Parenting is the toughest job I have ever held.
This 24/7, 365 day a year job is the most physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing position I have endured.
Most days I’m on a constant rollercoaster of highs and lows; going from crying to laughter in minutes. There’s no wonder I find myself collapsing in bed, exhausted and drained from the day’s emotional rollercoaster.
Please don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom! I thank God every day for the blessings He gave me for this season of life; to entrust His children to me, as their mom, to guide them and lead them in this crazy world.
What an honor it is! There is nothing I want more than to do the best job I can in raising them to be His light and to use their gifts to better this world.
I’m not always the best mom I can be.
God, in the most tender-hearted way He can, showed me where I’m falling short and how I can do better.
He continues to refine, reshape, and remold me into His perfect and grace-filled image. It is this new heart-shaping that I share with you today.
It is my prayer that you understand that I open up my heart only to encourage, support, and guide you in your own life as you mother your sweet and beautiful children.
In no way am I saying what I’m learning is the right way or only way. It is my way – directed and led by a Heavenly Father who loves me so much He wouldn’t let me stay broken.
I Was Playing Defense
My parenting looked more like a defensive game rather than a strategically designed offensive game.
You see, I was letting my career, my accomplishments, and my desires for success get the best version of me.
It was my writing, coaching, and business strategizing that got the patient, loving, grace-filled side of this mama.
By the time the kids got home from school, I was utterly drained. I had nothing left in me to be the parent I wanted to be, or that God intended for me to be.
Unfortunately, my children got the exhausted, stressed-out, lacking patience, quick-to-anger, too-tired-for-grace mom.
My kids got the leftovers.
Even though I was physically present, I lacked any engagement.
Ugh. No mom wants to be in this position, but there I was, right in the center.
I didn’t see it at first, but slowly and over many months, God revealed how this area of my life needed pruning.
It started with many small convictions.
Reading blogs and talking to other moms started to stir something in my heart. This stirring lead me to prayer, asking God to reveal where I’m going wrong and how I can do better.
As I surrendered this part of my life over to Him, God started to work internally. My mindset and attitude toward striving and succeeding – the root of my less than perfect mom self – began to shift.
I began to see that while I desire accomplishments, God desires my heart. And while I want tasks checked off my list, God desires tasks left undone for the sake of relationships.
It took time, but I finally was able to see that my priorities in life were completely flipped upside down.
Laying Down My Cross
While there is a long – and I mean long – ways to go, I’m learning to shift my priorities.
For me, this means several things:
1) To leave margin in my day to be renewed before my kids come home from school. I stop all work by 2 pm so that by the times the kids get off the bus, I am ready to be their mom. This downtime is critical as I mentally transition from being a boss to a mom.
2) To reduce the number of tasks I do each day. I have realized the more full my days, the less energy, patience, and grace I have for my kids at the end of the day. Since my kids’ love language is quality time, I need to make sure I have a reserve of energy left in me to embrace their love language.
3) To lay down my cross. My desire for accomplishment and perfectionism is incredibly strong. It has how I’ve operated for over 40 years! Each day, I need to surrender this desire over to God.
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16: 24-25)
Friends, I’m not perfect; in fact, I’m so far from it. I’ve got a long way to go until I feel like I’m using my days for God and not the world. But, I’m learning. And it is this learning that I wanted to share with you today in hopes that it might encourage you in your walk in motherhood.
I have found this verse in Romans 12 to be incredibly encouraging. I pray it encourages you in your own transformational walk with God.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
I would love to hear how God is working in your own life to help you be a better mom! And, I would love to pray for you in your walk through life. If you have prayer requests or would like to share God’s work in your life, email me!
Praying you through your journey mama,
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