On my baby’s first day of kindergarten, I forgot to pack her water bottle. That might not have been a big deal except for that we’d had multiple discussions in preparation for the big day about how she didn’t have to drink milk for lunch if she didn’t want to, because she’d have her water bottle.
Except she didn’t. Because of me.
I’ve forgotten lots of stuff over the school years. Winter boots (can’t play outside at recess without them), piano books (can’t have a lesson without them), lunch money (can’t eat if your momma doesn’t pay—well, actually, our school lets me rack up an IOU, shame on me).
Ugh. Mom mess-ups. Do you have them, too?
Of course we know they go beyond water bottle incidents. What about our bigger mess-ups, like blowing up at the kids, locking yourself in the bathroom, losing your gratitude or your perspective or your sanity?
As my family prepares to begin another school year tomorrow, I’ve been reflecting on my last decade as a stay-at-home / work-from-home mom. God blessed me with the chance to love on my kids while they were small. But I wonder, did I do it well enough?
Did I appreciate them enough?
Did I hug them enough, read to them enough, hold my tongue enough?
Was I enough?
Like me, you can look down another school year and swear—I’m going to do it better this time. I’m going to stay on top of the crazy calendar, build in more time to live in the moment. I’m not going to bark at my kids to brush their teeth or do their homework. I’ll chaperone field trips, I’ll remember to sign the slips. I’ll plan date nights with my husband and my children, too. I’ll make organic meals, I’ll keep the house clean, and I won’t spit venom at my favorite people when they mess it up again.
I will love my children for who they are, not comparing them to somebody else or expecting them to be someone other than the person God designed. I will train and nurture and love with intention.
I want to.
I wish so badly that I could.
And yet I know—tomorrow I will mess up again. You will mess up again. We’ll forget water bottles and backpacks. We’ll run late for school. We’ll snap and scold, we’ll get tired. We’ll turn our attention to Facebook instead of our children’s faces.
We will all continue parenting from this place of imperfection because we are human, not God.
And that’s not a bad thing.
Because our imperfection leads us to seek One who can do it better. One who is smarter and kinder and more full of grace. And the Bible says He will give us the power of His strength, His wisdom, His guidance and love. Imagine what we can do with that! With God, we can finally tackle those nasty women we become when we’re angry, worried, distracted, fatigued, selfish, perfectionist and discontent—those alter-egos of motherhood, the force behind all our mess-ups and mom guilt.
So you want to get it right this school year? Me, too! Me, too!
But we can’t.
“With your help I can run through a barricade; with my God I can scale a wall . . . It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:29, 32)
Here are four resources I can offer you this school year that will help you draw closer to God and truly be more of the mom you know God wants you to be—with His help.
The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood—My first book, which explores our ugly emotions and strongholds as mothers and offers victory over them through faith in God. This is not a book about how to raise kids; it’s about raising moms. Together we’ll learn how to rise up against the villains that beat us down, and finally be free to enjoy family life.
Generous Love: Discover the Joy of Living “Others First”—My second and latest book, which shows us all how to love the people around us the way God really intended. Why are we so selfish? How can we open our eyes to see others the way God sees them? What do other people really need from us, and why does it matter, anyway? Read and find out—and be deeply encouraged.
Family Devotion Kit—My new partnership with Kirk Cameron. The Family Devo Kit is a monthly PDF containing four weekly sessions including a Scripture reading and lesson, conversation starters and activities for the whole family—younger kids AND teens—and even a snack recipe to drive home the lesson. It’s designed to make spiritual growth easy to pursue as a family. You can get it through Kirk’s exclusive membership group, The Campfire.
Faithgirlz Blog—And finally, for moms of tween girls, check out the Faithgirlz blog, where I ghost write weekly articles to encourage and equip us. Just this past month we’ve got tips on helping your tween transition back to school, helping your tween manage conflict, teaching your tween to pray for others, and so much more.
Most importantly, mom friends, let’s all crack open our Bibles, keep our hearts tuned to prayer, and remember God goes with our kids everywhere they go. So when we can’t be with them, He is there. And that means they’re always in the very best hands.
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