Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm Not Super Mom!

I have no cape. No wand or special weapon. No mask or fun cute leggings and boots. Tragic, I know! Most days I'm doing well to be bathed and dressed by lunchtime. I yell at my kids and I hug close and seek forgiveness often. I have drawers filled with fun crafty goodness that has never been used and baby books begging to be filled with memories quickly growing dim. There are enough Cheerios in between the couch cushions to feed a small army in spite of my best intentions to enforce the "no food in the living room," rule and I promise the laundry pile has simply tripled in size overnight. Is there a laundry fairy somewhere? Anywhere? I am often rushing out the door after performing a search and rescue expedition for my phone, my keys, someone's shoes, a special lovey or a water bottle. There are days where fatigue grabs hold and won't let go. Sleep hangs on tight as I rage the against the sun and beg for just five. More. Minutes. No,  I am most certainly NOT Super Mom!

There was a day where admitting that I don't have it all together would have been so difficult for me. I mean who wants to let their mess loose for all to see? I didn't. But, as I started talking to my friends, I realized I wasn't the only one who struggled with bathing regularly, going to bed at a decent hour, and keeping my temper at bay. I wasn't alone! You see, somewhere  along the way, in our media saturated lives, we have accepted this idea that good moms complete ridiculous amounts of Pinterest projects, have their kids in fifteen extra curricular activities (and balance it all superbly), let their kids watch just an hour of TV per week (or no TV at all), feed their kids only organic, raw, grass-fed, God-made food, and can keep a perfect house with children underfoot. Oh and she has a blog that brings in income for the family and has morphed into a book, a vibrant and consistent quiet time, is a model church member, Crossfit warrior, and an outstanding citizen of the community. Who IS this person?

It is easy to compare ourselves to these impossible standards. We often forget that what we see on facebook, twitter, and blogs is only a glimpse of that person. We only see what that person is allowing us to see. 
Whether you are a Pinterest project queen or if you wouldn't know what mod podge was if it walked up and slapped you in the face... Whether you have 1 kid or10... Whether you feed your kids paleo or frozen chicken nuggets - YOU, my sweet friend, are beautiful and dearly loved by a most awesome God. Other people's opinions and accomplishments do not define you. Your failures and successes do not define you. 

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have been bought with a price. Redeemed. Forgiven. I love this passage in the book, "Because He Loves Me," by Elyse Fitzpatrick: 

"Here's the reality of the great exchange: our sinful record became his, and he suffered the punishment we deserved. But that's not all he has done. If it were, that would be a great blessing, indeed. To stand innocent - to be back where our first parents were in the garden - would certainly be wondrous. But he hasn't left us there where Adam began. No, through the Second Adam (Jesus), he has done even more than even more for us; he has justified us. As you probably know, this concept of the great exchange is often referred to as justification. I've heard the word justified defined as "just as if I'd never sinned." And while that's true as far as it goes, it doesn't go far enough. Not only do we have a clean slate as Adam did, we've got something written on that slate that is so amazing I can scarcely believe it: Jesus' perfect record has become ours. Because God has accredited or imputed Jesus' perfect obedience to you, when God looks upon you, he sees you as a person who:
- always does the things that are pleasing to him;
- is so focused on accomplishing his will and work that doing so is your daily food;
- doesn't seek your own will but seeks his will instead;
- doesn't seek to receive glory (praise, respect, worship) from others;
- has always kept all of his commandments;
- lives in such a way that your life brings holiness to others;
- loves others and lays down your life on a consistent basis;
- lives in such a way that the people around you know that you love your heavely     Father more than anything else; 
- seeks to obey every command so that righteousness will be fulfilled.

In God's opinion (the only one that matters!) that's your record today."

WOW! Friends! That's incredible! When we compare ourselves to others and wallow in our own perceived shortcomings, we will ALWAYS face condemnation. This comes from the enemy who prowls like a roaring lion. When we are resting on the promises of God, we can be assured that, apart from Christ, we really are a mess, but it doesn't end there. Romans chapter 10 reminds us that, "no one is righteous, no not one," but because of the blood of Christ, when God looks at us, he doesn't see our mess. He sees JESUS. What a miraculous and undeserved gift! It's time to lay aside the guilt and the pressure we put on ourselves to be "perfect," and realize that we are dearly loved by a perfect Savior. Without him we would be lost and headed for eternity in hell. Receive the gift of Christ's perfect record and start walking in the freedom of Christ! This doesn't excuse us from confessing our sin and striving to be Christlike in all areas of our lives (including our walk with the Lord, marriage, motherhood, taking care of our bodies, etc.), mind you, but it frees us up to make mistakes, seek forgiveness, repent, and move forward without being crushed under the weight of guilt and condemnation. It frees us up to follow the unique path that God has set before each person individually without feeling pressured to imitate others. 

Go forth into the world, warrior mamas! As you change diapers, cook meals, struggle to be calm and patient and find yourself caught up in the day to day monotony that can sometimes ensue, may you take time to seek the Lord through prayer and the reading of His word. Take time to grow in knowledge and pray for wisdom in how to apply what you are learning. Find your rest and your confidence in HIM who died for you. I pray that each of you leave this page feeling encouraged, refreshed, and utterly in awe of what Jesus accomplished through his death on the cross. Claim your inheritance and walk in freedom, sister! You are loved! 

P.S. If you would like to buy a copy of the book quoted above, you can find it HERE. I highly recommend it!


Lottie said...

this was wonderful and much needed (I am a health issue that means for the next few days I am to just rest and that is hard to do with little ones and laundry and lack of patience when they keep asking me to do things), and I needed this reminder to just rest in the knowledge that I am still a good mama and that even on bad days, God still loves me and my kiddos! Thank you for speaking truth and joy into my heart!

ps. I am Amber Landers sister in law and am glad that I know you often encourage her heart too!

Mission Mama said...

Your writing has always made me smile, Misty. It is truly a God-given talent you have. Keep it up when you can....blessings my friend, Mama B

This Beautiful Mess said...
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This Beautiful Mess said...

Mama B, your encouragement always warms my heart! I am so very thankful for you!

This Beautiful Mess said...

Lottie, thank you for your sweet words! Amber is a wonderfully sweet woman! I am grateful to know her. I am humbled that my little corner of the blogosphere has encouraged you. I hope your health issue has gotten better!

Amy said...

Miss you! I saw this at just the right time. It was very much needed. Thanks.