When I first wanted to become a mom, it was for mostly the wrong reasons: everyone else my age was having kids, it seemed like the next logical step, my marriage was in trouble and maybe a kid would ‘fix’ it…. the list goes on but the bottom line was it was about ME. As I saw it, the kids were going to fill my life and bring me joy and happiness. They do. They definitely do! They also can bring you to your knees.
My perception of parenting has changed significantly over the past 16 years and what I have learned along the way is that being a mom has taught me more about me than I care to confess. Like how selfish I can be when at the end of a long day I snap at my kid because ‘I’ deserve to sit down. Like how impatient I can be when I have to say “please take your plate to the sink” 4 times before it actually gets done. Like how unforgiving I can be when I remind my kid of past mistakes as an excuse not to trust them today.
About 10 years ago, I decided to let Jesus show me how to parent. An incredible burden was lifted when I realized I was not on my own as a mom. But if I am being honest, more often than not I have come face to face with the way I have treated my Heavenly Father in my own life: how I have been quick to be angry with Him when things don’t work out MY way; how I neglected to OBEY when He tells me to do something; how I have REJECTED my need for forgiveness because I was too proud to admit something in me was wrong. I could go on and on.
Yesterday, I lost it emotionally. It started out as a typically day of serving my family and going to work. Triplet #2 needed to get off to practice in the am, I needed to attend a funeral for a friend’s mom, some work at the office, then there was the visit to an elderly woman from church and finally off to get the oldest from sports practice. I managed to only get 2 hours of work accomplished when I had to pick up my oldest only to have her get in the car and let me know the next thing I needed to drive her to. My brain about to explode with information trying to figure out how and when I was going to get my work done, she then showed me a rash on her back and I realized I would need to take her to the doctors, at which point I realized my work day was spent. I was spent. The tears just ran down my cheeks and I thought, I can’t keep up! Poor kid had no idea what to say. Ever have days like that as a mom? (If you said no – you’re lying.)
I am not sure how God feels about me when I get overwhelmed like that. I know He loves me and He wants to help and all I need to do is ask, but I wonder if He thinks about the day He sent His son to earth from Heaven to show His love. I wonder if he thinks about the day He watched the crowds turn on him, about the day He watched as they hung him on a cross and the moment He had to look away so His son could bare my sin (our sin) so I wouldn’t have to. Jesus never once pulled out his “Hey I’m God” trump card. He never once leveraged his power for his benefit or because He deserved better. Jesus came to serve (Mark 10:45). To serve me and you. He lost his life in order that we may have eternal life. Being a mom is a great privilege – a chance to lose my life a little everyday. I have my good days, my bad days and my very bad days. I am not sure I am cut out to manage these lives God has entrusted to me. But this I know today: along the way I am learning to be like my Jesus – more of you and less of me.