As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2
I have a confession: sometimes I like to watch Instagram videos that humorize certain sticky components of motherhood, such as…
Toddlers adamantly following you to the bathroom, much like Samwise ruthlessly following Frodo on his quest in Lord of the Rings.
Changing diapers of certain rambunctious toddlers being comparable to wrestling an alligator.
How talking on the phone has become nearly impossible, because your little ones are making as much racket as an outdoor super market.
What you thought raising little girls would be like, versus reality. (Imagine pandemonium mixed with rock and roll.)
There are many hilarious videos I have seen that make light of some of the harder components of motherhood. Some actually bring tears to my eyes (because I am laughing so hard.) These videos strike a chord, and lighten my soul. While they are making fun of toddlerisms, they enable me to step out of the moment, and see the joy and light God had in mind.
While some moments of motherhood are so incredibly difficult, I cannot help but realize that these moments, which add up to days, which add up to years, which all too quickly equate to 18, are precious. So make the most of them! Make every moment count.
Some nights I pray, “Lord help me be a kind mom. Help me love my children well. And help me be firm, according to your Truth.” I want to be a kind, sweet, and loving mom, but some moments of chaos leave me mystified, frazzled, and fuming. Anger is an emotion we must learn to harbor and keep at bay, because we don’t want yelling and fire in mom’s eyes to be the legacy we leave. Furthermore, the more you yell, the more you will have to yell and continue to amplify your voice in order for your kids to respond.
Some moments of motherhood require us to be firm. But we can still be gentle. By ultimately having our hearts under control, and not letting anger get the best of us, we can be godly examples of Christ’s love.
This is an area where I honestly struggle. I find myself slipping into patterns of raising my voice, only to repent, and some weeks later start the pattern all over again. According to God’s Word, we are not to conform to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our hearts and minds (Romans 12:2). Only through Christ Jesus can this be made possible. When I remember my prayer, “Lord help me be a kind mom. Help me to speak kindly and have grace in my tone of voice,” it makes it a lot harder to trespass. Prayer is a much more powerful force than sheer will.
We need Jesus in our hearts, in our parenting lives. We need prayer spoken over us and our children, each day. We need to focus on the Fruits of the Spirit and weave love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control into our everyday roles.
This does not come naturally. We have to be intentional. We have to be cognizant and have Jesus’ presence ruling over us. Because we cannot do this on our own. I’ve heard it said, “Don’t mom alone,” but when we are alone and it’s just us and our kids, Jesus is still watching. I want him to be able to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Our children’s hearts are like precious talents we have been entrusted with. Our example stretches farther than we know. Our kids will remember us, and be impacted by our parenting for the rest of their lives (no pressure.) Luckily there is grace, and God’s mercies are new each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). But most importantly, God is watching, and he calls us to be faithful mamas who bring him glory, and represent Jesus well.
I want to represent you well. Instill in me your patience, which is drawn from a well much deeper than myself. Give me strength and endurance to pursue you, to do the heavy lifting of pulling up the bucket of water with the rope and pulley you have provided through prayer, your Word, and continual refocus on you. Give me patience for the sake of your glory, that I might reflect your light in motherhood. In Jesus’ life giving name, amen.