I am guilty.
Guilty of trying to be the greatest mom.
Guilty of trying to convince others of this pretense as well
I looked for affirmation among the motherhood crowd and the crowd I tried to appease came with a big price tag.
I am a Christian and I want my children to be raised following Christ.
So my first clue should have been to turn to Him and Him alone.
But I was surrounded by other great believers and great church and endless Christian resources.
Some of you may be able to decipher better than me and could take the advice of some either in person or through a book and then throw out the rest that doesn’t work for you
I didn’t possess that great skill but I ended up earning it.
When I didn’t meet the criteria that I thought was better than me I poured on the guilt and then the determination followed by the exhaustion and then the explosions.
Next came the shame and repentance, followed by fatigue and depression.
Then I would get just enough to carry on in a recognizable form of sanity but eventually would cycle back .
You are probably thinking what in the world made you like that ?
Homeschool – I didn’t I don’t
Family devotions everyday without fail- we tried, some were funny others I was to controlling
Lead and encourage other women at church- I’m not good enough in my walk to lead others
Work the children’s nursery- I love the little ones they don’t judge
Volunteer – so much that we went to church as a divided family unit for an entire year
These may seem silly to you but I bet you can insert your own statements from whatever is important to you and I might find it ludicrous.
But I bet we are not that far apart when
we have good intentions and unstable motivation.
Anyway I realize I set many of these things up in my own head
and to be honest with you not many of the people
who surround me would ever guess at my insecurities.
Others who had to one up me were never secure to begin with .
I went the route of “let me tell you all the great things”
I do thinking and I would just
myself bless the socks
off of who ever was listening!
God quickly cured me of that as I realized
I was talking about doing more than I was doing- OUCH
But even in a circle of believers I never seemed to be enough. In my mind anyway.
We should encourage one another and not one up,
,judge or belittle one another.
But ultimately my relationship with God relies on Me and God.
And since God has no insecurities about His love for me , I had to conclude that it was ME.
I mistook the approval of those I admired for the approval of God.
And it could not have a been a bigger lie.
My behavior wasn’t the matter.
I was doing all the good things so to speak
But my motivations were not pure.
And they brought no peace.
It was like a task list of Holier than Holies.
- 3 chapters of the Bible read-check
- Devotion read –check
- Prayer journal-check
- Scripture cards memorization-check
- Bible study done-check
- Bible study attended-check
- Read latest Christian parenting book-check
- Asked (nagged) husband to lead devotion (again)-check, check, check
- Read Bible story to kids-check
- Got fussy when oldest didn't do devotion-check
And then there were these unwritten checks
- Talk about a parenting moment when you used Biblical principals-check
- Correct your child in that non sarcastic sweet way when disciplining in front of others- check
- Recommend date night with out fail because your marriage depends on it
- Join 4 Bible studies simultaneously (seriously someone smack me)
I am not saying that these things are not good or are not helpful I’m simply saying
It matters what or who motivated you – that is when authenticity is born.
Now I’m not claiming “if you feel like it” here.
NO those who don’t do anything until they feel like it are just lazy- self included .
I understand obedience is necessary, but to Whose obedience?
Your Bible study leader?
The chick down the street who has “it all together?”
Even if the end result is what it should be
God knows my heart – He knows who I am trying to please
To be affirmed by
This surely has to quality for the “filthy rags” Isaiah refers to as our acts of righteousness.
It is no wonder so many of us lose our true “want to”
and we label God as demanding and oppressive . I did
But He is not either of those things-
HE is waiting for me kindly and lovingly .
Waiting for my control freakness to die .
Can I really rest?
Not in an exhaustive hot mess heap but really rest and not “do” anything but be loved?
I am reminded of the words in Isaiah
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, “
Yes I can rest and count on Him .
The end of this verse holds a sharp reminder
and rebuke to the people of Isaiah day
and it is a red flag for us.
It states :
“but you would have none of it.”
The verses that follow as you can imagine are not pretty.
I want to rest in Him .
I want to trust in Him and I do not want it said of me that “ I would have none of it”.
NO Lord I do not want you to be able to say that to me.
I want to say that “I took all of it”
All the repentance from my striving
All the rest You have to offer
This is my Salvation
All the quietness in my mind
All the trust in Your love for me
This is my strength
I wanted to be such a good mom and I am a good mom.
I love my children and they love me and all of us are strewn together by the loving hands of Our Sweet Heavenly Father, who has been abundantly generous in His grace.
I made many mistakes as a young mom and I still make some today but one thing is sure: God has never left or forsaken me
And I can rest.