Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Giving Grace to Moms

I became a mom at 26. I was scared and overwhelmed, but at the same time there were a few things I was absolutely sure of:

  • My baby would not be the baby that throws the temper tantrum in Walmart. 
  • Her outfit would always match from the cute socks on her feet to the not-too-big bow in her hair. 
  • We would parent any and all siblings the same, raising them to love God, us and each other. 
Now, nearly 12 years and two more babies later, reality has definitely set in:
  • My toddler has been the one screaming so loud the pharmacist on the other side of Super Walmart felt it necessary to make sure everything is okay. 
  • My oldest, quite often without caring, leaves the house in mismatched socks, not as her own fashion statement, but simply because she doesn't care if her socks match each other much less her outfit.
  • The same? God gave us three very different girls with a whole lot of different needs AND nearly 12 years of grace to change my mind. 
There are quite a few things I would love to tell my new mom self. Among them is that the older I will get and the more kids I will have the less I will know. 

As I look back, God's graciousness overwhelms me. And I am so very thankful for the forgiveness that He has granted me for being so self-righteous and judgmental. 

Working with and loving on preschool families at church, God has opened my eyes to the truth that each Christian mother is just trying to be faithful to Christ as she makes decisions for her kids - work or stay-at-home? Home school or public school or private school? Immunize or not? Organic food? (Really the list of issues moms judge each other over is crazy long!)

I realize the same grace God has afforded me in my parenting experiences, I need to both afford myself and other moms too. Our family may not measure up to some deacon family's "ideal" for us or even my own expectations, but that's okay. I can't judge what God has led another mother to or not to do. It isn't my place. Scripture says that's God's job. 

God's given me grace; I've got to do the same. 


Sharon said...

God continues to open my eyes about comparing myself to others for the good or bad. When we are young we are more idealistic and think we know so much more than we really do, whether it is about God, marriage, parenting, you name it. Oh but God is so merciful and full of grace. The older I get, the more I know there is so much I really don't know and I need God to bring back this wandering heart. May we praise God we are fearfully and wonderfully made, each and every one just trying to understand his will and purpose in our lives. Thanks for the encouragement sweet friend.

Tara said...

Sharon, Your words sum up beautifully what I was trying to communicate! Thank you for commenting!