So, you read this post.
And you want to hurt me because I claimed "mommy guilt" might be legitimate.
And I left you with an impossible standard. Horribly high goals.
I'm your favorite person right now, aren't I?
Here's the deal: I'm not the perfect mom that I outlined in my previous post. I don't effortlessly walk my children to the foot of the cross. I'm not ceaselessly patient, or endlessly wise. I become grumpy, lazy, and overwhelmed. I try. But I fail.
If you are the wonderful mothering anomaly that I spoke about, I'm coming over. Right now. I'm going to sit at your feet, soak up your wisdom, and maybe leave my children with you forever. Because you're perfect. And I'm not. And my children probably need you. Not me.
Except, God gave me my children. My adorable Grant and Bets were entrusted to me. Your children, the ones that you're supposed to be shepherding flawlessly? God chose them. To be with you. Before the foundation of the world they were destined to be YOURS.
And He gave them you. The imperfect mom.
For their good. And yours.
See, God knew that you wouldn't parent flawlessly, and He knows how often you battle that monster of guilt. And He didn't haphazardly place you in this tricky place, with sinful children, and this crushing feeling of inadequacy. He didn't just throw together a life for you and then move on, forgetting all about you.
He designed this time. He designed your mothering inadequacies. He designed the personalities of you and your children. He designed every particle of every day. He planned that sippy cup spill, that rebellious outburst, and that teenage temper-tantrum.
Because you need to know that you're inadequate.
You need to know you can't do it. You need to know you're a mess.
Because then, you'll run, not to yourself. Not to denial, cliché self-esteem, or a box of hidden candy bars... but to your God.
He's waiting. He wants you.
Just as you never want to turn down a cuddle from a sticky, crying child, you Father in heaven will never turn you away. When you're tired, broken, and weighed down with the enormity of your task, run to your Father.
Cry out to him. (I hide in the bathroom.)
Pray without ceasing. (Grant has learned to join me when I collapse on the floor.)
Memorize verses to cling to.
Read books that remind you.
Get up early to meet with him. (5 a.m. = my new favorite.)
Stay up late to talk to him.
You are horribly inadequate for this job.
AND THAT'S OKAY.
Your inadequacy and weaknesses are there to drive you to a God who is beyond adequate and immeasurably strong.
Paul, resting in this, states: "Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us (he was speaking of any good they might have accomplished), but our sufficiency is from God."
If your children leave home with the firm conviction that their mother could not have survived without her Savior... that will be a beautiful thing.
So drive out the mommy guilt (after carefully looking to see where you need to grow!). But then drive that guilt OUT and run to a God who fills up all our emptiness and inadequacy. This is the God who planned the children you have, with the exact personalities that they do, and placed them with their sinful, struggling mother... He did this so that you would daily run to Him. Which is never bad. Mommy guilt has a way of evaporating in the light of his love.
So, you read this post.