When I first became a mom, I believe the instant lesson was about love. The moment I woke up spotting a few weeks into my (unplanned) first pregnancy, I experienced the rawest form of love I had ever felt. The way I passionately pleaded for that child (whom I was convinced I didn’t want just a few hours earlier) revealed to me the most basic, natural instinct a woman can posses: protecting her baby. I remember being shocked at how much love I felt. At how I was willing to have my life ‘ruined’ if it meant saving his’.
But my word wasn’t love. Love is a blanket that covers everything I do as a mom. I wouldn’t say motherhood hasn't taught me how to love, but even more so it has awakened me to the love that I was created for.
Humility in strength
My kids are amazing. When I say amazing I don’t mean, “I’m their mom and I have to like them,” amazing. I mean, “you’d love them if you met them,” amazing. I know, because most people who know them love them. If I had a dollar for every time we’ve been approached by strangers in public at restaurants and stores to give us compliments on them, I’d have a lot of dollars.
You would think this makes me prideful, but it does the complete opposite. As a mom, I know they’re not perfect. I know I’m not perfect either. I’m aware of our struggles, our shortcomings, and our ugly. That person at the restaurant is getting a glimpse at the best of us, but I know we’ve had to cut outings short before to avoid a public show-down. I've been there when strangers give us the side eye look because we're not meeting their expectations. Ive seen people walk by and shake their heads before. I've been that mom.
I know my kids' good behavior comes at a price because I’m paying that price. It’s humbling to see the fruit of your hard work. To see that God’s word doesn’t return void. Their behavior isn’t a reflection of how great a mom I am, it’s a reflection of how great a God I serve. I have chosen to raise them on Biblical principles. Anything good in them is the fruit of that seed.
When I see moms struggling or having a rough day, I don’t judge them anymore. I’ve been in their shoes. I will probably be in their shoes again. Today just happens not to be that day for me. When I see them doing things wrong I just smile and love them, because I remember doing things wrong. It’s part of living, growing, and maturing into the mom our families need. That’s such a personal and private journey, I wouldn’t dare get in the way.
Humility in weakness
Recently, I walked by the kids’ playroom and hard something I didn’t like. I came closer to take a good listen before addressing the situation, when I realized my child was speaking to the toys in the exact same manner that I speak to that child.
What a blow to my heart. The worst part is that this is not the first or only time this has happened. It seems that most things I scold them for can be traced back to something their dad or I do. Yikes! It’s so humbling the way our children hold up that mirror to us, isn’t it?
Thankfully, that’s a way God shows us his love. Giving us an opportunity to see ourselves and change. He also reminds us to be gracious and merciful toward them the way he has been with us.
Humility in love
If I haven’t said it already, let me remind you that I’m not perfect. I have enough flaws and imperfections to fill an encyclopedia. I struggle with anger. I lose my temper. I can be lazy. I’m not a morning person. I constantly produce waves of creative chaos. I talk too much. I forget to text people back. I’m easily distracted. The list goes on.
When I go out in public, I put my best foot forward. I present the best version of the real me that I can to the world. At home, though, my husband and children get to see the busted version of the real me. They have seen me do every single thing I hate that I do.
When I was pregnant with my first, I went on this psychotic trend of not having any mess and never missing my prayer and Bible time. I didn’t want our baby to ever know mess. I wanted him to grow up in a home where daily devotionals were a normal part of life. I remember playing nothing but the Bible on CD while I cleaned during that pregnancy. That lasted a total of zero days after the baby was born.
The crazy thing is that they adore me. All of them. Daddy and the three kids. I am their world. They can’t get enough of me. They know everything about me and still love me.
That blows my mind.
Sometimes, as they’re running toward me or snuggling with me in bed, I think “don’t you remember how I scolded you? Wasn’t I grumpy today? Do you see the mess in this house? When was the last time I cooked?” Their love is as close to the love of God as I have experienced. I’m absolutely unworthy, yet completely lavished by it. One of the most amazing things I will ever experience on this side of heaven. That humbles me.
The second word I chose was flexibility because, c’mon, I’ve got three kids, a husband, and a blog. There’s never a dull moment around here.
Photo Credit: Melissa Chambers of www.MelissaCreates.com