Today we continue our series The Messy & Majestic of Motherhood. Jamie is a mother of three and an amazing writer! I met her several years ago when we attended the SheSpeaks Conference. I know you will be encouraged by her words. Don’t forget to comment below for your chance to win the Mother’s Day Prize Pack. A winner will be announced at the end of the series!
My Annabelle is finishing second grade, Elijah first, and Lisabeth 3K. Sometimes, I look around and wonder how I got to this time, this treasured time. It really does pass us by so quickly, like they say, “in a blink.”
This year I have seen my Annabelle settle into her skin; she is comfortable being herself, and I too have relaxed as a mom. Sometimes I don’t do all the things I feel are on the checklist of motherhood.
You need to know that when I became a mother, I was coming out of a deep depression and it hung on like the baggage it was. Then, I had Annabelle, and looking back, I am certain I had postpartum depression, but I was too embarrassed and not even that, I had no idea what emotional and communicative integrity really were. I was too busy being good and trying to juggle the weight of the world and everyone’s problems to deal with my own stuff. I didn’t become a mother well. I was anxious and stressed and scared of doing things wrong. I had not settled into my skin. I did not know me.
Annabelle came into the world, and she was hardly quiet. People were going to look at me, and sometimes they were not going to like the way my kids sounded in the grocery store. Back then, a mere eight and half years ago, I was still enslaved to the world’s opinions of me. A good mom as they say would keep their kids quiet and a would always know how to calm a crying babe and make them always mind, without scenes in Target or Publix. As it was, that was not the way it happened. And so, God used my children to set me free from the slavery of the world’s views.
But I still feel the checklist. The good mother checklist. Did I hug my kids today? Did I tell them I loved them? Did I read the Bible to them? Did I pray with them?
Or the opposite – the bad mom list. Did I lose it on them or in front of them? Did I forget to hug them? Did I mention Jesus today? Did I spend too much time self absorbed?
The truth of the matter is, most mothers fall into both of these categories probably every day. We are human after all. My personality is one that lends itself to easily earning salvation instead of trusting God for these matters. It is easy for me to feel guilty if I lose it, let a day pass without hugging my kids or speaking of Jesus, or don’t give every ounce of my day devoted to my kids. Yet, with Christ, each one of these things are opportunities – opportunities to show the true Savior we moms and all of our kids need – Jesus.
- When I lose it, I can ask forgiveness, and it gives me opportunity to declare the goodness of His salvation.
- When I don’t hug my kids, that’s what new days, hours, seconds are for – to begin again.
- When we don’t remember to read the Bible every day, there is grace for those hard days.
- When I don’t give every moment of every day to my kids, that’s good. I just need to keep preaching it to myself. The kids are not my god. God is – I need quiet in my day to commune with Him and to be still for my own self as well.
God is with us in the process of motherhood. He is not walking beside us with a checklist of right or wrongs for each day. Rather, as Christians, we know that love keeps no record of wrongs. He is making us into new creatures, and our children are becoming new as we do. And that’s okay. More than okay, it’s the way He designed it.
The concept of grace is something I’ve only in the past 5 years begun to recently delve deeper into. The vastness of grace and the idea of His favor just because was a novel concept to me, so I practice teaching my kids grace. If they have to eat all of their dinner to get dessert, sometimes I give it to them anyway all the while telling them that this is grace. The other day I wanted to test my kids to see if they were getting it.
I asked Annabelle, “What is grace?”
She said, “You know how you told me to finish my homework before I got to eat skittles, and then later you just let me eat them before I was done, with no work required?”
“Yes,” I said.
“That’s grace,” she said.
Maybe as long as He keeps giving me grace as a mom, I’ll keep passing it forward. Whether I do or not, there is grace enough for all of us. Jesus, sweet Jesus, purveyor of the richest treasures that He paid for Himself – free for you and me. That’s amazing grace. Grace of all our motherhood checklists.
***Don’t forget to leave a comment below for your chance to win the Mother’s Day giveaway! A winner will be chosen at the end of this series! The Mother’s Day Prize Pack includes a copy of the following books: Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to Family, Trucks, Tantrums, & Trusting Him: Confessions of a Boy Mom (ebook), Undivided Mom (ebook), a motherhood journal, and a gift card for Shutterfly.