Occasionally, in jest, I tell my husband that we need to be careful or flexible in our parenting, lest we become hot seat guests on Dr. Phil when our children are older. Fervently defending our decision to put them in a foreign language summer camp program over basketball. Shying away from looks of disgust by freedom-to-choose parents or critic hopefuls, because our children lack hand-eye coordination. LOL
Parenting is no small feat! Can the church say, “Amen?”
Being a mom is one of the toughest, momentous, jobs a woman can possess. Not to mention, one of the most impactful. A precious life has been entrusted to your care, to help mold, steer, protect, nurture, nurse, instruct, coach, inspire, champion, and all of the other one million and one responsibilities a mom must manage and navigate to the best of her ability, with (hopefully) assistance from her husband/spouse, their village, and God.
Do you remember when your child first kicked in your womb or you laid eyes on him or her? You instantaneously fell in love with this tiny, defenseless creature, and every good thing you could only hope to experience or drew from your biggest life dream, became your deepest desire for him or her. You and I only want to “Get It Right.” “Right” being seeing our children become well-adjusted adults, on the right side of morality, empathy, and integrity, who hold close to what we’ve instilled in them to live out their absolute best life.
Yet, we are imperfect people, endeavoring for parental perfection or mastery. If you’re like me, you periodically revisit the question, “Am I doing all I can, so my children can be all they can?”
I don’t care how many books you and I read or have read on parenting, what our childhood was like or unlike, how well-versed we are in the Word of God, what clever parenting tips we’ve extracted from our mommy and me circle time or favorite blog, we won’t always get it right.
You are free to exhale! I just did.
Nevertheless, there is hope. The hope comes from accepting God’s grace in this area, doing our mommy-best, making adjustments when and where necessary, and allowing God to cover our imperfections.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
My family is a ministry family. We serve and have served God and His people in various capacities. While my children are still young, it is important to us that they come along side us and take advantage of opportunities to serve others. This comes with a cost.
When my oldest child was younger, he posed a question to me that has remained etched on my heart and mind. We were leaving church, after having served in youth ministry with my husband, and he wanted to discuss his next play date with his friends, who at the time were children of other ministry leaders. He asked, “Why do I always have to play with my friends at church?” What he was truly asking was why do our lives have to revolve around activities at the church?
His words affected me. In fact, it troubled me.
We were very “busy in ministry” and spent a tremendous amount of time at church. Not that spending time in service to God or people is wrong, but at the time, we lacked the balance necessary for our children to feel well-rounded, not to question our priorities, or to curb any future bitterness they could grow towards church and/or God.
I listened my son.
Later on that day, I had a heart-to-heart with my husband. The outcome did not require us to abandon our service, but we did adjust our self-imposed need to do more than our family’s good health could afford, for the sake of our children. The span of commitment and time devoted to various ministries was altered. Our family is and will always be our priority, especially because we aren’t foolish enough to think that God has called us to DO everything, and without us, nothing can be done.
I am and will continue to do my mommy-best. I thank God for His ability to cover my lack and the grace to become better with the coaching of the Holy Spirit and cues from my children.
From one mom to another…
Mom, you are such a significant influencer in the life of your child. You are a building block to their current and future self-confidence and self-worth. You are irreplaceable and invaluable. I thank you for your love, patience, and dedication. Even when it’s challenging and perplexing, keep planting seeds in faith…whatever seeds you have…because your efforts are instrumental. Don’t ever devalue your worth, my friend.
Just do your best. He’s got the rest. MOM, YOU ARE.
“Our mothers give us so many gifts. They give us the precious gift of life, of course, but they also leave treasured lessons that can guide us along our journeys even when they are no longer with us.” – Maria Shriver
Please feel free to share any encouragement or affirmation you have for mothers.