“I’m screwing this all up”, I whispered, out loud to myself.
It was 9:15 in the morning, all three kids were at school, and I was frantically scourging around my house and inside my head at all the piles.
The piles of cluttered paper that I kept meaning to organize.
The mountains of laundry, wrinkled for a couple days now.
The toys strewn about and the crumbs sprinkled throughout different surfaces of our kitchen.
Five phone calls- all appointments for various medical and academic needs for the kids.
I had made two of them, and as I was calling a third, the phone rang.
It was the assistant principal at our school, wanting to “fit in” a conversation about James’s 504 before the end of the year.
I looked at the clock- 9:40.
I had about an hour before I needed to be at the school for one of the seemingly fifty, couple hour end of the year school events that continued to tear through the last precious days of the school year.
I sighed big.
I was frustrated not because of all the junk in front of me but because of the junk inside my own heart.
“Yep,” I said aloud again. “I’m screwing this all up- this mom thing”.
It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, and you know what I really want?
I want the impossible.
I want my brain to slow down for just a few minutes, for my heart to let go just a tinge, and to be able to just be and bask in the reality of no emotional turmoil.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him” (1 Peter 5:7)
“Do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:6)
I know. I know. But has any woman in any stage of this mom game found a way to actually make that happen when it comes to your children?
I’ve changed my mind.
What I really want for Mother’s Day?
A couple of hours to breathe. To be my own person, to not be needed for things I can’t seem to do well on anyway, and to peruse through magazines about things that don’t really matter (houses, flowers, cooking, vacation) while dreaming about reading in the mountains while writing this blog page with no time constraints and responsibilities. After that? I want to open more magazines with even more irrelevancy and listen to some music while I make the very hard decision about whether to order stemless wine glasses or the taller ones.
If there is an award for the most unlikely Southern Baptist woman (momma) there ever was, it might now have my name on it.
But here we are.
Here, eyes puffy from sleeping too hard for too short of time.
Here, one child rocking in his bed because he’s nervous about Saturday (a day that lacks routine), one child sleeping (praise you Lord), and one child beginning to seize for what feels like the hundredth time in a week.
This is my life, and whether I’m screwing it up or not, there’s no getting out of it.
I know on Mother’s Day weekend I’m supposed to be writing about the gift of our children. I’m not supposed to say all the hard things in honor and respect of those who so desperately want to be on this journey and God continues to say, “not yet” to. But today, I just want to speak to the mom (maybe an introvert like me?) who wants to love Jesus with all she is and longs to love her family the way she knows she should but just can’t quite seem to settle down into whatever God has in front of her today:
You aren’t screwing this up.
You actually can’t screw this up- and neither can I.
You see, what I’m learning is that the things that have been “screwed up” are the things that needed to be pruned in the first place.
My obsession (or even ability) to plan “my” schedule according to “my” idea of a good day?- Gone.
Hours spent “perfecting” my physical appearance (that also involved always shaved legs and rested bright eyes)?- Gone.
The opportunity to do what I want, when I want, whenever I want?- Gone.
My false security in my own attempts to make the people in my life “happy and healthy” at all times?- Very gone.
You see, motherhood has pruned me- God has pruned me- in ways that don’t often feel good. My flesh is selfish down to the bone; and if given a choice, it will always choose self. But God. God has given me this severe mercy of a gift of children who rely on me to show up for them every day. Some days, I confess I don’t want to show up. But because the Lord cares for my kids more than I ever could, He sustains and even equips me to do all the things- not the things I think are needed but the things He has in store.
Never perfect, but always purposeful.
Not always pretty, but wholeheartedly full of beauty.
There are some Mother’s Days in years past that I have felt a surge of gratitude and joy and excitement about this thing called motherhood- and praise God for the grace of that! Yet this year, I want to offer a different perspective- a perspective for those of you (us!) who are having a hard time seeing it all for the gift that it is:
God is working in your weakness.
He is not ashamed of you. He’s not mad at your inability to be the pinterest mom both in mind or heart.
He is working in this season to both mold you AND YOUR CHILDREN to be the Image Bearers He created you to be.
He knew exactly what He was doing when He made you momma of your specific kiddos- not because of your great track record or specific resume but because of His complete foresight and His full confidence in His own character and expertise.
He is God, after all. Our perfect Abba Father.
So today? Today, instead of adding more shame to your already shame-filled mind, why don’t you give yourself the greatest gift you could ever receive- the gift of the acceptance of His love for you in Christ. The gift of resting in His promises and grace. The gift of remembering He is working all things for His glory and our good- no strings attached. His love for us is sure.
Happy Mother’s Day, Momma.
You are so deeply loved.