Perfect Mom

Image“Vaccinate!” “Don’t Vaccinate!” “Public School!” “Private School!” “Homeschool!” “Unschool!” “Kids need moms that take me time.” “Your kids should never have a moment in life that you’re not in. Ever.” “Live life to the fullest. Eat. Drink. Be Merry!” “Be debt free and don’t you dare have fun until you are.” “You have no value if you don’t work for a living.” “If you are a working mom, you have no love for your children.”

What should my kids eat? How often? What battles do I choose? How do I get through to her heart? How can I stay joyful every minute of their waking hours? Was I supportive enough of Mr. when he came home? I promised a second book, why isn’t it coming as easily as the first? My house should be cleaner. More organized. I really shouldn’t let them watch TV-ever. I should really call that friend. Do I have time for that Bible study? What does that say about me if I don’t? Yes, new teacher, I would love to volunteer for every fundraiser forever more for the life of my girls’ time at your school. Absolutely. Another article on perfect mothering, perfect wifering, prefect homemaking, perfect living. Bookmark it and hope you can get to it in time to know how to not make a mess of this life you’re living.

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My mask is cracking. My heart is hardening. My soul is crying.

Anyone else?

Day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-precious-minute, I am drowning in information overload. My brain is fried. My fingers are tired. My eyes are burning from reading so much, and still I’m in a crazy whirlwind without exact answers. I feel like a wave tossed back and forth by the wind — pushed one way by this side and another by that side. This argument sounds good, but so does this one. This technique might work for us, but what if that one is better?

Does anyone know how to make the Tilt-A-Whirl stop?

I went for a run the other day (rare, I tell you — rare) and just laid my heart bare before the Lord. Music was blaring from my headphones, tears rolled down my cheeks, and my hands were lifted high, alternating between praise and downright begging.

And He is so good. He answered me, told me exactly how to get off the Tilt-A-Whirl, how to make it stop. And I can’t do it. Well, I can, but good golly, it’s hard.

Surrender.

Surrender to Him and His ways. Surrender to the reality that I can’t know all the answers. Surrender to trust that He does. Surrender.

As I prayed and marched and prayed and pretended to run and prayed and freaked out construction guys with my frenzied state, I started to realize something. Does the way my children eat at dinner point them to salvation?

Do vaccinations or refusal of vaccinations affect their soul?

Does any political party point the way to grace or mercy or soul-saving Truth?

Can school, in whatever form it comes, change my child’s heart?

No, no, and no.

Can Jesus? Yes, yes, oh yes.

I’m not diminishing the affect things can have on our kids or us or our families. We have to be on the frontlines for our kids, for our marriages, for our own hearts.

But.

Jesus admonished us to go and preach the Gospel and make disciples.

Not to argue over where to birth our kids. Not to argue about the best way to save money. Not to turn up our noses at the ill-behaved kids and disconnected moms at the playground. Not to guilt people into only eating organic.

We are to surrender to the Lord. Surrender. And, praise God, in that surrender He will work in our lives. To heal. To grow. To instruct. To love others in His perfect way.

He reached out when I called to Him, and stopped the dizzying whirl of questions. It’s my job to not get back in line, so to speak, and I’m not saying it will be easy to stay our of it.

But, as the icing on this cake of freedom He served me, I read a quote the other day that a dear friend of mine shared on Facebook: “If I were a perfect Mom my children wouldn’t need God.”

I would change that with just one more word: “If I were a perfect Mom, my children wouldn’t need a perfect God.”

If I read every article and were able to discern exactly what was true and what was fluff, if I served wholesome homemade meals and snacks at all times, if our house was sparkling clean every minute, if my children had perfect attitudes because of my wonderful mothering, if my husband was treated exactly perfect by me every day, if I never made mistakes as a mom, and never gave my kids “I need a therapist to work through my issues” fodder…

I would become their Savior and their need for Jesus would be obsolete. If I were perfect, my need for Jesus would become obsolete.

Bring on the weakness, Lord, God. Bring on those swirling questions that drive me to Your feet so that the only thing I know when I rise up again is that You are all I need and You will fill in the rest.

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