So, I was watching Pride and Prejudice and glorying in the elegance, grace, and romantic interludes. My thoughts drifted through the fantastic, picturesque landscape along with Keira Knightly or Jennifer Ehle (whichever version you prefer). My neck tingled with Colin Firth spoke, or Matthew McFadgen says “I’m sorry for taking up so much of your time,” while in the rain. It was easy to close my eyes and imagine myself dancing in the ballrooms or walking through Pemberley when suddenly my two year old said, “Mama, I got a booger.”
Yes, and reality set in.
At some point, dreams of floating castles, ball gowns of silk and elegant coaches were replaced by mountainous piles of laundry, spit-up stained t-shirts, and a juice-stained minivan. Sometimes I wonder…how can this be real life? I clean out slimy boogers, change diapers with mass amounts of compost, wash dishes that miraculously reappear one hour later, and cycle through an endless pile of laundry. My prayers for the perfect man (since I found someone pretty close) have been replaced with “Lord, please let this pair of panty hose only have a run in the thigh…or maybe in the toe.”
I love my children, yes, all five of them and I wouldn’t give up parenthood for all the full nights of sleep in the world, but it’s funny to look back on life before kids. All the added ‘adventures’ of being a mom are pretty amazing! I love being a mom, almost every aspect of it, but there is one part I could certainly live without: the guilt.
Have you been there? If you are any type of mother, I’m sure you have. In fact, I’ve spoken with four mothers in the past week who know the intense disturbance of ‘mom guilt’ like a constant nagging in the back of their heads. Am I disciplining my children like I should? Are they eating healthy enough? Are they going to love Jesus? Did I let them watch too much t.v.? And for those working moms, we add the continual guilt of…. I’m not spending enough time with my children. Will they grow up to resent me? Will my absence affect their social/emotional development? Will they love me less because I’ve had to work outside the home?
Whoa! I feel an ulcer coming on at the thought!!
Okay, so let’s come to terms about one thing right now. You are not perfect!!! I am not perfect!! and we never will be. Romans states, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All….means……ALL!
So how is this encouraging, you might ask. Well, our children’s salvation and emotional development is in the Lord’s hands. Sure he gives us responsibilities and we should glorify Him my completing those responsibilites to the best of our abilities, but the bulk of the weight is on the Lord.
He created our children for His glory. He numbered their days before they took one breath. He designed the path for them to walk.
He uses us to help them learn to walk, but it is He who directs their paths.
God has called up to ‘teach’ them and to ‘love’ them….and as Keith Green’s old song says, “He’ll take care of the rest.”
A worried mother or a guilty mother isn’t as productive as a mother who is trusting God to use her faulty efforts for His glory. God redeems our efforts and brings our kids to Himself, even if they watched two hours of Veggitales today, or ate a football-sized piece of chocolate cake, or didn’t get a bath for two nights in a row, or didn’t see your smiling face until you got home at 5pm.
The points are:
1. God holds your kids and created them for His glory
2. God loves your kids more than you do and He knows exactly what they need most
3. Just because you work outside the home, or let them watch Star Wars, doesn’t mean that they will become social recluses or mother-hating teens. It is what you do with the time you do have with them and how you see tough moments as well as great moments as opportunities to teach your childre about God’s grace.
4. Worry never added a hair to one’s head (actually it may help with the loss) or a moment to one’s days.
Yes, I know it’s easier said than done, but God is a BIG God. Believe me, I’m struggling with guilt as I write this…guilt and worry, but what counteracts against those two enemies? Trust
We trust in a God that does not fail, even if we do. We trust in a Savior whose grasp is much tighter than ours could ever be. We may not do everything right, but He’s in the business of fixing our mistakes.
Blessed be the wonderful, beautiful Father God, who not only holds us in his everlasting arms, but brings our children along with us. Trust Him.