Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I do love Mother's Day. I love how intentional everyone is to tell me what a great job I am doing. I love the handmade cards and sweet surprises that Mike comes up with (although with a cruise just around the corner, there may be just sweet...no surprise). I love feeling like I can sit back and have Mike do everything because it is, after all, Mother's Day. Then I don't feel lazy or guilty like I do on the other days (or like right now because he is folding the clothes that I just didn't...all week!). It feels good to be honored, doesn't it?
I wish I felt like half the mother they think I am. Amen?
I have been listening to the conversations that go on around me. I am in some of them, so I'm not really eaves-dropping, but I have found a theme. We are in a competition with an imaginary woman. I have noticed that when one person says that they saved doing whatever, another woman will share how she saved even more. Or, one person says that they did something organic and another woman did something even MORE organic. I do it too! When others see the sugary cereal on our shelves we say things like, "I don't normally buy that but..." I say, "I don't normally buy that, but I use it for a story snack." You know what else I use it for? EATING!!! It's got preservatives, additives, sugar, fake stuff that I cannot pronounce...but IT WAS ON SALE AND I HAD A COUPON...SO THERE! What else? Someone walks in and your house vomited while you were out and you say, "I am so sorry my house is a mess I ...." I usually say something like, "Please don't judge me, I just can't pull it together." That you might get if you are a close friend. I may come up with another better excuse if we are new friends. We have begun creating work for ourselves all in the name of saving or providing better options for our family. I think that we have good intentions. But may I be honest? Sometimes I just want to be better. Sometimes I make work for myself so that someone somewhere might think I'm a good Mom. I'm hoping that as the lady rings up all of my fruits and veggies she'll think I'm a good Mom, even if they aren't organic. I'm hoping that when my children sing The Ten Commandments in Marshall's, someone will hear and be amazed at what "I must be doing at home." I'm just being honest. It's foul, I know, but it's what happens when I am trying to earn the approval of man, rather than the approval of God.
God does not tell me in so many words that I should do x,y, and z and I'll be a good Mom. He gives me Biblical answers on how to train them to know and fear Him. He gives me wisdom to know how to direct their hearts and discipline them so that they may live long in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee. (That's part of our song. :) ) He gives me principles that I can apply on how to keep my home and make it a place of Grace. The Grace being His end of the deal. The comparison robs me. Comparison makes me believe that doing what He has called me to do is not good enough. OR it causes me to cast judgement on those who aren't doing it my way, believing they must, somehow be wrong, even misled. Heaven help me!
The comparison monster is something I pray that God will deal with. It makes me make crazy decisions or paralyzes me with fear that I might not be good enough, or worse yet, they (meaning my children) won't either. We need to support one another. We need to pray for one another. This Motherhood thing is no joke. We need to be on the same team. Am I the only one who notices this? Let's do a little "lab session." I'll ask a few questions and you tell me how you feel about them. These are a few of the "biggies."
Do your children eat organic fruits and vegetables?
Do you bake your own bread?
Do you make your own laundry soap?
Is your child reading on grade level?
Is your game closet organized?
Is your laundry caught up?
Do you make every meal from scratch?
Do you save for college?
Is there a ring in your toilet?
Are your floors mopped?
Do you iron?
Do you use coupons?
Please do not misunderstand, these are GREAT things. However, they are NOT the main thing. Do you see how when you answer positively you feel awesome, but then if you answer negatively you feel condemned? Pretty sneaky trick of Satan, isn't it? Then we don't want to hang out with the Mom's that are "better" than us because they make us feel inadequate. We are looking at the wrong list. How about this.
Do you tell your children that you love them?
Do you ask for forgiveness when you sin against them?
Do you read the Bible with and to them?
Do you marvel with them when the sky turns pink like cotton candy?
Do you buy them their favorite things because you know that even though they have plenty, they will LOVE "just one more."
Do you lose sleep when they are sick?
Do you lose sleep when they are well?
Do you think they are the best thing going?
Do you thank Jesus for them?
We shouldn't compare at all, but if we are, let's align our lists and study the one that is eternal. Actually, let's study the One that is eternal. Let's do the good things, those that matter the most to us, but I've got to tell you, I'm not that organic, I rarely use coupons, I spend a good bit of money on store-bought bread and my laundry is more clean that it is folded. I cannot keep up. I give up. I'm crying uncle. I'm out. I cannot compare myself anymore. I just can't. There will always be someone that is better, neater, smarter, thinner, more clever, more crafty, more thrifty, more compassionate, more intentional...just plain MORE! Than I can ever be. So, here's what I am asking God to do for me. When those 3 blessings blast into my bedroom tomorrow morning with more joy on their faces than I will know what to do with, and when they look me dead in the face and tell me that I am the best in the world, I'm going to believe them. I'm going to overlook this house, the extra weight, all the falling short and believe that to them, and for them, because of Christ, I am the best Mom in the world...to Anson, Julia and Ella. You know what else I'm going to believe? I'm going to believe the same about you.
Happy Mother's Day.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith."