A Mom’s Report Card

Let’s face it, most of us graduated long ago, but the truth is, we continue with the practice of grading ourselves and our efforts. Moreover, we grade ourselves on a scale of comparison based on the best we see posted by other moms or based on what we see of moms as poised in public settings. Much of our grading is based on our idealizations about other moms; what we assume to be true about them, and consequently what we know is not true about ourselves. Why can’t we cook like this mom? Have we given our children ample opportunities like this family? Are we doing enough to equip them to succeed in the future?

Our grading scale tends to be based on appearances.

Take for example, the mom profile picture I can post of me at my best verses the crazy-train selfies I send to my husband after a full day of mothering and homeschooling our four little people. Exhibit A, B, and C below.

Mom profile picture.

Text to husband a few months ago: I spend three hours of every day feeding our baby.

Text to my husband last week: Just unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher with baby in pouch.

There are of course more unflattering pictures and texts than this, but like I am going to post those!

When I talk with other moms, many of them sigh a breath of relief after I have confessed to my absolute need to repent of yelling at my children, loosing my temper, needing a mommy time out, or …you name it. We have all been there! Or at least I have been there more frequently than I desire.

There are no perfect mamas. There is only a perfect Savior. Yet, we will take the best we see posted or acted out with other moms and beat ourselves up that we are not meeting those standards.

Of course there are biblical mandates for parents. There are a multitude of resources for parents to seek out for better communication with and disciplining of our kids. However, the point I want to make to we mama’s constantly assessing our rank or status as a parent, is that God looks at our heart not our outward appearances. Lest we forget, in anointing the next king of Israel Samuel fell into a similar trap. He was looking for stature, strength, and a handsome appearance in the man that would be chosen to lead. But God had other qualities in mind:

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
~1 Samuel 16:7, NIV

I think we need to look at our heart this Mother’s Day and lay our report cards at the foot of the cross and our gracious Savior. Yes, some days we will accomplish, excel, and be on our game. Some days our children will behave as we have trained them to and hoped they would. But most days are muddled in the middle of planting, sowing, training, and teaching…repenting and trying again. Most harvest awaits a later day or an eternal time. Patience is a process and parenthood is a sanctification like few others I have ever known.  In the meantime mamas, between now and eternity, we need to look not at our outward appearance, our filtered Instagram or Facebook posts, or the mom next door, but look instead where the gaze of God falls–our hearts.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. ~Psalm 24:3-4, NIV

The idol of comparison and appearances will get us nowhere. Likewise, shaming ourselves into thinking we are the only ones struggling to be the mom we want to be, and yet, can’t measure up to, will only make us feel worse. We must look at our heart, examine it, repent where we are in sin and ask the Holy Spirit to help guide us into the women He wants us to be. We must accept the grace God extends and the refining He provides. All our efforts apart from Christ are in vain.

This Mother’s Day, why don’t you and I rip that imaginary report card to shreds and spend some time thanking God for bringing us this far? We aren’t the same person we were last year, we aren’t the best images of ourselves we see on our social media accounts, nor are we what we see at our worst moments. We are image bearers of the Creator God, washed and forgiven in the blood of Jesus, and He looks not at our outward appearances, but at our heart. Our heart has a report card only God can assess and only eternity will reward.

Happy Mother’s Day,


 

 

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The Meanderings of Motherhood

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The anticipated birth-day of each of our children come. Then as we are wheeled out to the car with our new little bundles in hand it is strange the feeling of surprise that there are no oaths to take or more papers to sign to take our child home and raise them. After all, foster care and adoption require nearly a left arm and two quarts of blood. Furthermore, many of us depart from the hospital with thoughts like are we ready for this?

I think those are feelings shared by most responsible parents when their children first arrive into the world from the safe confines of the womb. We count the days, weeks, then months of our children’s age to find that the years add up before we grasp the time with our minds, much less our hands.

As the years pass, the diaper bags are placed in the Goodwill or yard-sale pile. Next, the pack-and-play too finds a new home and the toys that we once tripped over have been replaced with big-kid toys we continue to trip over.

