There are a lot of opinions out there today on what our kids need…from scheduling to education to extra-curricular activities to health choices…you know what I’m talking about. I’ve been mulling this around in my head recently, and I keep coming back to three things I feel like my kids need from me…
01. No Guilt. My kids need a mom who isn’t walking about burdened by the guilt of feeling like I’m not doing enough… We are drowning in a sea of images and status updates and snapchats of what other moms are doing daily. Constantly comparing is a real struggle. Which almost inevitably turns into wallowing in lament. I think we get stuck there. a lot… in that place of ugh, I’m failing… which speaks nothing of grace. My kids need me to move on from that place…
Reality is: I do fail. Every day. I want my kids to see there is a God that is bigger than my failings and that He gives grace. I read this description of grace recently: it is “an alleviation, whether of guilt, of self-interest, or of limitation…” and that word, alleviation, “it means the lifting or easing of a burdensome weight.” This is what God has given us through Jesus. This is where He wants us to live.
I want my kids to see me in my weakness and failing, resting in Him. Because, honestly, I want them to be okay with failing themselves, to expect it, and to look for grace in those moments. God is there.
02. No Fear. My kids need a mom who isn’t paralyzed by fear. Thanks to the internet, we are more aware than ever of the pain, suffering and catastrophe in the world today. I can so quickly become weighed down in dread of loss, of cancer, car accidents, shootings, and on and on. It’s everywhere, and I know I’m not immune from the possibility of it.
My kids need to see me turning to God and fighting to trust Him when I’m afraid. I don’t want to shield them from the reality that bad things happen. They know that for a fact. But I want them to know that God is greater than my fears and He will hold me fast even when my grasp is weak. I want them to see that He is worth trusting. Because I truly believe it.
03. Peace. My kids need a mom who’s heart is at peace. That peace is worn down and attacked on a daily basis. (See #1 and #2.) There are plenty of practical things I can do to simplify my life. I’m all for living simply and purposefully, but that’s not the ultimate solution. I want to be reminding myself, throughout my day, of the God who never changes and never leaves. Peace is only going to be found resting in Him.
We have a lot of people living in a small space. Peace isn’t a word I’d generally use to describe my kitchen at 4:30 pm on a weekday. And that’s ok. I want my kids to see that peace isn’t dependent on circumstances. I want my kids to see “when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” In the little things, as well as the life altering ones. They are watching.
On those days when I’m feeling overwhelmed (and the days when I think I’ve got this), I want to remember that the planning and school choice and sports and home-cooked meals and memory making and birthday parties and cute clothes and playdates and scheduling and vaccinations and sleep training and potty training, all that I do and all that I don’t, it really doesn’t matter in the end. We make it so complicated, when it’s really so simple. Living in the reality that there’s a God in heaven who sees and cares and is worth trusting, that’s the best thing I can do for my kids.
(picture, thanks to my favorite: yan palmer)