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Topics: Building a Marriage Culture, Marriage, Public Square

BUILDING A MARRIAGE CULTURE | Mothers, Love Your Children

July 9, 2015
By GraceAnna Castleberry

I was trying desperately to get out the door. The clean dishes were unloaded from the dishwasher and replaced by the sticky ones from breakfast. Oatmeal that was stubbornly clinging to the carpet that had been scrubbed clean. I wiped cheerios and spilled milk off a high chair tray and dashed to the bathroom to apply two minutes worth of make-up and throw my hair in a ponytail.

I picked up two little people one by one, wiped down their sticky hands and faces, changed their diapers, and put on their outfits. While searching frantically for a matching pair of shoes, as if on cue, breakfast hit their tiny tummies. I undressed them, changed their diapers, and redressed them. The lost shoe was found in a toy bin. As I packed the diaper bag, I turned to find my oldest curiously digging through a bag of trash. I moved the trash, took her hand, and started loading both of the girls in the car.

I went around to one car seat, click, click, click. And then around to the other, click, click, click. I went back inside, grabbed my purse, and took a final look around the house. As hard as I had tried to leave everything clean, it was still messy.

With everyone now loaded up, I got in the car and immediately a voice in the backseat cried for “lovey” which was most certainly left inside.

I looked at the time. Fifteen minutes late.

I glanced at the two sweet faces in the back seat, one who was crying. Should I even try to go where I was headed? Maybe I should just go back inside. It would be naptime before long.

I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the headrest. Why couldn’t I get it together?

Why did I feel so frustrated and stressed on a mundane Tuesday?

At that moment a nugget of truth someone once shared with me found it’s way into my anxious heart: “GraceAnna, God has not called you to be the perfect mother. He has called you to be faithful.” 

In our Instagram and Pinterest-perfect culture, sometimes it is easy to start comparing ourselves to other women and wondering how they do all the things they do so beautifully.

Whether it is the image of a mom reading books with her little ones on the couch in a magazine worthy home or the many links she may share of the latest craft projects she completed with her child, feelings of inadequacy can creep into our mothering minds rather quickly.

And we hate those feelings because deep down we really want to be the perfect mom who has it all together. Don’t we?

As I grow as a mom, the more I am realizing that feeling inadequate is not always the enemy.

Because anything that causes me to run to the Lord for help can become a good thing.

I’m not the perfect mom. I do struggle and feel frustrated and stressed. And while I should never compare myself to others, I am incredibly inadequate for this momentous task of raising people.

We all are.

But if we know Christ, have access to the faithful and perfect one. And he is there all day long. 

Whether I’m scrubbing spilled milk out of the carpet, searching for a lost shoe, or just feeling stressed and overwhelmed, he is my adequacy.

And he is not so concerned about vacuumed floors or a color coded closet (if someone out there has one of those), he looks at my heart.

For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

God doesn’t call you to be perfect, but he is calling to you.

He is calling you to look to him (Matt. 22:37-39).

He wants you to love your husband and children with the unique gifts and strengths he has given you.

And while you will never do these things perfectly, you have a faithful God who will grow you as you try.

When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.

When things aren’t the way you want them to be young mother, run to the faithful one, and find your perfect acceptance in him.

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