That’s the season of life we are in now. Legos have replaced teething-toys, and baby dolls and books have replaced boppy pillows and burp cloths.

I don’t carry a diaper bag anymore, but I rarely leave the house without a few snacks and a water bottle. Even though my children are five and seven, I think they still equate sight of me with hunger. Just ask my husband or the grandparents. The kids could have eaten minutes before I arrive home and one of the first sentences out of their mouths is, “Mom, I’m hungry.” Really?! It’s quite laughable.

Like the meandering path of a river, winding, bending, and curving its way to the sea, so too parenting is not a straight course. Sometimes our children will seem to be independent and free of their need for us in certain categories of life, only to need us greatly in similar categories once again. Occasionally, our well-developed children will hit a bump in the road and need us more than we anticipated at different points throughout our lives together.

I think about the choices my children will make as they grow. These are the easy years–I’ve been told, and I agree. The decisions they make at five and seven are far less reaching than at 12, 16, 18, 21, and even 35. Jesus wisely knows that as the course of our lives wind and bend to our final destination, that we will be prone to worry–not about the bend in front of us, but about the possibility of a twist in the rivers flow a few yards, or even a mile, down. He guides our worry with these words:

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34, KJV

Prayer and praises to Jesus today, and prayer and praises to Jesus in the morrow. So the saying goes, and is good advice based on Matthew 6:34, One day at a time, sweet Jesus.

Prayerfully, our faithfulness in this day reaps rewards in the days to come. Therefore, we need not face this day with worry for the next that has not dawned.

The most precious gifts I have been given in this life are a result of one of the best choices I made in marrying their daddy. I am so grateful for the choices that led me to Ron and for the gift of being a mom to two of the most remarkable people I have ever met.

Happy Mother’s Day to each woman with children of your own and to all women of spiritual children in which you have invested love, prayers, and guidance. May this be a blessed Mother’s Day for you.

Take heart and fear not the morrow,

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Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers Day

Dear Moms,

Happy Mother’s Day.

For the dishes that never clean themselves, the dinners that do not cook themselves, and the laundry that never washes and puts itself back in its place.

Your work makes a difference.

For the times you cuddle, caress, and hug. The times you pick up, encourage, and kneel in prayer. For the thousand reminders you give each day.

You are instrumental in shaping a life and future generations.

For the sacrifices you make. The instruction that you give. The books you read and the trips you take your children on.

You are impacting the people your children are becoming.

For the early mornings and the late nights. For the doing without so that your children may have. For the life on mission you live and not simply preach about.

You are laying a path for little feet turning man and woman to follow.

For the cheers and clapping over accomplishments big and small.

You are cherishing champions and reflecting the Father who loves when His children walk in obedience and give their best offerings to Him.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who frequent This Temporary Home. A mother’s work is never done and the mundane feels as if it may not make a difference most days. But…

Your faithfulness in the great and the small will be rewarded and you are living as a sacrifice like Jesus–the King who came to serve.

God has entrusted you with His highest creations. You are indeed blessed.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

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Because They Call Me Mom

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 Mother’s often struggle with mommy guilt over words uttered in anger, cookies unmade, plans not brought to fruition, and energy misappropriated.

The heart of most mothers’ is full of good intentions, noble purposes, and best-laid plans. However, the crumbs, melt-downs, mood swings of teens, and business of life leave the portrait of our days painted differently than the landscape in our minds-eye.

Take heart: God redeems the imperfections and the masterpieces of those who seek to live and love through a righteous life.

 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8, NIV)

Mom’s, under normal circumstances children will remember much of the good and less of the bad. That is what equips them to make their own parenting choices in the future. It leads them to the Father. It reminds them of an agape love that only the one Father can provide all of the time.

God has equipped children with the greatest capacity for love and forgiveness. It is true, our children reflect the gospel.

Yesterday at breakfast, one of my boys was crying over the way I had prepared his English muffin. That did it. The crying over his daily bread broke me into fitful pieces and  the peace in our home was sliced right through.

