There are countless posts that go un-published here. Most seemed too complainy and others were too dark. You know, there's so much you don't see behind the scenes of our lives and I hope I'm not alone in that. I try to be transparent, to let the copious amounts of people who say, "I don't know how you do it" in on the fact that I'm far from perfect. I struggle emotionally, spiritually, and with just about every facet of parenting. Every day I'm reminded how unbelievably hard it is to be a parent in todays world. There's a spotlight on all the time that flashes toward me when I send the kids outside to play to grow up as we did or our parents did, away from computer screens. They're in the mud, they're running through the tall grass where snakes could be. They're creating their own games and probably being a little mean to one another, too. Then the spot lights whips around to the other side of the spectrum, the helicopter part of many mothers. People criticize when you are three steps away from your kid on the playground, ready to catch any possible fall. They wonder why you want to get involved when they butt heads with a kid at school. It's a catch twenty two. No one is ever doing it right.
If the stress of trying to measure up with the world isn't enough, imagine how much I dwell on desiring to please an Almighty God while battling the sin that is in my nature. I see the actions of my kids and feel as if it is a direct reflection of me, of our family. This weight is heavy, y'all. If there's one thing I know I'm doing as a stay-at-home mom, it's that I'm daily showing my children my own desperate need for Jesus. They see me in the Word and they see me failing. They hear me asking for forgiveness when I lose my temper with them and they hear it again when we're praying. I screw up all the time. Just as Paul said in Romans 7:15 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." I want to be a certain type of mother- a pinterest creative type who schools her children happily and inspires in them the desire to be outside, work with their hands, and get to know God. The mother I want to be has her children memorizing verses of the Bible, hiding God's word in their hearts from an early age. She does this all while juggling appointments, hearing equipment, and unending patience with her special needs son. She also manages the house and welcomes her hard working husband home with open arms and serves him readily, too. Does this woman exist? I don't know. Maybe I don't want to know.
I just want to be holy and blameless before God at the end of this life. I want my kids to grow up to be decent human beings and to become disciples and fishers of men. That's why I'm here. I don't want to fail at this. And every single day I go to bed feeling like I am. That's why this is hard. The rocking multiple little ones, wiping noses and bottoms, preparing food that noses are turned up at, washing a million items of clothing a week, cleaning spit up off the floors hourly, and all the other things you couldn't dream up that my children could get into- those are challenging. But when I step back and look at the whole picture, I realize that none of that matters if my kids don't grow up and decide to follow Jesus. If they don't know him, it doesn't matter that their butt had a $15 diaper on it. It doesn't matter if I grow all their food from the ground in our backyard. It won't make a difference if they were potty trained at two or ten. If we don't have Him, we have nothing.
So this is how I do it. It's one day at a time. One hour at a time. Trial and error. Lot of prayers. Forgiveness. Perseverance. Grace.
I'm really hoping I'm not alone in this....and if I am, well, maybe just keep that to yourself.