Moms and Grace….Slightly Muddled

May 7, 2011

You know, most days I feel like I’m about 25.

Not when I’m running on my treadmill so much, but when I think about how I am as a mother.

I still feel like I have so much to learn.

I still feel relatively new at this mom thing.

I still feel like I’m not worthy of this job.

But then I remind myself that I’m 41 years old and that I have 10 children and that almost three of them are teen-agers.

And that scares me.  And makes me think I’d better get this whole thing figured out.  

Quickly. 

Because most of the time I seem to just be slightly disappointed in myself.

I thought I’d be more patient.

I thought I would never get angry.

I thought I’d never yell.

I thought I’d never just want them all to get on the school bus some mornings.

Really?  I thought I’d be better at this thing.

But that’s the problem.  

I thought.  And there was a lot of “I” in those thoughts and what I am doing wrong and how I’m messing up my kids.

My problem with this whole mom thing is that I think it all depends on what I do or don’t do.  Like there’s a formula to producing perfect children who automatically grow up and become preachers and missionaries and there’s never any angst along the way and life just slides by all sparkly and kitten-like.

And God and his grace are not in it at all.

Yes, I want to do my best as a mom and I think, on a day-to-day level, I do a decent job.  I teach my children about God and what he wants for their lives and the way he expects them to live and obey and be.  I try to be an attractive example of a Christian.  I try to protect my children from harm and evil and I read to them from the Bible and take them to church and discipline and train them when needed.  

But I’m learning that I really don’t want to depend on ME and how I do this job I’ve been given because although I TRY, that’s never going to be good enough by itself.

And while that’s hard for me to admit with all my control-freak tendencies, it’s absolutely true.

Because one thing I’ve learned in my 41 years is to let God have his way in my life.  Took me many years and lots of heartache and even more tears to learn, but I’ve got THAT down pat.

I just have trouble applying it to my life as a mom. 

Because I really believe deep down, in places that rarely come up at homeschool-mom-get-togethers, that all I’ve gotta do is make certain that devotions are done every day and that no bad words are uttered within this house and consequences happen in the exact proportion to the “crime” committed and I never have a bad day where a door might be slammed or a mean attitude may come out and we go to church with smiles on our faces and no one misbehaves while there and I MEAN NO ONE!  

And if all of this happens in one day…..if all the good behavior and positive attitudes and perfect obediences occur in a weird, wild convergence, then I think that I was a good mom that day and the kids were good kids and maybe there is hope for them after all!

But that’s not it at all.   

It’s because God loves me and wants me to see and acknowledge the moments when he metes out grace. 

My job is to train up my children in the ways they should go.  To teach them to love and obey God no matter what.  To teach them that glorifying God in their lives will bring joy unbounded.  To be the kind of mom they will one day look back on and say “She wasn’t perfect but she taught us and trained us and lived in front of us a life given to God.”

I want to do my best every day but then leave the Big Picture to the One who MADE the Big Picture.

If you’re like me, and struggle every day with trying to make perfect kids out of the sinful ones you were given, won’t you join me?

Let’s look for the moments of grace together.  And then let’s live out our thankfulness for it. 

I’d be grateful for the company. 

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7 Responses to “Moms and Grace….Slightly Muddled”

  1. Catherine G. said

    Amen!

  2. Mother said

    Count me in. It doesn’t matter that I’m a grandmom, I still need His grace, and I will need it to my dying day. I want to live out my thankfulness for His grace before my husband and the people I come in contact with every day, and before our children and grandchildren. Praise GOD He doesn’t give us what we deserve but He DOES give us His Grace! I’ll walk with you, Allison.

  3. Tonya Lancaster said

    AMEN! Wished I could have read this before I raised mine.

  4. Connie said

    I needed this today.

  5. Trina said

    Oh, this is an AWESOME post, Allison! This is soooo hard for me to do, I tend to focus on all the many many things I do wrong as a mom. This is a great reminder, and I will join you in looking for those moments of grace.

  6. Mary M. said

    Wow! Thank you for sharing! I am going through this struggle of balancing me and God’s strength with my soon to be 2yr. old and my 3 1/2yr. old. This post has really encouraged me to lean more heavily on God’s strength. God is currently teaching me about His grace in a whole new way. It is a lot to process.

  7. abi w. said

    I LOVE the way you put stuff!! Thanks for the encouragement, and wise perspective to a mom just starting out!!! Love you!! 🙂

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