Ron helped clean up the crumbs of crisis and loaded the kids in the car for a park date and me some much needed alone time. Before leaving,  my son came bearing good-bye kisses and kneaded the dough of love into his mama’s heart. I needed that.

As he left, simply these words, “I have hugs and kisses in my heart for you and dad when we get back too mama.”

Great love. Great forgiveness. Great grace. Those are the ingredients of the spiritual and the generational families of this life and the next.

Because they call me mom I must call on the Father more.

Because they call me mom I have added accountability to practice what I preach.

Because they call me mom I have kisses and hugs in abundance.

In short, I am blessed…because they call me mom.

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This post is in honor of my mom. I am blessed to call you mom and live in your love. ~Brooke

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For Those Mourning this Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day 2012 was bittersweet. The month of May brought much heartache to family and friends through the loss of two beautiful women. One a grandmother the other a young mother. As my heart aches for the families grieving I pray for answers to questions and new challenges that these women’s absence continues to bring.

The pain of death is surely felt by the undeparted.

 I was reminded that God is a parent that outlived His son. God the Father did not spare His own son, but gave Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. We cannot rush through this fact: God. sent. His. son. to. die.

We anticipate reunification with our loved-ones in death because Jesus died and rose again. His resurrected body is reunited with God the Father as our’s will be with those who have gone before us into heaven.

As a result of Jesus rising from the dead He is restored to not only the Father, but to all mankind as well. Further, those who place their faith in the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus will be reunited with family and friends in heaven who are of the same conviction and belief.

Bible verses preached at the grieving absent the Holy Spirit seem dull and lifeless. However, with the Holy Spirit, God’s living word soothes our anxious grief-stricken souls–if even moment by moment. God’s well of mercy has not run dry nor shall it til Christ returns. He promises He will comfort us; both parent and child.

When a child dies before his or her parent, or when a child looses their parent, the Trinity is familiar with this pain and will  give us all that is needed to walk through our tragedy and loss (Romans 8:32). If Mother’s Day is a day of grief for you this year due to the loss of a mother or child I pray God’s peace and blessing on your soul. May the God of all comfort comfort you in your time of need (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Those who mourn shall indeed be comforted (Matthew 5:4) both in this life and in eternity. Harder days may lie ahead but you never walk alone.

Home is indeed a place called heaven. Perhaps you are more anxious to arrive now that you know more familiar faces await you…He has already wiped away your loved one’s tears.

Photo by my friend Hannah F.

*A re-post.

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A Bittersweet Mother’s Day

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This Mother’s Day was bittersweet. Last week brought much heartache to family and friends through the loss of two beautiful women. One a grandmother the other a young mother. As my heart aches for the families grieving I pray for answers to questions and new challenges that these womens’ absence brings.

The pain of death is surely felt by the undeparted.

On Sunday, I was reminded that God is a parent that outlived His son. God the Father did not spare His own son, but gave Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. We cannot rush through this fact: God. sent. His. son. to. die.

As a result of Jesus rising from the dead He is restored to not only the Father, but to all mankind as well. Further, those who place their faith in the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus will be reunited with family and friends in heaven who are of the same conviction and belief.

Bible verses preached at the grieving absent the Holy Spirit seem dull and lifeless. However, with the Holy Spirit, God’s living word soothes our anxious grief-stricken souls. If even moment by moment. God’s well of mercy has not run dry nor shall it til Christ returns. He promises He will comfort us; both parent and child.

When a child dies before his or her parent, or when a child looses their parent, the Trinity is familiar with this pain and will  give us all that is needed to walk through our tragedy and loss (Romans 8:32). If Mother’s Day was a day of grief for you this year due to the loss of a mother or child I pray God’s peace and blessing on your soul. May the God of all comfort comfort you in your time of need (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Those who mourn shall indeed be comforted (Matthew 5:4) both in this life and in eternity. Harder days may lie ahead but you never walk alone.

Home is indeed a place called heaven. Perhaps you are more anxious to arrive now that you know more familiar faces await you…He has already wiped away your loved one’s tears.

Photo by my friend Hannah F.

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