Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A reminder to myself

Yesterday, I lost my temper.  I know we all lose our tempers at times, but this was not pretty.

I want to blame it on one (or three) of three things:

First, I'm a mom.

Second, I'm almost 38 weeks pregnant.  (I could probably stop here, ha!)

Third, I'm a human living in a broken state, in a broken world.

While all three of these are true, it doesn't justify my actions, or my words.

For me in particular, it all boils down to perfectionism and control.  I have a tendency to believe this twisted notion that:
"If I'm doing my job as a parent, my children will be perfect."

I don't think I'm the only mom that struggles with this.  I think a lot of us moms place the complete burden of raising our children on ourselves.  Deep down, when things don't go the way we expect and when our children don't behave the way we expect, we blame no one but ourselves.  We forget that not only are we not perfect, but our children aren't either.

Yes, we have the job of teaching and guiding and disciplining and cultivating virtue in our children.  But grace must go hand-in-hand with that job.  And not just grace for our children, which is so easy to give, but grace for ourselves (not so easy to give).

I can't base my worth off of the way my children turn out.  They are persons, too.  They have been born with the privilege of choosing their own way.  Even now, when they are little, they have choices to make.  And if they make the wrong choices, it's not because I'm a crappy parent.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't try, that I don't do the best I can to teach them.  I do believe that, as a parent, I must educate myself and grow myself in order to effectively guide and teach and discipline.  And I must be consistent in doing those things.  But after that, I must let go.

I must have faith.

It always comes down to faith, doesn't it?  Believing that God is faithful.  Believing that He is the one who works in our, and our children's, hearts.  Believing that He is the one who changes us, if we are willing, to become like Christ, and He will do the same with our children.

God has given us a gift when He gave us our children.  They bring so much joy and laughter and love into our lives.  But our children are not the only gift.  God has given us the gift of growing in Him, through the task of raising our children.  Being a mother has been the ultimate test for me.  I can think of no other time in my life when my patience, my will, my faith, and everything else, have been tested and tried as these last 6 1/2 years.  And it will be an on-going process throughout my entire life.

So I must relax.  I must cast this burden that I'm choosing to carry onto Christ.  I must believe that He is working, not only in my children, but also in me.

And I must seek joy and love in the process, and focus on the good, the true, and the beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. "I think a lot of us moms place the complete burden of raising our children on ourselves." I think you are totally right! I mean, we *do* have to make good choices and do our best, like you mentioned, but ultimately, they are persons and will make their own choices. It is tough some days! :) But good. I love being a mom. :)

    Thank YOU for your transparency, as well. :)