Monday, February 13, 2012

Bad moments do not mean you are a bad Mom

Calleigh and I have such personality clashes...and it is because we have the same personality. Persistant, strong-willed, and they are the same.....both of us! I had this same issue with my dad when I was younger. Of course, as I got older(like college) we did not fight as much and we "grew out" of it. I love my dad, always have and always will, but we have the same personality so more times than I would like to admit we fought. Over the silliest things. Mostly homework and boyfriends, but now that I look back, I realize that if we would have put some of that time into not fighting life would have been so much easier. That is the approach I am TRYING to take with my girls. Calleigh and I fight more than her and Andrew. And I know it is for the same reason, we are just alike. Sometimes I just walk away and let Andrew take care of whatever issue is melt-down worthy.....and that works. Other times we just start laughing at each other, and sometimes we both have yelling, crying fights....both of us crying and yelling. Then I have that moment of "I am such a bad mom" and "Why are we doing this" and I always feel bad when it is over. And she is only 3(almost 4) so I know we have more of this ahead of us. Sometimes I just feel like a bad Mom like the time it was book order day and I forgot to bring it with us(luckily, the let me bring it the next day). Sometimes we fight over coat sleeves, what pajamas that we are wearing that night, and about brushing teeth. Chances are that Addie will be the same too. Payback says my dad. But today, a friend posted this and I want to share it. I am not a bad mom. I love those girls with all that I have. I prayed for them and God blessed me so much! But maybe there is someone else out there who needs this like I did.

Bad Moments Don’t Make Bad Moms
Lysa TerKeurst

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)

Do you ever feel like the ping pong ball in a heated match bouncing between feeling like a good mom to a bad mom?

I volunteer to keep the class guinea pig over spring break much to my daughter’s delight. After all, we have a hamster we adore so we’re highly qualified… GOOD MOM!

Two weeks before spring break our pet hamster has an accident and makes an early exit from this world. I get a letter from the principal informing me after hearing about our unfortunate hamster situation, we are unfit class guinea pig babysitters… BAD MOM!

I delight the teacher by showing up on time to read to the class… GOOD MOM!

That same day I get an e-mail from a teacher listing three parents who haven’t turned in permission slips and I’m on the list for all the world to see… BAD MOM!

I make sure my kids pack something healthy for lunch… GOOD MOM!

The schedule falls apart and I feed them sugary cereal for dinner… BAD MOM!

I so desperately want to be a good mom. And sometimes I feel like I am, when life is clicking along with good attitudes, healthy hamsters, turned in permission slips, and a pot roast for dinner. But let’s be honest. The days where everything turns out right and there’s a pot roast on the table are sometimes few and far between. And I find myself feeling like a failure. Have you ever been there?

The other day I was processing these things with my friend, Renee, when a strange theme seemed to arise. I just started laughing. I told Renee that many of my days tell the same story… I was on the verge of a breakdown and then I spent some time with Jesus and He made things better.

Renee quipped back, “Well, isn’t that where most of us live?”

Not that we’re on the edge of a breakdown, but we live in a place of utter dependence on God. I know I live in constant need of His love, encouragement, wisdom, perspective, strength, patience and grace.

Anything I do right as a mom is because of my constant dialogs with God. I’ve learned to talk with Him in honest plain language and say things like, “Hey God, I feel like a bad mom because I snapped at my kids. But my circumstances don’t define me, right? You do. So, I’m receiving Your grace and letting go of those feelings pulling me down. Please help me.”

I must remember the truth of today’s promise in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

God’s grace is always willing to step in. Not that it excuses me from being more patient, organized or responsible. But it reminds me, “Lysa, you are doing better than you think you are. My love for you is great! Stop bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad. In the good times, rejoice and thank Me. In the not so good times, call out to Me quickly.”

With God we’re never a bad mom. We might be having a bad moment… or two… or seventeen. But a few bad moments do not define us.

God’s grace is there to cover us. Teach us. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt us, redirect us and change me.

Forgiveness is there.

Love is there.

A second chance is there. And another one after that.

You are a good mom my friend…even if, like me, you’ve had a few bad moments… you are the exact mom God knew these children needed. Let’s live in that truth today.

And who cares if we are labeled unfit to watch the class guinea pig? As I stepped back from the situation I realized that saved us from some undue stress anyhow. Smiles.

Dear Lord, I know that only You can fill me. I am thankful Your grace is always there to cover me, especially on my tough mom days. Help me to stop bouncing from feeling good to bad. Teach me, redirect me and change me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

I am thankful that God gives us second chances and forgives us for bad moments.

Here it to admitting my faults and being forgiven, not fighting(as much, because realistically, I can not guarantee we will never fight) and trying my best to be better than I am. Not only a better mom, but a better wife, co-worker, employee, child, and example.

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