Friday, April 29, 2016

A Standard of Grace

Motherhood is hard. Navigating motherhood on top of building a relationship with Christ is hard. It's easy to get caught up in the things of this world and forget to make time for the one who created it. I find this truer than I would like in my everyday life. I tell myself that I have things that take precedence. Tasks that have to get done now so I'll have time to myself later. And that's when I'll do my Bible study or read some scripture. And, while those things are important, more often than not, my time runs out and I don't ever end up getting to it.

From the time my family wakes up in the morning till they're tucked into their beds for the night, I feel a constant struggle for more time. More time to get things done, more time to spend with God, more time for crafts or science experiments, more time with my husband. I think it all boils down to the season of life you're in and the priorities that are present there. For me, I always want to be available to my family. I want my boys to know that their momma loves them, will always be there for them and will tell them the truth one hundred percent of the time. That can be difficult as parents because, sometimes, showing our children that we love them means doing things they don't necessarily like. Correcting them when they make a bad choice, disciplining them when they disobey and taking the time to be consistent no matter what the surroundings or circumstances. I'll support, encourage and cheer them on like nobody else but, I'll also show them what it means to be obedient. And the best way I can do that is living by example. If they see me showing kindness, forgiveness and humility to others then, chances are, they'll want to make the most of those opportunities as well. However, if they catch on to my bad attitude when I'm tired and have yet another thing to clean up or put away around the house then they may resort to the same moodiness if asked to do something.

It's a tricky roll we have as mothers. We want our children to grow up with only fond memories from the years they had at home but, also want to have some sense of who we were in the midst of it. Were we all we could be for them, for ourselves and for Christ? Spending time with other women is huge for me in that aspect. Having time to talk and laugh and share the ups and downs of our days without feeling lost in it all. I love my boys and I love my husband but, until a few years ago, I didn't realize how much I was missing by not investing in other moms as well. Nursing those friendships that not only encourage and sustain us but, also call us out and give us new perspective. Women were made to befriend women. To share in each other's struggles, triumphs, disappointments and self doubts. We can understand like no one else can and we need to step into that role now more than ever.

I want to be a part of the movement to break the cycle of hate, comparison and limitations. To lift up other moms, give an encouraging word or a fond embrace. Show them you love them, you know what they're going through and you see them. A kind smile can be just what a momma needs sometimes. Give her a little encouragement and say, "You're doing the best you can", "It gets easier, I promise", "I'm right there with you, Momma". I find that when I spend time with the uplifting women in my life, I'm refreshed and ready to get right back at it. I can make the choice to look past the laundry that's piling up and, instead, go through my Bible study after laying the baby down for a nap. Not in every instance, but, I'm a work in progress. And, thankfully, I'm not alone in it. God meets me where I am and says that it's okay. I'll never be perfect and I'll never be the world's best mother. But, in this season of my life, I'm right where I'm meant to be. Showing these little men of  mine the love of Jesus and the gift of his grace. And that is a pretty incredible place to be.

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