MoJo Monday: Embrace the Humbling

Happy New Week!  Today I want to think a bit on how I love my life and find joy in mothering by:

…letting go of my pride and letting God do great things in my life by humbling me.

IMG_8271Before I had kids, if I’m honest, I thought I was pretty great.  I was pretty sure, though I wouldn’t have admitted it, that I would make a great mom.   Sure, I had my areas of weakness, things I should probably be working on, but I was going to get the *important* things right.

I am so thankful that God gives us children in the form of babies.  For those early weeks, months and years of life, they are definitely taking a lot in, but God in His grace has given us moms a good year or two to shape up before our kids really start noticing (and picking up!) our character flaws.  If only that were long enough!

From about when Pippa hit the toddler/pre-school age, with Romilly hot on her heels, I have felt an acute sense of being under the microscope of their developing character. Through their ever-studying eyes, God has allowed me to see my heart  for what it really is, and it’s not  as pretty a picture as I once thought.

While I had once thought the challenge of parenting would be to get my kids to turn out as good as I was (ha!), I began to realize that the last thing I wanted was to have my girls end up like me!

How could I teach my messy Pippa to tidy up her playroom, when I am too lazy to keep the rest of the house presentable?

How could I instruct my sweet over-reactor Romilly (should I admit that we have nicknamed her “Drama-ly”?  Probably not.) to keep a happy heart when things don’t go her way instead of bursting into tears, when I have been known to do *exactly* the same thing?

Everyone wants to set a good example for their kids, but how can we do that when we *aren’t* good?

Here are three truths about this that God has used to comfort me and fill me with hope for my children, and with all that comes joy!

  • God’s grace is sufficient to cover our areas of weakness.  By opening our eyes to them He  increases our  dependence on Him.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul writes this:

But he [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

When we know that any good fruit from our parenting is in spite of us and because of God’s grace, our parenting glorifies Him.

  • God uses our failings to humble us and point back to the cross.  We cannot be reminded enough that we do not deserve or do anything to earn our salvation.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.

Having kids reminds us daily of our own sin, and our need for a savior, and God knows we *need* this reminding to preach the gospel to ourselves daily!

  • God uses our kids as instruments in our sanctification!

Romans 8:28 says

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Whether by making the hard mistakes and learning from them or by allowing God to show us and change the areas in our lives that need changing, God can and *will* use our children to shape us into the people He wants us to be.  It can be a painful process, but there is great joy in trusting that it is for our good and His glory!

* * * * *

When I fail, and when God’s love shows me that I have failed, I have found that asking my children to forgive me is the quickest way to turn a situation around.  The last thing I want to be in my children’s eyes is a hypocrite, and yet, that’s just what I am.  When they see me making the same mistakes I am trying to train them not to make, I owe it to them to acknowledge this sin before them.  They are so quick to forgive, and their sweet smiles go a long way to heal my heart of my disappointment with myself.

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