As I was picking up the thousandth LEGO of the day, I wearily sighed and felt the frustration mount in my chest. My seven year old son passed through the room and sweetly said, "I love you mom, you are the best mommy ever!"
It wasn't the first time I had heard this precious statement. My son rewards me with this affectionate statement daily. I never know when he will lovingly send out his adoration's. He never uses the statement as a vice to get something he wants or because I have done something amazingly, wonderful for him. No, he just shares his love with me unconditionally. Even on days when I know I really don't deserve such high accolades.
His statements of love keep me striving to live up to that title. Oh, there are days when I come far from reaching my goal. I fail at bestowing a perfect love. These are the times when I get down on my knees to beseech the Lord to forgive me and guide me. Then I seek out my children, wrap my arms around them and ask for forgiveness. I am a sinner and I will never be a perfect mother, but there is One who knows me and loves me all the same.
Thankfully we have a Heavenly Father who loves us in our less than perfect moments. His love is unconditional. We can't earn it. He gives it freely and it never ends. Even when we feel we have done or said the unfathomable, our God still loves us. He is perfect love.
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him." I John 4:16
How often do we as mothers fall into the trap of guilt when we don't live up to that "perfect mommy" status. We ask God to forgive us and He does. We ask our children to forgive and they do. But, we can't forgive ourselves. The guilt we carry around with us over past mistakes wounds us. We believe satan's lies that we are failures and we begin to crumble under the overwhelming load we have heaped on our own shoulders.
God doesn't want us to mother out of guilt. He wants us to mother from our hearts. To do that we must seek Him. We must know Him. We must forgive ourselves. When we do that we will truly have a mother's heart and we will desire to serve our families in the way that God intended.
We are blessed to have a Heavenly Father that is the "best ever"! He loves us when we fail. He cares for us even when we are in our worst moods. He adores us even when we are not adorable! He loves us because He created us.
To me there is an even greater goal to attain. God desires for me to be the best mommy ever, therefore that is where I should set my standards.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4
By setting aside any selfishness and looking closely to the needs of my children, I can follow God's plan for my life. How easily I can let myself get swept up into the "me first" mentality. But, if I am willing to set aside my ambitions and desires, then I can focus on being the mother God wants me to be. There will be times when I feel like I'm being pulled in a thousand different directions. And there will be times when I feel like calling it quits. But, I know during these moments of struggle I only need to look to the Lord for strength and guidance.
I am going to give up trying to attain perfect mommy status and aim for serving my family in love. My God has great plans for me and my little family. I only need to turn my face towards Him and He will show me the way.