It was an interesting feeling trying to sort through all the thoughts that immediately bombarded my inner processing. I mean, I’m not a BAD mom… but I’m also never in a place where I feel like I have a grip on what I’m doing with these tiny people. I do my best on most days. But there are some times when I’m just a trash mom! Whether by giving up on the day or by truly not knowing how to make sense of the meltdowns that surround me (or come from within me), I just seem to compound the problem instead of resolving it.
That’s the reality. I do my best, but it isn’t necessarily “good enough” to wear that elusive “good mom” crown.
I don’t think there is a happy spin on it if we are looking for a solution that all of a sudden makes me “good enough”. I am still me! Hi there, hello. Still me. I’m not all of a sudden going to be better. At the same time, to wallow in believing that I’m just a bad mom is not an accurate response either. So, I choose to seek a truthful understanding of the fact that the story doesn’t terminate here (thank The Lord!).
One of the things I especially emphasis with my kids, especially in their early developmental stages is this truth: “You are not what you do. Who you are will not change because of what you do. Making a bad choice does not change your identity or worth or make you a bad person”.
I cannot measure my “goodness” using any society-made stick. I don’t answer to the mob of mommy blog trolls or the fanciful Pinterest-party gurus. I have been given a mandate from the Creator of All and my only concern is how faithfully I am carrying out my part in the bigger story by stewarding and teaching and covering my children. The hardest thing for me to process is that I am not the author of their story. I am a part. A massive part, sure, but the truth is that even if I were the very best mom by every earthly standard, if every onlooker stood in a grand ovation as they witnessed my motherly performance, my kids could still choose to reject Christ and go about their own way… and then what?
Am I still a good mom? Have I then failed? Is how they “turn out” the final verdict on my success or failure? I don’t know. Maybe? It is certain, though, that I am in good company when I say that I am unable to measure up to any standard other than this: Love God with all you are, love others, and make disciples as you go. Where am I going, you ask? I’ll let you know when I get there, but for now, I’ve got this crew of kids walking along with me and I’m just chasing Jesus and trusting He will illuminate the path with each step.
Being Okay with NOT Being Okay
We are all trying to make sense of our world with the tools we’ve been handed. Sometimes, our toolbox, so-to-speak, gets robbed when we are just children through various adverse experiences, and we grow up without being properly equipped. Sometimes that means we don’t have the wherewithal to be the happy, bubbly parents we always imagined we would (just me? Mmkay.). Instead, we spend our years wondering why our anger is triggered so easily and why it takes so long to feel rational again? And why we react in a way that in a different set of circumstances we ourselves would be horrified at such behavior or thought patterns. And it takes us a while to realize that our physical body is a mess. It is rot with Adam and Eve fallout. It is painfully misfiring all sorts of hormones and chemicals that it creates within our bodies a cocktail of questionable manners.
But then, there is this beautiful part where we also realize that Jesus is massive! He enters into all of this with us and He relates to all of it with us and He stands in the gap to make a way for healing and restoration and wholeness. All while we do life with our children in tow, and they watch how we allow Jesus to just be all that He is, and He transforms and enables and initiates this sense of peace while yet knowing full well that we are not at optimum functionality!
I mean… that’s what my friends tell me, but I’m still on the fence. Here’s what I can say without a doubt: I am present. I am showing up for my kids. Sometimes I show up wearing my fleshly arrogance and stupidity and need some good Holy Ghost discipline (which He is faithful to give because He is a good Father), but I show up. I can’t hide my shortcomings. I can’t pretend to be anything other than what I am, but I am always singing the song of sanctification. My God is working! He is creative enough that He can look at my inner trash and see the beauty and the gift within it all and He sets out to put it on display as a testament to His goodness!! That’s incredible.
As I heard at a recent training I attended, “It’s okay to not be okay. It’s not okay to pretend you’re okay…”, and know that Jesus is constantly making a way for you to thrive and enjoy His goodness that He so graciously pours out to fill our lack. For my own righteousness is as filthy rags and yet I remain the work of His hands. I am a mom who desperately loves her children and will give my all to see them grow in love and grace and to know that they are the handiwork of their Creator, and every chip and stain is an opportunity for rescue and redemption. What a gift!
I love you all…