Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"sometimes being a mom sucks"

Yep. I confess. That's the horrible sentence that I muttered under my breath, just loud enough for Matt to hear, while I was preparing dinner for my family tonight. I didn't say it angrily; just very matter of fact. This of course makes it no better, but for someone that can speak with sarcastic, angry tones, I can at least celebrate that by God's grace I controlled that part of it.

When your child stands up to bat for his very first tee ball game, being a mom is amazing.

When your child rides his or her bike for the first time without your hands steadying it from behind, being a mom is amazing.

When your child reads his or her first book and you know that you are the one that spent hours teaching them letter sounds and phonics, being a mom is amazing.

When a stranger compliments your child's good behavior in a restaurant or store, being a mom is amazing.

But sometimes being a mom stinks. It doesn't have to be that way though.
(I am changing the word from "sucks" to "stinks" because I know that word is offensive to some - my apologies).

Today, I felt that way and those words flew out of my mouth because...

I was hungry.

I was tired.

I was trying to grill food outside and make food inside and serve it to my family outside. There was a lot of running in and out. I was getting irritated.

I was standing while everyone else was sitting, relaxing, talking.

Everyone got their hotdogs, hamburgers, caesar salad, fresh peaches, and drinks before I did.

In fact, by the time I was ready to sit down and eat, everyone else was finishing up and the kids were eating fudge pops.


Do I always have to be last around this house. Is Mother's Day the only day I get to go first? And I went last all day long! Can't I go at least second at dinner time? Why always last? These were the attitudes within my heart that I didn't speak. But I was thinking them and believing them and building a great case for myself.

As I sat inside alone, having lost my appetite, I knew my statement was born out of self-pity and unbelief in God's word.

It's true that being a mother is a call to sacrifice; to daily serve others before yourself. Actually, this is the call of everyone who calls himself or herself a child of God. But caring for small children (& big children too) all day long just affords you constant opportunities to serve. And serve. And serve.

And serve.

And put yourself last. Again. And again. And again.

And again.

When my heart is believing that this job is a glorious gift...

When my heart is resting in God's promises that He gives grace to the humble...

When my heart is thankful that He has ordained me to disciple these four precious lives, that they might know and follow their Creator...

Then being last is the greatest thing.

And being a mom doesn't stink! It only stinks when my eyes are on myself and when I am believing and living the lie that putting others before myself is a foolish waste of time. It only stinks when I am believing and living the lie that true happiness can be found in doing what I want, when I want. Everyone else, please step aside, it's time for ME.

These verses are the ones that immediately came to mind.

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."
Romans 12:1

"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. "
Romans 12:10

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,
Philippians 2:3-7

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble"
James 4:6

I thought of Elisabeth Elliot and her book "The Shaping of a Christian Family."

This portion greatly encouraged me and gave me a fresh picture of what mothering is all about:

"A talented woman was asked by a friend, 'Why have you never written a book?'

'I am writing two' was the quiet reply. 'I have been engaged on one for ten years, the other five.'

'You surprise me!' the friend said. 'What profound works they must be!'

'It doth not yet appear what they shall be,' said the woman, 'but when He makes up His jewels, my great ambition is to find them there.'

'Your children?'

'Yes, my two children. They are my life's work.'

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