Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Mother's Heart-Teaching Love

As mothers, our plates are so full with all the things that must be accomplished in a day.  We have to work, have appointments, errands to run, a daily schedule to follow, etc. I don't know about you, but I'm certainly guilty of rushing my kids out the door, or telling them we'll do something they want to do LATER because I'm just so busy.  My patience has worn thin many a day.  But who am I really disappointed with? Myself.  If I had just planned things better, gotten up earlier, did this or that, I wouldn't be snapping at the kids, right?  That sets the tone for the day-disappointment and frustration with who? myself.  But who gets the brunt of it? the kids (and sometimes my poor husband).  As mothers, we carry a big weight around-a weight of responsibility.  We want to be the perfect mom perfect house, perfect kids, home-cooked healthy meals, homemade costumes, playful, patient, calm, loving, and supportive, etc.   You get the picture, right-the Beaver's mom.  In reality, we can't do this all on our own.  We have good intentions, yes, but we're human with human weaknesses.  We need God's help to give us strength and to help us overcome these areas.  Michelle Duggar describes her defining frustrating prayer this way: " Father, I don't want my children to remember me as a mama who was constantly fussing at them and raising my voice at them.  I want them to remember me as a joyful and happy mama who loves being with them.  God, please help me in those difficult moments to have the right response to the anger I feel welling up inside me."  Isn't that the prayer of all moms?  God answered her prayer and showed her a better way to handle these situations.  She is still struggling with that issue, because she's human, but she's reminded of the damaging effects that anger has on the kids and so she continues to work at it.  I think that's as honest as they come.  That pretty much sums up my situation exactly.  Stumble, feel bad, apologize to the kids, then stumble again, a continuous cycle, and I wonder what my kids are learning from me exactly.  Now, I've never seen Michelle yell at her kids on their TV show, but it's nice to see that there's hope for moms like me-but she didn't overcome instantly.  She had to work at it. It's a daily struggle that she goes to God in prayer with and He helps her.  We have to do the same thing.  Don't beat yourself up because you fall or have a bad day.  Go to God, talk with your kids, apologize (yes, apologize) be honest with them about your struggle, then go on.  Your kids know you're not perfect.  But if they know you keep picking yourself up, that you're seeking God for help with it, it's hope for them, too, when they face their own struggles. When they see you improving and overcoming, it'll encourage them as well.

Though the following was Michelle's answer and it may indeed help you, I encourage you to seek God for yourself and let Him guide you for the answer to your own  personal situation-He may have a different answer for you.
A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up strife. (scripture reference) I'm not going to bicker, not going to nag, not going to ask the kids ten times to do something.  I'm going to lovingly say it once, and if they don't obey, then I'll quickly correct them in love, encourage them in a soft voice to do what's right, and then move on.  I'm going to use a soft, low voice, no matter what.  If they don't listen, I'll follow through with correction, but even then, I'll stay calm and speak softly.

Believe me, this sounds impossible to me right now.  I see my inadequacies and failures, BUT, our God is a God of impossibilities.  Is anything too hard for the Lord?  So, I will put my trust in the Lord and let Him make the change in me.  All He requires is a willing heart, right?  He is the potter, I am the clay.  Who says the potter cannot knock out all the bubbles that are causing imperfections in my pot and mold me into something beautiful.  Who am I to say it's not possible.  If God saved you, forgave your sins, healed your broken heart, filled you with His Holy Spirit and set you on a new course in life, can't he shape you into a wonderful mom, too?  He can do ANYTHING!  All we have to do is trust and believe.  You trust Him with your soul, your family, your finances, your healing, your marriage, why not this?  It doesn't matter what your family background is or what things you experienced as a child, you are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of your parents/caregivers.  You may never have experienced the love of a parent and don't know how to love a child. He can heal you of those hidden hurts, the low self-confidence and fears and replace them with understanding, loving kindness, gentleness, patience, etc.  He can mold you into something beautiful, something after His own heart.  Isn't that what we all want to have-a clean heart, a right spirit.  I challenge you-Give it all to Jesus and watch what He will do with your life.    

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