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I am still a work in progress.
Yes, fellow mommies, as the familiar Sunday School song goes, “He’s still working on me…To make me what I ought to be.”
And something I’m learning these days is…. I still have much to learn.
Trust me, the common saying is pretty accurate that states, “I was the perfect parent….and then I had children.” Right?
But the great thing is that God doesn’t expect me to be a great mom for my own pride’s sake.
He has better plans for me than that.
What He wants is for me to look to Him daily for the help, wisdom and strength I need in order to be the person I so need to be in life. Afterall, He’s the one Who started the work in my life and He promises to be faithful to complete it. (See Philippians 1:6.)
As I am willing, moldable, and faithful by applying what I read in the Bible and following His Holy Spirit’s leading, He will give me exactly what I need to face the challenges in front of me…
And furthermore, He will also use the situations I experience to show me how to walk with more humility and graciousness towards others…
Because you know, as moms, we’re just not all facing the same set of circumstances… And each of us could stand to learn how to extend a bit more grace to each other.
For example, consider this situation which may seem all too familiar…
Have you ever seen someone else’s child collapse in a tantrum on the floor of a department store and thought to yourself, “Oh no, my child would never do that! He knows better from how I’m teaching him. I’d definitely stop that behavior immediately.”
Oh, how we pride ourselves so well…….. Yeah, um… Until our own little “Johnny” is old enough to throw his own tantrum in the middle of J.C.Penney…or Walmart… (True story.)
And then what do we do?
We melt… feeling completely embarrassed and longing for a little crumb of compassion from the bystanders, whom you are absolutely convinced are now silently judging your parenting skills.
Yes, my friends… They’re saying the same thing to themselves that you’ve thought countless times before as well…
And yet, here you now stand quietly longing for pity and providing a viable defense back to them (in your own mind, of course)….
“You don’t understand… That behavior just doesn’t reflect the way I’m teaching him. No, I don’t condone his behavior. He’s trying to exercise his will right now, but, trust me, we are working on this at home…”
“Oh……….” You hear something inside yourself say. “Yes, now I see. Perhaps it was the same for those other mommies as well… Thank You, Lord. Now I understand. And I’m sorry.”
You see, while I’m not proud of the fact that there are moments when my little one doesn’t meet my expectations, I’m finding that those same unwelcomed moments are becoming learning opportunities not only for my son… but for me as well.
You see, if I’ve judged other moms whose children did that same thing, then you know for sure I’m feeling that same judgement from my inner self. (Matthew 7:1-2 really sums up that truth.)
But… You know what… The beautiful thing is…. If instead, I allow God to use that opportunity to help me learn how to better respond and teach my child, while at the same time learn to be more compassionate toward other moms, the situation becomes a blessing rather than a burden.
And even better than that, it drives me back to my wonderful Heavenly Father, depending on Him for strength and wisdom as a growing mom.
You see, I don’t need to be the poster mom of parenting at its best… which I think is what we as moms often feel the need to be… as if everything has to always “look” or “be” perfect all of the time. Trust me, I’d love things to be that way as well…
But something I’m learning is that God wants me to rest in Him and find my sense of security in his perfection not my “own”. Here’s a great verse to prove that… “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
Yes, friends, you can be assured that my confidence will never come from a feeling of personal perfection… because on this earth I am a continual work in progress in my Heavenly Father’s hands. He continues to work in my heart and use the moments where everything is not as I would like it to be to provide me with the wonderful opportunites to actually practice the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) that He wants to develop in me.
Who needs to work on patience when you don’t have to be a little forbearing, right? Who needs to work on gentleness when everyone is completely kind and loving, and everything’s going your way, right?
Yes, friends, while I’m working on character building with my son, God is also at work within me as well.
God wants me to depend on Him for the wisdom I need daily in all that I do. He is the one who will help me successfully work on developing character in my son in both the easy and the not-so-easy times. And more importantly, He is the One who will cause me to be the person I need to be in the many situations I face throughout life.
With my eyes on Him and a willing heart to follow His lead, I can and will be a better mom to my son, wife to my husband, and friend to those around me day by day…and in addition to that, a more gracious and compassionate mom to the other amazing mommies that are out there.
Here are some awesome Bible passages to remember…
On avoiding judgemental attitudes: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Mathew 7:1-2 NKJV
On the kinds of attitudes and qualities we should display: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
On avoiding comparisons: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV