Mother's Day is here, and honestly, I find this day a little daunting.
It is not that it isn't wonderful in many ways. My children and husband are loving and kind. Praise is spoken, lunch is made, presents are given. I get to be with my family, not clean the dishes, and maybe even watch a movie. That part is great.
But as I sit across the table from my kids at Mother's Day lunch, I am keenly aware of their mercy. They KNOW the real me. They have seen and experienced me in all my up-close and personal reality. They received harsh words when I was tired and grumpy. They observed moments of depression, hysteria, melt-down, surrender, and a few certifiable fits. They remember days I didn't get out of my pajamas and a few days I didn't get out of bed. They experienced me brushing them off because I was busy or had "important" things to do.
They KNOW me.
And yet, on Mother's Day they express gratitude for me. It floors and humbles me.
I wish I could have always lived up to my ideal as a Mom; you know, the Mom I wish my kids had actually had. She always smiles as she hums hymns, while baking bread and leading her kids in memorizing Scripture. She is patient with their foibles and offers wise advice with a smile. She never nags, complains, yells, or "makes" cereal for dinner.
I have wondered often what God was thinking by giving me these amazing kids which I was obviously going to mess up. And then He called me to homeschool. Oh great -now I won't only damage their psyche, I can damage their education too.
But the doubts and accusations that have so frequently assailed me don't proceed from my Savior. They are whispered in my ear by my enemy, who bombards me with reminders of every mistake and short-coming.
The truth is, God knew my every weakness when He allowed me to conceive our children; He called me to be these particular kids' Mom. And in doing so, He immediately made me the best Mom for my kids.
To say I am the best Mom for my kids is a huge act of faith. I know so many Moms who do a much better job than me at this vocation. They cook better, clean better, organize better, and _________ better. (Just fill in the blank. Because whatever you can think of, I know someone who does it better than me.)
I have never met a Mom who felt adequate. Never. So as I sit on this side of motherhood- the side where most of my kids are now adults- I feel the need to assure you young mothers of some things:
- you are going to mess some things up royally
- you are not enough
- you don't know enough
- you cannot read enough books in order to know enough
- when your kids mess up you can't take all the blame
- when your kids succeed you can't take all the credit
- it is normal to occasionally sit in the corner and cry
And yet with all that, you ARE the best Mom for your kids. You are the right one. God didn't make a mistake by giving them to you. Your kids need YOU. And you also need them to become the woman He is molding you to be. I don't think I would have ever known how impatient I was if I had not had kids. I may never have glimpsed into the depth of my need for Jesus without this wonderful, frightful calling.
Maybe it was in my very weaknesses and mistakes where my children had the opportunity to rely on Jesus and not on me. Maybe the "best" thing I ever did was admitting my weaknesses and maybe the most holy was when I apologized.
Jesus did not make me the best Mom for my kids because of what I brought to the equation. Rather it is my short comings that have been the avenue for them to experience and learn His grace and provision. Yes, as a Mom, I have fallen short, but Jesus never has. My kids can't always rely on me, but they can always rely on Him.
To my children I say, "Thank you for loving me anyway. Thank you for extending grace and mercy and hugs. You are my greatest joy."
To my Lord I say, "Thank you for allowing me the awesome responsibility of being a Mom. Thanks for filling the gaps with Your grace and healing the hurts with Your love. I am not sure why You entrusted me with these amazing kids, but I am eternally grateful that You did."