By Kimm Crandall
(Editor’s Note: Enjoy a week of Mother’s Day themed articles from varying perspectives and topics)
Mother’s Day is the day that my kids will smother me with the cards and crafts they have made that read “#1 MOM” or “Mom of the Year.” And while they do this I will want to sit them down and talk to them about how we should be honest and how we shouldn’t lead others to believe that they are something that they are not. That sounds ridiculous as I write this and while I obviously don’t do that, I can’t help but think it while I smile and enjoy the extra hugs and attention.
Now, I know that I am a “good” mom. I mean, my kids are clothed, schooled and fed; I really could be doing much worse. In fact my eldest told me yesterday that she has never experienced hunger the way that people in books describe it and came to the conclusion that she has never actually been hungry. You can be sure that I gave myself a big self-righteous pat on the back for that one. But “Best Mom Ever?” I think not.
I’m not the “Best Mom Ever” when my harsh words and anger cut through the morning air announcing that “Nobody ever listens to me” loud enough to scare the chickens in their coop. I’m not the “#1 Mom” when I tell my kids to use their words to build one another up only to tear them down with my own words when they start fighting. I’m not the “Mom of the Year” when I care more about my daughter’s bangs that are hanging in her face while she is talking to me than about what she’s trying to tell me from her heart.
I even fail to be the “Best Mom Ever” when I spend all morning making special Star Wars shaped pancakes, snuggling with my kids on the couch instead of being on Facebook, or driving them and their classmates on field trips with my purse locked and loaded with healthy snacks for everyone to share.
Not one of us is the mom that we need to be to our children. You and I both know that we have failed miserably. All you have to do is browse Pinterest, Facebook or mommy blogs and you will soon feel that anxiety of needing to do more for your kids rising up within you. It really doesn’t take much more than looking at someone else’s family picture with nicely dressed children, sitting and smiling all at the same time, for us to feel as if we are doing something wrong.
You see, this thing called Motherhood is not about us. It’s not about being the “Best Mom Ever.”
Motherhood is not about loving our children perfectly; it’s about needing a Savior because we fail to do just that.
Now that I’ve given you the bad news and made the (burnt) toast from your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed drier than dirt and the (cold) coffee and scrambled eggs (with shells) have lost their appeal, let me give you the good news.
Romans 3:23-24 gives mothers the good news that we so desperately need to hear, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” We have all failed but because of his great love for us he has given us the gift of his righteousness.
In other words; Christ died for moms!
My friends, let’s stop living as if this truth were not a reality. If anyone needs to know that their calling is not about perfection it is us mothers. Motherhood is messy. It is a beautiful, gnarly, exciting and exhausting calling. And if we make it about us, condemnation or pride will be hiding around every corner.
Jesus knew what it was to care for others. He knew the patience needed to deal with the immaturity of those who didn’t understand. His very ministry was to the messy, the broken, and the demon possessed maniacs that our children all too often emulate. He did this all for us. Yes, for you and for me. Every act of kindness that wasn’t deserved, every extension of grace, and every patient tone in his voice was done in our place. Every single one! With you and me in mind he perfectly and flawlessly cared for those around him when he could have so easily thrown in the towel. Never did he show a twinge of bitterness, knowing that this was the Father’s will for him and exactly what we needed as mothers. Do you see the love there?
We needed this love. We needed the blood of Christ to wipe our “bad mom” slate clean. But a clean slate would not be good enough, would it? If we simply had a clean slate set before us every day our lives would consist of trying to rewrite it with the words “Best Mom Ever.” But thank God that he didn’t leave the slate clean for moms. No, he wrote across it with permanent marker the title that was meant for him, “My beloved with whom I am well pleased.” Our record today remains as perfect, beloved, God pleasers; on the good days as well as the bad.
Do you believe this, my friends? Do you believe that God has pursued you with a furious longing since the beginning of time? Do you believe that he loved you so much that he chose to die for you because he couldn’t live without you? Do you believe that his pursuit of you, his beloved, continues every minute of the day and that he won’t ever give up on you? No matter how much you make a mess of motherhood, no matter how much you fall into the sin of thinking you are a better mom than others, He loves you just as much in your state of grace as he does in your state of disgrace.
This is our God. This is motherhood. We are his beloved! Let’s do the hard work of believing that we are just that.
And if I can leave you with one thought on this Mother’s Day let it be this, Christ loves mothers as the messes that they are, not as the cleaned up mothers that they think they should be. Not one of us is as she should be. This is great news!
Kimm Crandall is a mother of four kids (12, 9, 7 and 5) who is never short on examples of how God has flooded her with the excessive grace that the gospel brings. She lives in the small town of Valley Center, CA on three acres where she does her best to embrace the chaos of the non-stop adventures that dirt, rocks, chickens and sheep can bring to a house full of kids. Kimm’s desire is to bring the much-needed freedom of the Gospel to other women who have been beaten down by the “try harder” and “do better” law through writing and speaking. Kimm and Justin, her husband of sixteen years, serve at Valley Center Community Church, a reformed congregation in their hometown. When she is not on the basketball court, baseball field, beach or enjoying horses she can be found blogging at christinthechaos.com and faithlifewomen.com and http://cbmw.org/.