Don’t believe life is easy by what you may see on the internet. Don’t believe someone else has it better than you because of some simple pictures. Keep in mind, no parent is going to snap a picture of their 3 year old throwing a fit being drug out of the grocery store. Why??? Because it’s not the memories they want to remember. We as parents, want to remember only the good. We as parents want to love despite. So if you are having a rough day with a terrible two year old…. rest assured ,we all have been there.
In this same exact way that we love our kids and show off their happy smiles, and their puddle stomping enthusiasm in the rainstorm. God loves us and shows off our happy spirits. He doesn’t focus on the bad days sharing it with the world and making an educational point of it. He takes our good deeds, our joy that flows from us, and our love…. and he shares it with the world in ways we often don’t even recognize. It’s his form of social media. He touches others with our overflowing love and positive spirit. He inspires others with our actions.
I was recently told by a friend. “you are a great mom! I look at everything you and your kids have been through and they are not only happy but thriving” Another friend said, “I hope you stay working here for a long time because you are such a good mommy mentor”
My initial reaction was to put myself down with each of these comments and to explain to them how I truly was not that good. How I only had two of my four kids in my life and how that alone can’t possibly characterize myself as a good mom. I wanted to let them know all the mistakes I have made. But I paused and said quietly “Jesus, give me the words” while forcing a smile to acknowledge the compliment. Do you know what… I was filled with such warmth and goosebumps… yep, Goosebumps. And I felt my response change. In both circumstances I found a “Thank you” escape my mouth. I realized how true their statements were. My kids are thriving…. beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I also found myself sharing that I’m not perfect, I have made more than my share of mistakes. And without Jesus, I would be nothing for my kids.
One friend laughed because I explained that my children watched me do life before and after the “God Thing”. She said “The God thing huh?” She’s a believer and thought it funny that I would explain it in such a way. But once I explained to her that yes…. before, I used to walk the walk everyone expected of a Christian mom. I took my kids to church, I tried to be a good person, kept my house clean, spent time with my family, adapted to my husbands wants and desires setting aside my own…. all like a good Christian wife and mom. But the entire time I was missing the one thing that was the reason for it all. I was missing the God thing. I was acting out the way the world painted Christian women to be. And inside I was terribly miserable. My kids suffered, my marriage suffered, my relationships suffered.
I look back on that girl and I feel bad for her. I feel bad for her children. But I look at her now and I am inspired. Yep, I inspire myself sometimes! My oldest, Teal, recently told me, “Mom, I have learned so much from your mistakes”. Though this doesn’t sound like it, this comment made my heart sing. As my relationship has grown in God, so has hers. As I have taken my worries to God, so has she. As I have found a positive in all circumstances, so has she. So I guess I don’t feel so bad for that miserable mom I was in my past. Because everything I was then, has shaped and brought not only me to where I am now. It has shaped my daughter into a beautiful, radiant, Jesus girl!
Lay your bad days to rest, lay your bad weeks to rest. Don’t rehash the lie that you are alone and somehow doing something wrong. Remember that God can use all circumstances for good. Your messy day, may lead to your biggest joy later. It is never to late to find peace in his arms. If you want to doubt that ask yourself, would it ever be too late for your children to find love in yours? There is truth in the one thing we all need in order to really thrive and find joy. It’s the God Thing.