I don’t journal, and I’ve never written more than a page in a diary, but one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to serve as somewhat of a journal for my girls…something they could look back on when they’re older…something that might serve as a testament to just how much I love them, and just how hard I worked to be better…to be a good, Godly mama.
With this goal in mind, I set out thinking I should only write things that would remind my girls of the good stuff…the loving stuff…the stuff I want them to remember. But I’ve been wondering, is this attitude doing them an injustice? If this is the only view I give them of my motherhood journey, will it make them feel like failures if they are struggling mamas someday? Will it leave them thinking they can never measure up?
The truth is, being a mama is hard. Like really, really hard. I truly believe there are some mamas out there who really have it all together…like they really do, I’m just not one of them. I want to be, and I’m trying to be, but I’m not. So this week, I’ve decided to be more vulnerable and share more about some of my real life struggles…my weaknesses…shortcomings…sins.
Here are some real life snapshots from our home:
I’ve left out plenty of equally scary spaces…like our garage, my van (which is so dirty, I’m sure it’s growing things), my oven (which I worry might set the house on fire every time I turn it on), and our bed (which usually only gets made after my husband gets home from work)…oh and the orange rings that often decorate the inside of my toilets, or the shower drain that smells like month-old sweaty socks.
Many nights I fall asleep with my jeans still on, dishes still in the sink, and wet laundry in the dryer. It’s a struggle to fit a shower into my every day…and who has time to shave their legs? This week my Allison even asked why my daytime clothes are the same as my pajamas. Shoot. And ya’ll already know I struggle with yelling, impatience, control, OCD, and spending more intentional time with my family…just to name a few.
The thing is, we all have struggles, and we all have sin. Mine might look different, worse, or maybe better than yours, but we can’t judge or compare ourselves to each other. We all have different obstacles we’re overcoming and different pasts we’re unwinding, that have led us to where we are. Some of us start out as mamas with a lot more junk that we need to let God heal, and it might take longer for us to “get it all together,” but as we do, we need to let God be our only standard.
“I don’t like labels…I want to be a good mom for the kids God has entrusted to my care. I don’t want to be a slacker mom or a supermom. I just want to be the kind of mom God intends for me to be…I want to be me, and I’m okay with that.” – Lysa TerKeurst
The lady next door who always has her hair and makeup done, her house perfectly clean and decorated, and the most well-behaved kids I know…she is not my standard. She is not who I should want to be more like. I need to set my eyes on Jesus – the author and perfecter of my faith – who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God! Yes! This is who I want to be more like, who I need to be more like. I know I will never be perfect, nor does God expect me to be, but I also know that He is calling me to be better…to give him the best I can, with what I have been given.
So I need to take an honest evaluation of who I am, how I’m living, and how I can better myself – to bring glory to God, and to serve my family. God wants my best. My children deserve my best. And truth is, I can talk for hours about how I just don’t have time to fold all my laundry or wash all those dishes, but then how do I explain all the hours spent Facebooking, or researching how to make homemade yogurt? Seriously…
“If you’re a mom, God has called you to mother those children. If you’re a wife, God has called you to bless and serve and fulfill the needs of your husband, to be a keeper of your home. That’s God’s calling. When you do that, you are serving the Lord. Don’t get distracted.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Not only is it my calling to stay focused on these things, it’s also my responsibility to set an example for my kids. My decisions, words, and actions all shape who my children will become. They will model my behavior. So…
“What example are you setting for your kids about working? Do your kids see you working around the house – going the extra mile to create an orderly, cozy home for them? Do they see you do everything as unto the Lord? Do they see you grumble and complain about the daily tasks required of you?…I do try to set the same standard by upholding the same work ethic I expect of them and working alongside them. We are a family that plays together, prays together, and works together. I want my kids to know that whatever I expect of them, I expect of myself…Our attitude about work will set the tone for the way our kids see it.” – Lysa TerKeurst
So I want to encourage us all to start by first admitting that being a mom is hard. We don’t have it all together, and we are desperately in need of a Savior. Admit this to other moms, and to your kids. It’s an injustice to everyone to pretend that you’re something you’re not.
Second, we need to realize that NO mom is perfect. No one is as awesome as they look on paper, in pictures, or on Facebook. We all have our own issues, and we absolutely cannot let ourselves focus on trying to be like anyone other than Jesus.
Lastly, armed with these truths, we must be honest with ourselves about our shortcomings, and the areas that God is calling us to be better in. Then, we must pray for strength, grace, courage…set our eyes on Jesus, and start working hard to be the mom God is calling us to be.
One of my goals in working towards all of this is to create some lists and such that I know will help me to stay focused. My goal this week is to finish creating a printable to do list, shopping list, menu plan, cleaning schedule, daily schedule, and chore chart for the kiddos. If I get them all done, I hope to share them all next week, so you can print them if you think they’d be helpful for you as well.
So take heart friends, you are a good mama. You do not need to be like your perfect next door neighbor, but you do need to be your best, so ask yourself this week – what steps can you take to be better today?
Hugs ~ Sara
Oh! And remember – Wednesday is May 1st. Check out my blog May Inspiration for some ideas for May Day, Mother’s Day & end-of-year teacher gifts! 🙂