Sometimes we think we couldn’t possibly be good parents because we make mistakes. Or because so much of the time, it’s just so hard.
Sometimes I yell. I feel like I’m losing my mind-and my temper.
I have no idea what to do for Sam.
I never say the right thing.
Family night blew up.
I’m not cut out for this. My house is a wreck.
We fight. The kids fight. Quarantine has been one big ginormous fight.
I’m not sure where or how I fit as my kids become adults.
Clark won’t eat anything besides macaroni and Gushers.
I try every day. And I mess up. Every day.
From the mouths of moms, these are things I have heard-and quite recently at that.
You’ve heard them too.
Your girlfriends have said these things and you’ve jumped right in with something like this, “Did you see how you handled that name-calling episode? Top notch. Or how you calmed that scraped up toddler or angsty teenager with your touch and that big mama heart of yours? Well, I saw it. I see you. Take note, sister. You are remarkable.”
And if you’ve ever thought something like that or said something like that to a friend or a sister who you love fiercely but imperfectly-can you even imagine what God could tell you about your motherhood moments?
I think He would tell you about specific moments when you shined. Moments when your love and His love met up to make big smiles or little miracles. And then I think He’d say something like this, because an apostle said precisely this: “You are doing better than you think you are.”
We don’t have to do it right all the time. We don’t have to do it right all the time to do it in a way that honors God and begs him to shower down the mercies motherhood requires.
So if, on the daily, you feel tempest tossed or lost at sea or even straight-up shipwrecked and beached…remember this. On the daily, God has always planned to help you. He is so full of parenting grace. The Maker is in the middle of your motherhood.
Being in a spot where we so clearly need God-his perspective, his wisdom, his strength, his every single attribute…well that “needing spot” is the best kind of soil for growing hearts knit to God and to the people He gives us.
It was always supposed to be hard. Messy. A process. It’s never been multiple choice questions or one correct word in a fill-in-the-blank section. Motherhood, in whatever way or form it finds us, is a place of becoming. It is precisely because of that bright, unstoppable love that roots itself in us for our people that God knows we won’t be stopped.
That all-encompassing love you have for them was always designed to bring you to Him. These little souls were His long before they were yours, and you are too.
You are His.
So grab His hand as you run into all of those hours that motherhood fills. Lean into that needing spot. I am sure that if we look for Him, really invite Him in to the thick of our messy families and messy hearts, we will discover a bright and fiery truth: He is already there.
Jean Newell says
Love this post! I think you could substitute “motherhood” with womanhood, manhood and peoplehood. We all feel like life can be a struggle and we just can’t be as good as we would like to be. It is great to know that God loves us, as imperfect as we are. Thank you, Natalie.
I love this so much Natalie! I have noticed throughout my life that the times I have felt the most inadequate, the most overwhelmed, and the most imperfect are the times that, of necessity, I had to depend on Him the most. And because I was so dependent on him. those times were and are filled with sweet miracles. I experienced it as a young missionary, a new Young Women president, and over and over again as a mother and grandmother–times that as I look back on them are the sweetest, most precious, most miracle-filled times of my life. And as, over time, I have become more capable, confident, and independent, I found I missed those sweet times of depending on Him and feeling His power in my life.
You summed wonderfully one of the design of loving our families…to bring us to God. Beautifully written!