Calling ALL moms - working moms, stay at home moms, part-time working moms- DON'T listen to the lies - DON'T fall victim to "mom guilt" as a necessary constant. Lately, I have had many conversations with fellow Moms that all seem to revolve around comments like the following:,
" I hate I missed his/her game,"
" I feel so bad i haven't cooked homemade dinner in three nights."
" I hope I am doing enough."
" I get so impatient being at home with the kiddos all day."
Where is the grace and truth in these statements ? Where are we asking our kids to place all of their hope ? Do we have a false sense of control of outcomes ? Are we trying to be EVERYTHING to our children? Should we instead be pointing them to the One who is everything - and our Hope and Truth?
Raise your hand if you have ever let your kids down - or even in past 24 hours - and the crowd of moms goes WILD - of course you have and I have and we all have - and we will do it again. We are human. I believe this is unavoidable - but what can be different is how we allow shame, guilt, and lies to rest on our hearts as a result. "My grace is sufficent for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV) These feelings are of our Enemy - they come to steal and destroy . Constantly feeling the need to apologize, owning or wearing our child's emotions of disappointment, worrying we are not measuring up - this is not the freedom God desires for our hearts and they inhibit teaching moments and wisdom to be relayed to our precious children.
Why does God allow us to parent ? If I asked you what is one true slice of wisdom you want to give to your children - what would it be ? God wants our children to experience His vast, unconditional love, grace and His Hope from their earthly parents - it is just a taste of His Greatness! They have to learn He is Truth - He is ALWAYS Good - They can lean ALL of their weight on Him - He is better than you or me - He is in control - NOT me. I desire most that my boys, whether I am here or not, know love like no other from their Creator and they can lean and reside in His truth and goodness. This world - and their mom - will let them down - He is there when I cannot be.
Now - this all sounds a little fluffy at times in the midst of the craziness of daily life - I get that. So, what are some real steps in demolishing mom guilt (because it is definitely real and BIG) -
1. Community - Desire it, acquire it - live in it ! I am overwhelmed by the encouragement of women in my life - stay at home moms, working moms, part-time moms, women in other stages of life willing to mentor - They are my cheerleaders - and often times have to shout truth with megaphones ! They will point you back to truth when lies cloud you - and you will do same for them. Authentic (key word- be real) Mom friends - Go Get you some !
2. Foundation of truth - "Guide me in your truth, teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." (Psalm 25:5, NIV) . This truth is your center - not your children - not your family- Come back to this daily as a renewal of your mind. Their behavior, their outcomes, their choices are not all within your reach - He will guide you in parenting - experience the freedom of knowing they are better relying on Him than you - He is Good. He loves them more than you - and He loves you - even when you fail also - live this out for your children - let them see it, feel it - His freedom will be passed on.
3. Enjoy the ride - Be Present - when you are there - BE there- I can often tell when my mind is drifting during convos with my littles. Distractions are no joke - Kids are with us for a short time - put the phone down, put work on the shelf - cook an quicker dinner (no Southern Living recipes for me) - play a game - take a walk - you will feel better and they will too. Sometimes asking them how they know they are loved will provide insight in to how your time/money/actions are best spent with each individual person. (i love the 5 Love Languages for children test- super helpful!)
Lay the guilt down - seriously ! Know you are loved by the One who made you for a time such as this - for your kids - and know your Hope is in Him - you CAN let the reigns down and kick guilt to the curb!
I guess it is a matter of opinion if Disney World is truly one of the most Magical places on earth- it probably depends on if you like weaving through lines that seem to last a lifetime, being shoulder to shoulder with perfect strangers for eleven hours a day, or watching "little princesses and princes" have meltdowns around every corner- BUT don't let these things take away the MAGIC of it ALL - the heart dropping thrill of roller coaster rides that take you to other countries (or even outer space), the nostalgic rides that seat you right in the story of your childhood, the memories to be packed away for a lifetime with your family! No - this post is not about why you should book your trip, pack your bags, and head to Disney (although I think that would be a great idea) - it is about how God spoke to me while we were there.
You see - I love Disney - I love to travel period- however, I do NOT love the getting there - especially if it involves flying. I am not sure when I acquired the fear of flying - i flew quite a bit as a child and thought nothing of it other than super magical. I like to say - I became scared of flying when I became more rational or aware of the danger - I know all the things people say- safer than driving, planes rarely crash, blah blah blah - if you have ever had a fear - then you know rational thinking or statistics aren't the cure.
When we were planning the trip, all plans were to drive; however, my husband suggested flying for obvious reasons. I must admit my initial reaction was "no way" - but only for the reason that I was scared (which he knew). Interestingly enough, simultaneously, we have been walking through some fear with my 10 year old - and I had just told him, we can NOT and God does not want us to avoid fears- because avoidance fertilizes their growth, they inhibit our freedom in Christ, and the love of Christ casts out all fear - they cannot coexist. Did I hear you say , "Practice what you preach" ? I cannot ask my son to do as I say not as I do - and to steal away their joy of flying with my fear -
So, we flew. I was panicky (and praying)- the people, the body heat, the baggage, the heart stopping moment of take off - each and every little bump in the sky - the landing - AMEN - we landed. I knew I was walking through it - I did not want my boys to see their Momma scared - or crying in her aisle seat -
God spoke. Clearly - as I watched planes take off - Why are you scared ? What changed for you? I knew - as I grew older, more aware - more rational - I decided based on what I knew or could understand ( which is not much about mechanics, etc) flying is impossible. There is NO WAY this large machine with wings, carrying all these people and ALL their stuff (wow some people pack alot), should be able to be suspended in air for long distances and safely land. My child-like faith or belief had been take over with rational thinking - and there my fear was born. Isn't it the same way with God sometimes for us ? If we cannot make it, do it ourselves, or see it - how can we believe it exists or can happen? Our belief in the impossible as a child gets beat with reality - and man's ability - or inability. God's immeasurably more and omnipotence fall behind.
I have seen God work out what seemed impossible - large projects coming together for His glory, one person changing the lives of thousands, unexplainable provision in our most needy moments, healing of marriages that were broken beyond repair, saving those who were hopeless- Jesus defeating death on the cross - THE impossible - we can not and will not understand it with our limited minds- but we believe it and we can live knowing it is true.
Am i still afraid of flying ? I can't really say - but as God pushes me to know Him better - to not avoid fears- He is teaching me so much about His character - from His soft sweet whispers of "i've got you in this" to His ability to do the IMPOSSIBLE - I can fly !
For with God NOTHING shall be IMPOSSIBLE. Luke 1:37
a mid-thirties mom and wife seeking truth, peace and joy in my daily life. mom to two wild, snuggly, and fierce boys - and wife to my best friend and bearded man of my dreams. My joys are giving and receiving gifts (its my love language- not materialistic) - pushing my limits and extinguishing my stress in the workout room- serving others in the medical profession and in my community of friends . i love doing life with others - the phone calls on way to work, the couch discussions, the annual camping trips - My community of friends would tell you I am as authentic and outspoken as you can get - sometimes you can find my husband hiding behind a pillow! My parents thought I would always be a lawyer- I have a strong passion to get the last word - I just cant walk away. Marriage, Motherhood, and my walk with the Lord continue to push me, shape me, and change me. I pray this blog will bless just ONE - and the point to the ONE-