What Motherhood is Teaching Me
There are some lessons I’ve learned over the last ten years of motherhood. Some things have been easy to roll with, and some things have rolled over me.
As mothers, don’t we all have an idea of the kind of Mom we want to be? It can be a rude awakening when the real you is staring the ideal you in the face, and you feel like she is taunting you. It’s easy to let guilt, shame, insecurity, and regret move in…making themselves at home in your heart and thoughts.
I cannot, I must not, stay there.
It is necessary to let go of the ideal person I’ve constructed in my mind and, instead, be who I truly am…a daughter in process…a daughter being perfected in Christ.
Some things I’m reminding myself of on this journey…
- I need Jesus. For real. Every day.
- My children are little people. They have feelings and opinions, and those can be different than mine.
- Things won’t always go as I imagine.
- I will say things I wish I hadn’t. And probably do it again tomorrow.
- Unconditional love: It doesn’t matter what they say or do…I want them snuggled on my lap, wrapped in my arms, smothered with kisses.
- How I live matters. The choices I make are important and significant. How I speak, the words I choose, my tone of voice…there will be an echo. I will hear myself in their words. I will see myself in their actions. What do I want to hear and see?
- “I don’t know” is ok. I don’t and won’t have all the answers.
- I am more selfish than I realized. Die to self and serve.
- Grace. There’s always grace to receive, and there’s always grace to give.
- Saying “yes” is ok. Yes to silly, yes to messy, yes to spontaneous, yes to crazy, yes to creative. Little “yeses” go a long way.
- Saying “no” is hard. No to self, no to what I want, no to what might be good but not God, no to people, no to man pleasing. Those are hard “no’s”.
- Little things mean a lot. Notes, smiles, hugs, tickles, treat…the little things make a big impact.
- Teaching good habits and responsibility is hard. Allowing them to do something, even if you could do it better, is important. It might slow you down. They may not want to do it. In the end, its worth it.
- The Bible is the best training book. All the truth, wisdom, encouragement, challenge, exhortation…all we need to impart and instill in our children are found within its pages.
- My kids will have their own story. Apart from me and apart from Casey, the girls have their own journeys. They have choices to make…they are fighting their own spirit vs. flesh battles.
The way the Lord uses motherhood to stretch us and challenge us is both beautiful and painful. He uses these precious blessings to refine us and cause us to deal with our own flesh….how wonderful (said dripping with sarcasm).
It really is wonderful, though. I don’t want to stay in my flesh. I want that junk exposed and brought to the light. The question is, “What do I choose to do when that happens?”
When I’m in the middle of learning one of those wonderful lessons taught by Motherhood, what do I do? Do I wallow in pity, guilt, and frustration? Or, do I go to the Lord, deal with it, and keep moving forward?
Do I allow Him to take my ideals and give me His ideas?
Do I let Him perfect me in that moment?
The truthful answer to that question is, “Not always.” Sometimes I cave. Sometimes the companions of guilt and regret show up, and I invite them in to stay a while: “Pull up a chair. Make yourself comfortable.”
Eventually, though, through His unending grace and compassion I discover He is there too. When I find Him there, amidst the guilt and regret, I am changed; and I find my unwelcome companions gone.
What are you learning on your journey? How is God using motherhood to stretch and challenge you? How is he perfecting you today?