The days are long, but the years are short. Cherish every moment - they'll grow up before you know it. Make memories and messes and meaningful connections.
It's all true. Every bit of it. But when we're desperately trying to be Jesus to our little blessings, those words hold such weight. Such responsibility. Such pressure. Over time, that pressure can make these truths a burden we were never meant to carry.
That burden can grow heavy as those reminders shine brightly on all the ways we are failing.
This morning. I read a beautiful post by another blogger. I even shared it on my facebook page. I started the day aware that I wanted to embrace my children, and the moments we are given to share. I wanted to have a perfectly special day, celebrating my Dad's birthday. I even worked hard yesterday to make sure I could focus on creating an atmosphere of peace and joy today.
But, the day didn't go as I'd planned. Little thing-after-thing-after-thing plucked at my nerves until I got frustrated. Then I got frustrated at myself for being frustrated. Maybe I'm the only one who has ever found myself in that vicious cycle, but it isn't pretty - and it can be awful hard to get out of. Before I knew it, I was explaining my reactions, justifying my responses, and heaping guilt on thick.
"Sweet Jesus, I just want to be like You... but I'm so far off..." the thought is louder than the reminders, but it hurts, too. I know I need Jesus --- but there are days I feel I should be so much further along...
Further along than what, though? Further along than needing to admit in every situation I need Him? Further along than acknowledging every good and perfect gift comes from Him, and not from me?
He must increase, but I must decrease.
John the Baptist
John was preparing the way for the Lord. He knew he wasn't the Savior, and he freely admitted it. He was an outcast from society, who ate and dressed... uniquely. He was chosen, ordained, anointed, called, appointed, CREATED for the mission God has designed for him - to prepare people for Jesus' coming. He lived a holy, set apart life from the time of his birth, and when it came time to step back and acknowledge that Jesus was who his disciples needed - His response was clear: He must increase, but I must decrease.
As mommas who are preparing the way for Jesus in our little people's hearts, that should be our response, too. The thing is, it's easy to embrace the idea, but another to embrace the execution...
In other words, saying "I must decrease" sounds right and good, but doing it can be hard and feel like failing.
We should never stop growing closer to Jesus, and allowing His light and love to change us from the inside out. Yet, throughout our lives, we will undoubtedly encounter times when that transformation into His likeness is a process of removing attitudes, habits, and mindsets that are not in alignment with His.
So, here's the thing. After grabbing my laptop to pour out my heart about feeling like a failure of a mom, I've realized two things:
1. I am NOT failing at being a mom.
2. I am TOTALLY failing at being a substitute Jesus.
Moms make mistakes. Moms lose their temper and forget things. They sometimes get priorities mixed up and have to reboot. But it's okay - they apologize, love fiercely, and do their best moving forward. I'm not failing at that. And my guess is, neither are you.
Our kids aren't too much for me, but I'm not enough for them. Only Jesus is.
Jesus can't be replaced. He's the only One perfect and the only One capable of saving. It isn't my job to be Jesus to my little people. It's my job to prepare the way for Him. And even on days like today, when my imperfections are obvious to everyone around me (oh the shame!), HE NEVER FAILS my kiddos - and He never fails me.
So if you feel like you're failing, ask yourself: am I doing what God's asked of me, and allowing Jesus His rightful place as Savior? Have I taken on things God never asked of me?
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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