Can I just be real with you for a minute? That’s the kind of conversation I love having with friends who are also moms. I have friends with grandchildren, college-age children, kids in high school, elementary school, preschool, and infants. One thing I love is when we can be completely transparent with one another, without comparing ourselves and our children to anyone else or passing judgment. I think comparisons are what makes motherhood so intimidating.
We want to be the best mom. We want to be the soccer mom, baseball mom, dance mom, supportive mom, homework mom, organic lunch’s mom, and at-every-event mom.
All those things are great. We should be involved in our children’s lives. We must occasionally make sacrifices to make sure we are giving our best to our children. We want to see them happy and successful, and eventually independent, even as we know very well that they will always need us in some fashion. American children are extremely scheduled, but how much do we think about their spiritual journey?
You may be thinking, “Kaitlyn, I literally take one day at a time, and what about my own spiritual journey?” Glad you brought that up. I remember getting into such a legalistic routine after my first child, Titus, was born. I woke up, worked out, spent two hours in the Word and in prayer every day until Titus woke up, cleaned house, cared for my baby, paid the bills, ran errands, came home and cooked dinner, bathed Titus, put him to bed, and worked out again, all while his father was deployed. I would pray over Titus’ crib as he slept, asking for God to seek him early in life and begin a loving pursuit of him that was so reckless and strong he couldn’t avoid it and that my “mommy” heart could handle.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, Ivey, I was completely exhausted by that routine. My friends will tell you that I would guilt myself. Am I praying enough? I would think. I am so exhausted I don’t spend near the time in God’s word that I would like. I haven’t been working out like I should. I was working part time and back in school while also chasing a toddler around. The second pregnancy had so many high risks that my faith was tested. I started to compare my actions as a mother, a wife, a student, a friend, a coworker, church member, etc.
Can we be real? We all do this from time to time.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 ESV
It took a long time for the Lord to rid me of guilt and for me to allow Him to reveal that there was nothing I could do to earn His affection or approval. He loves me no more today than He did when He allowed His Son to stretch His arms out for me on the cross. It wasn’t until I realized what I was allowing my mind and emotions to continuously go through a vicious cycle of comparison to God, others and myself that things changed.
Why are we comparing ourselves to this mother, that person, or even our love to God’s love? There is no comparison.
God has uniquely designed us and our children, but His love for all of us is the same, displayed through Christ’s death on the cross.I chuckle to myself thinking of a comment I would make to my friends, who would look at me wild eyed: “I would rather Titus P. have a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus than receive a high school diploma.” Yeah, say that on a playground and brace yourselves for the response. It wasn’t until my recent traumatic experience of divorce that the Lord plainly revealed to me that He alone had called me to be Titus and Ivey’s mother. It was not a matter of chance, and no birth certificate or government official ordained me for that role. It was a divine appointment.
“Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14 NLT
Our children will never thrive spiritually or socially if we are constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else. They need to see us receiving and showing Jesus’ love. They won’t remember how many hours we stayed in the Word. Many of them will never know how many hours we stayed in prayer and solitude on their behalf. But they will remember the interactions we share and how we respond to them in times of need.
Fellow moms, I plead with you to find “real” mom friends to pray and do life with, moms with whom you can be open and honest. I know it can be hard, but maybe they feel just like you do. Maybe they need to hear that Jesus loves them just as they are and predestined them to be the mom to the child He has given them.
Are you willing to let go of comparisons? Are you willing to see yourself as Jesus sees you and allow Him to love your children through you?
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