Mother’s Day has just passed and although I enjoyed my day, this past week has challenged me to consider that perhaps I expect too much from my kids.
It’s good to want to see my children make right choices, to want them to try harder in school, and to do well in life, and love Jesus like crazy. But sometimes my expectations reach beyond what really matters and other times I fail to adequately communicate what I expect and just assume they already know.
Within the past few weeks my oldest daughter has misplaced the new jacket her dad and I recently bought her, and I’ve been annoyed by this; not just a little annoyed either. I’ve managed to get my daughter annoyed now also with my constant nagging, “did you leave it at school?” I’ll ask her one day, and then the next day, “maybe it got left at church?!”…“how about in the vehicle?!”
More than likely at this point, my poor girl (mentally) eats, sleeps, and drinks this jacket because of all my harping.
Chalk up another “mom-fail.”
Can I make matters worse?…Yes!!! Because let me not forget to mention that I’m ridiculously frugal and the jacket was an Old Navy clearance and cost only $5.97. I know you’re reading this and probably thinking ‘then just go buy a new one’ and I would…maybe, but we live a few hours away from the store, so whining about it seems like the logical and mature adult-way to handle this situation…
Now if there wasn’t a lesson to be learned in this I wouldn’t waste my time writing about it of course….sooooo guess who recently lost their water bottle? (the water bottle they’re obsessed with—the one they take everywhere—the water bottle that if two fills of it are drank each day, her daily water-drinking goal is met…)
Yup, like mother, like daughter. My girl comes by it naturally; only I don’t have someone griping and questioning the object’s whereabouts—besides my GUILTY conscience!
Parenting is tough, but life lessons are teachable and when child and parent (alike) can learn from a similar circumstance then mercy and grace can be experienced by both.
On my best days I’m striving for more brownie points by throwing extra shredded cheese over a warm tortilla to create my kids most favorite snack: cheese quesadillas!
On my worst days, I’m adding another tally mark in my head so that when I lay down with the intentions of sleeping, I can torment myself over all my wrongdoings toward my children for that day instead.
It’s exhausting! And in no way is it spiritually healthy.
When I turn to God’s word to glean insight I read of Bible mamas who surely felt hurt, hopelessness, anxiety, fear, and guilt at some point—the same as myself at times.
In Genesis 19 we read of Lot’s family who was met by angels and directed to leave the wicked city of Sodom, immediately, without looking back!! As they fled, Lot’s wife looked back (perhaps out of fear for her family’s lives and little faith) and instantly she turned to a pillar of salt.
The Bible doesn’t mention the thoughts of Jochebed, but I imagine the anxiety she must have felt at every little whimper her small baby (Moses) made as she hid him from the death of Pharaoh’s work; but Jochebed emulates courage as she eventually places her tiny son in a basket and sends him down the Nile River straight to the hands of Pharoah’s daughter who went on to love and care for him as her own. (Exodus 2)
And Mary, the very mother of Jesus—I can’t help but think, felt a combination of guilt and hopelessness as she watched her son, Jesus, take his last breaths while hanging on the cross. His crucifixion was no doubt a slow and painful death felt in her own mama heart. John 19:25
These women have in common that worry and uncertainty were more than likely felt, but their presence and love in their children’s lives are also highly notable as the Bible has recorded their devotion to their specific family circumstances.
So much can be learned from them and so many other Bible mamas…
(Genesis 21) Sarah: as she longed for a child of her own and was later blessed with Baby Isaac at the ripe age of 90
(1 Samuel 1) Hannah: while she prayed for a son and promised to commit him to the Lord and when the Lord answered her prayers, giving her Samuel, she did just as she’d promised, and she took the boy to live in the Tabernacle (the place of worship at the time)
(Matthew 20:20-23) James and John’s mother: asking the favor of Jesus, for her sons to sit in places of honor in His kingdom; sure it was a bold move, but (respectfully) she knew this was a desirable place and wanted them to be where she thought was best
There’s another mom whose name you won’t find in the pages of the Bible, however her characteristics can be found throughout scripture…the Holy Spirit’s fruits are recognized within her: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
She’s a mom who’s taught me what it looks like to pursue the Lord in the toughest of times. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
She’s followed Proverbs 31:11-12: Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
This woman has experienced epilepsy since her teen years, she lovingly cared for a paralyzed husband, she was beside me when we learned my dad didn’t survive the car accident, she’s nurtured a handicap son…and through all the adversity she’s faced she’s remained strong and steadfast to the Lord, pursuing Him more and more than the day before.
She may not be a Bible mama, but she’s my mama; and I love that I can learn not only from God’s word, but from my very own mom as she sets an example of love and faithfulness to God and her children.
I LOVE YOU Mama Potts!!
After writing this post, the loss of the jacket and water bottle both seem trivial compared to the many blessings I have in being not only a mother to three amazing kids, but also a daughter to a beautiful Christian mama…my heart is blessed beyond words!
Rather than allowing the little aggravations to get to me, I need to be quick to quiet myself so I can hear the Holy Spirit’s answer of gentle whispering, “more grace…just allow more grace.”
In closing, this post isn’t only for moms and daughters—it’s for anyone who needs reminded that where mercy is offered, grace abounds! As a mom or as a Christian wife or friend, I need to simply live this truth out in my daily walk with Christ…it’s not easy, but it’s possible through Him.
Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her. Proverbs 31:28
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
About For His Purpose~
My name is Alicia and I'm a thirty-something year old who loves Jesus.
Only through God’s amazing grace and mercy I have been redeemed from past regret and shame. Reading His word has allowed me to look past Satan’s forceful lies, to see myself for who Christ says I am in Him.
Through writing I have learned why I made the choices I made in my younger years and I now have a better understanding of why I desire to love God like crazy these days.
Despite my daily failures, God remains faithful always. I am reassured of His unconditional love for me by every ink-drop spilled out on paper, each committed prayer as I cry out to Him, and deep understanding reflected through reading His word as truth.
Yes keeping a blog will make me vulnerable to others’ opinions- there will be some who don’t understand, some who may criticize or judge, but on the other hand if just one piece expressed through my writing grabs someone’s attention and directs them to God, then pouring out my heart in a blog for the world to read is worth it. I choose to glorify Him alone through words streaming across a glowing screen.
And it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t reveal the fact that I’m incredibly quirky; I’m my loving husband’s best friend, my vivacious kids’ craziest cheerleader and spiritual trainer (3 John 1:4). I love anything farmhouse and rustic style. I think cupping a warm coffee mug in the palm of my hands is more satisfying than the contents within. I share a common obsession with my husband for the mountains, but I would (without a doubt) settle for waves crashing against my legs at the Atlantic Ocean just as well, and I almost always have a Yorkie curled up on my lap while writing.
*All photos are photographed by forhispurpose.blog and therefore may not be stored or photocopied in any manner.
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