Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What are you doing right?

As a mom I beat myself up constantly about all the things I'm doing wrong. I daily judge my mothering skills based on how perfect and wonderful my kids are. Unfortunately since I'm imperfect and so are my kids, this system doesn't work very well. I repeatedly feel like a failure. My strong-willed child makes me angry and frustrated. My overly emotional child causes me to think, "Grow up!" when that is not something I want to rush. My youngest is needy as ever and wears me out physically at times. There are little things about motherhood that shorten my fuse. I feel impatient and irritable more often than I'd like. I want to be one of those moms who loves every phase of childhood, each and every quirk and behavior. But that's just not been my experience. A fair amount of motherhood has been trial and error and negative reflection. I tend to look at the behaviors of my kids and blame myself for everything that's wrong. For example, I have one child who tends to lie. Nine times out of ten this child will lie. I have beat myself up for years and prayed about this sin in her life a hundred times. I just keep telling her the truth...that God expects her to tell and love the truth. I could write a book about all the things I feel like I'm no good at as a mother. When my children were tiny I would get frustrated because they didn't enjoy my lullabies or smile when I rocked them. I have spent years trying to figure out how they tick. I have often wondered if I needed a degree in child psychology to get through this life with children.

Today I want to pause on purpose to reflect on what I'm doing right. I guess it's how I'm wired but I tend to be hard on myself and only look at what I might be messing up. But what about the good things? I challenge you to do the same. What are you doing right? Make a list, write it down. What are you proud of as a mother? How are you pleasing God with how you're raising your children? How do you use your words to bless others? Are you a blessing to your family? Are you building others up? Are you an encouragement to your spouse and kids? Do you read your Bible for your kids? Do you spend time playing with them? Do you let them break the eggs when you bake cookies? Are you teaching them responsibilities around the house? Are you teaching them to value friendship and love? Are you serving others? Do you bring laughter and joy to your home? Are you taking the time to play silly games? Do you listen to your kids hurts, really listen? Are you praying with your kids? Are you praying for your kids and spouse? Is your faith something you talk about? Are you teaching your kids about God's love and his word? Surely you are doing at least one of these things or something like them.

Reflect right now on what you're doing right. God will bless you for trying to please him. Don't worry about the details and the day to day mess ups. God knows your heart. Keep him your priority and love your family with all your heart. He will cover up your mess ups and fill your home with love, just ask him! Focus on the positive this week, please. I'm going to!

Be lifted!

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Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I found your blog on my friend, Tara's blogroll (, and I'm glad I did. I know mama guilt all too well, and this is such a wonderful godly way to look at it. I am off to post the things I do right (and praise God for them)!