From the heart of a mother -
I would like to take a much-needed minute and say I am sorry to moms everywhere of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. I am sorry to moms who stay at home, moms who work, moms who breastfeed, moms who bottle feed, moms that birth babies in hospitals, moms who birth babies in pools, to moms who have babies at 19 and to moms who have babies at 40. I am apologizing to moms who vaccinate and moms who don’t, moms who co-sleep and moms that have never slept in the same bed as their child. I am saying sorry to moms who homeschool and to moms who send their kids to public schools. Sorry to moms who only give their kids organic food and to moms who give their kids canned peaches, to the moms that have kids sleeping through the night and to the moms who haven't slept in years, moms who use essential oils and to the moms who use doctors. I am sorry to the moms who have kids potty trained by age 1 and to the moms who are still changing diapers at age 5, to the moms who only use cloth diapers and to the moms who use 12 Pampers a day, to the moms who spank and moms that redirect with positive reinforcement. I’m saying sorry to moms everywhere. I am sorry for ever thinking a critical thought or ever passing a judgmental comment.
I think we have enough criticism to last ourselves a lifetime and then some. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of self-criticism we give to our own mothering. It’s hard work being a mom and, of course, it’s also the most rewarding job. However, the last thing a mom needs are other moms tearing down. What if we stopped the “us” verse “them” mentality and become the strongest unified “WE” this generation has ever seen? What if when a mom opens up about struggling with… (fill in the blank) she is greeted with:
“Hey, I’ve been there before and you are doing a great job!” and then maybe taking it one step further and following it up with a phone call or an encouraging text?
What if instead of having to hide behind the facade of perfect parenting we emerged ourselves into a loving, GRACE filled village of moms who are genuinely for one another? This may sound so simple. And simple, I assure you it is NOT.
This takes a daily surrender and an hourly reminder that if not for the loving kindness and grace extended to us by our own heavenly Father we would all be lost and astray. But because He loved us with an unending love we are safe to fail and to start again.
It takes us guarding our minds and our….. mouths, it takes us all not thinking so highly of ourselves but stooping low to serve and wash each other’s feet. It takes lots of forgiveness… forgiveness for when we aren't so kind and even forgiveness extended to ourselves. Perfection is a fleeting endeavor that will only leave us bitter and frustrated.
It takes us realizing that our own insecurities play into how we hear other women and how we interact with each other.
Lastly, it takes the understanding that the child or children we’ve been entrusted with are not ours, but belong to the Lord. We are but stewards of His children. Being a mom is not a right it’s a privilege.
So all this to say… I am sorry. I am sorry for not responding with grace or responding out of my own personal insecurities. I’ve only been a mother for a whopping 20 months; I most definitely haven’t learned everything. But what I have learned is that I need grace and I need to GIVE grace. I want to be a part of the loving village of gracious moms that are truly FOR one another and never against.
Proof that real life happens and no mom is perfect!
I like stories. Often times I read articles or blogs and then quickly forget what was said or communicated. But stories are different. I remember stories and they help me hold on to what is being taught. I hope this short, imperfect story helps us remember what makes us righteous before our God is Christ. That's it. Not our earthly success, not our beauty, not our accomplishments, not our money, and not our doing - just Jesus.
A Short Story.
There once was a woman who lived in a kingdom ruled by a good king. One morning she awoke to an announcement that the king desired to share his inheritance with anyone that could bring to him something that deeply pleased him. The woman, thrilled by the announcement, instantly got out of bed and began packing all her prized possessions. She packed her fine jewelry, perfumes, and gold she had secured away for many years. She packed her most beautiful clothes, woven from the finest of materials. She packed her accolades of honor and accomplishment. She packed all she had in hopes that she could offer something of value to the king. The woman, living far away from the king’s palace, set out on the long road ahead.
As she journeyed, fatigue from the strenuous road began to take its toll. Her back began to ache and her legs struggled to sustain the great weight of the load she carried. Yet, she reminded herself to continue forward, for the king was waiting. Longing to capture his attention, she rehearsed in her mind how she would present her precious possessions to the king and how she would demonstrate all of her gifts and talents.
The blistering sun beat down on her face and her lips began to crack from dehydration. Her back was weakening from the swelling pain of her heavy load… until finally it was too much to carry. Her knees crashed into the gravel dirt road. The remainder of her body collapsed to the ground with the weight of her pack suffocating her every breath.
Just when she thought it could not get any worse, two men hiding in a cleft jumped out at her. They shouted, “Give us all you have!” Screaming she clinched her precious pack, but their strength overtook her and with one foul blow to the face, she was rendered helpless.
The woman now barely breathing on a desolate road, robbed of her treasured belongings and left for dead saw a man faintly in the distance. He was riding a horse advancing in her direction. She closed her eyes in fear knowing she was alone and defenseless. As the man drew near he saw the woman in trouble. He quickly jumped off his horse, stooped down, and picked her up. He immediately gave her water from his pack and bandaged her wounds. He asked her, “Woman, where are you going?” She replied with her last bit of strength, “I set out to see the king in order to bring him something that might please him. But now I have nothing to offer.” The man holding her said, “I know this king and I know that he is good - let me take you to him.” With no strength left she agreed to let the man take her to the king.
When they arrived they found, hundreds of people waiting outside the king’s palace. The woman asked the man to wait with her until it was her turn. When the time had finally come for the woman to stand before the king, fear began to overtake her. She knew that he was good, but she had nothing to bring; nothing to give. The man that rescued her told her she did not have to be afraid. He said to her, “I will hold your hand and walk you to the king.” So the man did exactly that: he held her hand and walked beside her as she stepped toward the king’s throne.
The woman, now standing before the good king, hung her head and said, “I am ashamed, for I have nothing to bring; nothing to offer.” Before the woman could finish her story the king abruptly stood up and with great joy he shouted, “Today this woman has brought me the one thing that deeply pleases me. It is the only thing that will ever or could ever please me. Woman, the hand that you hold is the hand of my son. You have found the one thing that deeply pleases me. Behold all that I have is yours…”
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Turn on the TV, scroll through your phone
Billboards and magazines; we believe all we’re shown
Im too young, too old, too skinny, too fat
I don’t have her “this.” I don’t have her “that.”
We compare and compare “Oh, life it’s not fair!”
We chase after something that’s not even there!
Blindly we listen to the lies we are told
But what if we stopped; stopped buying what we’re sold?
Can we breath for a minute? Can we just look around?
And realize what we’re searching for has already been FOUND!
Its time for HIS daughters to open HIS Book
And instead of the mirror this is where we look.
So turn off the TV and put up your phone
Quiet your heart and just get alone
Open your eyes, open your ears
to the one who brings REST and calms all your fears.
Searching, seeking, striving, stirring
Deceived, divided, defeated, DONE
Heavy, hurt, hectic, hiding
Desperation you’ve just begun.
Busy boasting, Busy building
Self-obsessed, sinner, SICK
Guilty, greedy, gluton, grasping
Surrender, please come quick.
In my hands, at last, I’m dead.
But YOU say, “Here’s my life instead.
You will not take it, I’ll lay it down
All you need, in me is found.”
Silenced, safe, steadied, secured
Brand new life has now occurred.
The old has gone. The new has come.
When Father sees me He sees His Son.
Faithful, favored, forever FREE
Free of guilt. Free of me.
Revived, restored, renewed, redeemed
My Jesus, MY king, you're all I need.
I am no expert on any topic. I am writing just to share in my journey of learning to abide in my Maker.