God makes two year olds absolutely adorable because it's right around that age that you can feel like you've had it with this parenting gig. You look in the mirror to find that the sweet gentle mama that rocked her baby to sleep has disappeared, and a fire-breathing adult child with anger issues in her place. At the very least, it can feel that way.
Between the tantrums, the defiance, the messes, and the emotional manipulation, sometimes a mother is left feeling like she's dealing with a giant foe rather than the pipsqueak that is her child. Rather than feeling in control and decades older than her little person, she finds herself tempted to succumb to foolishness; tantrums, defiance, and manipulation--adults can play that game too.
And mamas-- mamas who have forever aspired to the calling of motherhood and mamas who have been thrust into it reluctantly alike-- all find themselves inadequate for the task. Sure, we may have read parenting books, watched others parent before us, babysat for countless hours, and listened to advice from many many other moms, but nothing blunts the overwhelming fact that our weakness as moms plus their foolishness as children, equal the potential for great despair.
And we mamas begin to wonder if we are simply not right for the job...that God missed the part about us being impatient, angry, selfish, and unwise in our records? How does he expect me to not ruin my kids if he knows I'm so messed up?
We might even make a plan to speak and act nicely, starting tomorrow. We may confidently proclaim, "I will NEVER do that, like my mom did." We might promise to do our very best.
But playing nice and making promises leave us disappointed and despairing when we come up short, and incapable of even doing what we set out to do just the night before. That ugly tone of voice still spills out. That condescending look takes over our face even when we try to hide it. Our best is simply not good enough.
Our best was never meant to be good enough.
Motherhood is not some cruel joke through which God seeks to highlight your failures, and leave you feeling helpless because of poor upbringing, unhealthy examples, and lack of personal growth and self-control.
Motherhood is the loving vessel through which God seeks to highlight his sufficiency and ability, and grow your sense of his faithfulness because of his pure and sinless life, his provision on the cross, and his substitution of your dead end with his new beginning.
Jesus did not save us so that we could do motherhood on our own, apart from him; he saved us so that we would be forever connected to him, forever dependent on him-- on the sustenance that flows through the cord of his unending love. Jesus was cut off from the Father that we might not be cut off from him.
Because we were not meant to do it apart from his enabling, we can set aside our deficiencies as mothers, as well as our pride...
If we parent consistently and show patience, it is God's grace.
If our children obey, it is God's grace-- that it is his sanctifying work in us that enables and instructs us in faithfulness as mothers.
If our children defy us in disobedience, it is God's grace-- that we might have the opportunity to show the gospel to our children once again.
If we struggle to be the mamas we desire to be, it is God's grace-- that we would be reminded once again of the price paid on our behalf, the worthiness of Christ bestowed on us.
It is grace from start to finish.
And so, motherhood is not for the qualified; none of us are. Motherhood is for those he qualifies through Christ. He did indeed see your record, friend...and he erased it. He knows your weaknesses...and he transforms them.
And if, today, you are crying out in helplessness, he replies with open arms,
"Now, child, you are ready for what I have for you. You are ready to become the mama I will make you to be."
Linking up in community...
Welcome to GraceLaced Mondays, a link up dedicated to sharing any and all blog posts by like-minded lovers of grace--God's grace! Grace is found in the everyday when you are intentional about taking note of it...and I invite you to share your story, great or small, of how everyday moments are full of Grace.
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