Thursday, February 7, 2013

Embracing Motherhood

We were dressed, including a shower and make-up for me (I know, it's a rare thing these days), all ready to head out the door.  The rain had finally stopped and the grass glistened as the sun shined down on it.

It was turning out to be a beautiful day and I was looking forward to getting out for some fresh air.

Well we never made it out of the driveway.  I decided it was not worth it.  Not worth the fight, not worth losing my temper (again), or worth forcing him into a car seat he clearly did NOT want to go in to.

A pick your battles kind of moment.

Now I sit on my couch in silence as my sweet boy naps since I decided we both needed a "time out!"  Clearly he needed a nap since he was asleep in less than 5 minutes and I needed time with my Heavenly Father, to be refueled, refreshed, and refilled.

"Becoming frustrated and mad will completely drain us and make us feel defeated.  Turning our circumstances over to God will right our heart, change the way we look at the situation, and help us recognize glimpses of God in the midst of our broken efforts." -Lysa TerKeurst, "Am I Messing Up My Kids?"

You see children don't come with a manual or a "how to" and they most certainly don't come with a programmable personality.

They come with the personality that the good Lord gave them.  He created them just the way He wanted.  Fearfully and wonderfully made.  Made perfect only through Him.

While it is our job to help mold and shape them into respectful human beings, we aren't 100% responsible for the outcome.  

Just like He created you and I with flaws and imperfections.  It is what we do with those things that make the difference.  We can choose to let them control us or we control them.  Choosing joy regardless of our circumstances or failures.

Yet, I often wonder if I'm failing as a mom.  Most days I feel like I have failed.  For being a mom is one tough job.

And I feel so inadequate most days.

And guilty.  Guilty about the way I reacted or the way I handled a situation.  Or that I didn't manage to "keep it together" that day.

Testing boundaries is where we are at now in our house.  I'll be honest, I didn't think it would start so soon.

But we are here and I'm quickly learning that each stage presents its own challenges.  With challenges comes learning.

Motherhood is a huge learning curve and every journey is a little different.  But we are ultimately all headed to a common goal.

To raise our children the best we can.  To love them the best way we know how.

I think this is so true with ourselves and our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  He created us in His image so that we may be like Him.

That means we must give of ourselves and serve others.  Including our family.  To give and to serve is to act like Jesus.

So then why do I feel inadequate?  Or as if I've failed?

Especially when I have a Savior who adores me.

He is crazy about us and is crazy in love with us.

And even when we test the boundaries, He is there to sweetly nudge us along the right way.  When He says "no", it is because it is what is best for us - even though we think we know what's best for ourselves.

Same goes with our parenting.  We only want is best for our children and we are only given one chance to get it right.  Well, kind of.

No pressure, right??  Thankfully, each morning is a new day.

If I'm being honest with myself and you, I have to admit mothering is a lot harder than I could ever imagine.  While there are moments of joyous bliss, there are also lots of moments I wish I could do over.  Or days where I'm truly tested.

Then I am reminded that I'm not meant to be perfect.  For we are only made perfect through being transformed by Him by following the only One who is perfect.

I'm also certain I'm not to tackle motherhood alone.

For I cannot do anything by my strength alone.  I'm only fooling myself when I try.

So I'm learning that motherhood requires FULL dependence on Lord Jesus.  Not half or some but ALL of me.

After all, this child of mine is His and His alone.  He has just entrusted me to raise him, but like everything else Brady belongs to Him.  The Lord knows what Brady needs and knows what I need as a mother.

I am the exact mom God knew Brady needed.  Just as well as Brady is the exact son I needed.

Not one part of His plans for us are flawed.

Yes, being a mother is tough that requires lots of work and self sacrifices.  But no one ever said it would be easy, but it would be worth it.

This is what He has called me and so many others to do.  Motherhood is a calling and a privilege.  If he calls you, he will equip you and sustain you. (Psalm 51:12)

And my heart breaks for those who long to be mother.  I pray you can rest in His arms knowing His ways are greater, even when we don't understand.

Which is why I never want to take any of this granted, even the hard days.

"Instead of letting my disappointments discourage me, I let my heart be drawn toward Jesus and ask Him to fill me." -Lysa TerKeurst

I encourage all of us moms to call upon Him and let Him be our refuge and strong tower.  Lord knows we can't do it alone or on our own strength.  He didn't design us that way. 

In "Am I Messing Up My Kids?" by Lysa TerKeurst she tells us this, "God is waiting for you to ask for His portion every day and He will provide.  When we allow Him to reign in us, His portion will rain on us."

I love that.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -Psalm 73:26

After all, these are His children.  He knows them better than we do and He already has their plans laid out before them. 

So even when things don't go as planned or I have a bad moment, I will praise Him for He is good.

And He is all I need to be the mother He has called me to be.  His love, His word, and His grace are the only manuals I need.

Sweet friend, I hope you can bask in His glory today.  Praise Him for even the hard days/moments and for giving you the greatest job on earth.  

And may He be your portion forever.

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