grace and love of Jesus and that it will radiate from you and your children will be drawn to Him through you. We are raising world changers. Only Jesus knows how they will do it...but they will do it! His grace is sufficient for you, Mom, more than sufficient. Rest in that knowledge, and love your kids the way God has designed you to love them. That will be enough...more than enough...always.

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