I remember how excited I felt when I found out I was going to be a mom! I took bits and pieces I loved from those who spoke into my life and configured this model of perfect mom for my children. It wasn’t a bad model but more of a testament to those who spoke into my life, it just set me up to fail before I even became mom. I don’t know about you, but sometimes as a mom I become trapped in my past experiences.
I want to let you in on something, it’s been almost 14 years since I became Mom and I’m still as far from perfect now as when I began. This is not to say that I haven’t thought or even believed I was on occasion. More often than not however, I set myself up for failure trying so hard to immolate the beauty of those who spoke into my life, that I never recognized my own beauty. Instead, I endured disappointments, exhaustion, hardships and even depression because I could not perform to the high standards I had set for myself. Ugh! I still cringe as I type that.
I have been the Monster-Mom who can clear a room in seconds with the onset of a tirade. Even the dog would run and hide! I was known in my home as the cupboard and drawer slammer only to become even more upset when I slammed my fingers in my slamming pity party. I’m pretty sure I am on the Wal-Mart photos that are posted all over the Internet, yes, I know you know the ones. The Bible in Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world….” but that didn’t stop me from trying to mold my children into who I thought or whom I wanted them be.
The whole concept of the perfect gift I’m talking about can’t be known without including the comparison process we as moms are all to familiar with. Not only did I have my perfection model to go by, I began to hear and see all the great things other moms did and I wanted to be like them too. This only added more stress, guilt, unhappiness and competition to my mommy spirit. We as moms, struggle so hard to be perfect, noticed, or to say my life amounts to something that we fail to realize we are already all those things in the eyes of those who matter.
My early days as a mom are over, well seasoned in some areas, charred and burnt in others. These charred and burnt memories are the ones that tormented my mind and made me question … no, I take that back, BELIEVED I ruined my children. My yelling and slamming days are little to none now but the little voices of “Mommy, I don’t like it when you yell” or the words of a 3-year-old saying, “We just don’t get along cuz we argue all the time.” from the past surfaced and continually crushed my heart to pieces. The ache left behind by these thoughts were awful and I truly believed I brought no joy into my home, I was a failure and just a lousy mom. I consistently beat myself up on a regular basis, now that I did perfectly each and every time!
I celebrated an over the hill birthday this year and my husband gave me the perfect gift. He had all our home videos converted to DVD. I was excited to see them but anticipated seeing the truth believed played out in front of my eyes. In a weeks time, I sat and watched countless hours of our children growing up while waiting for the ugliness within me to make its debut. The story that unfolded before me was not what I remembered as truth but quite the opposite. There was joy, encouragement and the nurturing of boo boos present in my home! My kids singing, learning and proclaiming their love for Jesus. There was laughter, sweet precious laughter as well as love. There were numerous “I wuv yous” from the kids, hugs, and kisses to boot. There was lots of cuddling and of course, lots of me sleeping with all the kiddos in the recliner.
Satan comes to steal and destroy! He stole precious memories and made all the negative ones my reality and I allowed it! He stays true to his character by stealing goodness and highlighting the negative to destroy hearts, souls and minds. I am so thankful God had my husband convert the videos and restore truth to my ailing soul!
My children have made me grow in areas I never thought possible and blessed me so much in their short time on this earth. Those charred and burnt memories, well I see them differently now. I see them as markers of where I started as a mom compared to where I am now. In other words, a growth chart! Each season displaying growth in me as a mother. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between marked and measured to where I stand now. My kids, though biased, say I am perfect in their eyes flaws and all. They see me try, fail, do the best I can and yes even COMPLETELY lose it, but still consider me perfect. I’m perfect in their eyes and the eyes of my Heavenly Father and that’s where it counts and matters most. I don’t have to strive to be because I am!
This Christmas, if there was one gift I could give to moms, it would be Disney’s Frozen song, “Let it Go”. Yeah, I went there! Let go of all the things that hold you captive from realizing the true beauty, potential and perfection you already have in Christ. Embrace who you are in Him, all other things are sinking sand and matter not to the eyes of those who truly see you.