Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sometimes I Stink as a Mother

My girls would have been better off being raised by someone else. Someone like an old friend of mine that has four beautiful daughters who seem to have life altogether. Or perhaps a friend from college who always seems to say just the right thing to everyone, including her children.

We've all seen them, those "Supermoms". They are the ones that all of the youngsters want to go to their house. We've heard our kids say that such and such's mom is so cool; I just love Miss Perfect.

For those of us who are less perfect, who try too hard in some areas and don't try hard enough in others,  we are inferior to those perfect mothers. Oh, we have the best of intentions. But intentions and actions just don't equate.

When your kids are little, you vow to create the utopian life for them. You overextend yourself making sure that they get to participate in every little thing their hearts' desire, from music, dance, little league, boy or girl scouts, martial arts, and whatever else they could think about doing.

You also beat yourself up if it is your lot in life to not be able to be that perfect stay-at-home mom who wakes in the morning to dress to perfection not just her children but herself also. She has that perfectly kept home, can cook gourmet meals, entertain children, friends or dignitaries while thriving to coordinate the big charity gala event and all her kids' practices.

If you're like me, you vow to do better the next time, or the time after that, and certainly by the time after that. You may even feel that your own children dislike you or worse, hate you. Maybe you think they "tolerate" you because it would look bad to their friends if they didn't.

Do you often embarrass your children? Maybe its something you said or did in public or maybe you feel that you embarrass them by just your very existance.

Being a mother is a tricky calling. There seems to be this very fine line that on one side, you are the greatest, most wonderful, special mother in the world. But heaven forbid you cross that line, even just a smidgen.  You would be "labeled" among the worst of the worst. I've never heard anyone talk about their "mediocre" mother.

Someday in a land far away in your fairy tale world, you think things will be different. Maybe they will, but more than likely, they won't. But maybe the real change won't be on the outside or the things you can change.

I suspect that as time goes by, we "non" Supermoms will be able to extend grace to ourselves like we do others around us. Although we may not be perfect, we did the best we knew how to do and we loved our children with every fiber of our being. 

But most importantly,  we hope our children will always recognize that our love for them is unconditional. Oh yes, just as they may be disappointed in us, we may be disappointed from time to time in something they've said or done. That does not diminish the love, it simply means that you always want what's best for your child and from your child.

I know, for me, I'm not the perfect mom nor are my kids perfect. But, I will trust God who put us together as family, to believe that we are a perfect family together with some possible imperfections along the way.

All my love to both of my girls!

Your Imperfect Mother

Friday, April 13, 2018

Self-Righteous Murderer

Hello my friend. The Lord is so good to me and I can't help but share His amazing grace.

When I think back over my life, I am reminded of the many people that I've met along the way: people from all walks of life. Some were godly, some petty, some even demonic and a lot who fall all over the spectrum of humanity. While it's easy to dwell on the differences in people, I want to step back and think about the ways we are alike.

Regardless of the families we are born into and the circumstances around our birth, Paul relates to us in Galations 1:15 " But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace" that we are truly called by God's grace from the moment of birth. Paul may have been called to preach while we all have been called to share the glorious news of Jesus. But can you grasp that from the moment we are born, we are called?

So how did we all get to where we are in life? We have to travel back to Adam in the beginning. He, too, was created for greatness: to commune with God. But he wasn't forced into submission, but given a free will to choose his path. Unfortunately his choice to disobey God brought sin into the lives of all mankind. So, although we are called, we are also sinners.

How do we reconcile being chosen and being sinners? We CAN'T! We cannot do anything to change our sin nature and follow our calling. But, praise be to God, Jesus CAN!

For you see, Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice to bridge the gap. All we have to do is repent of our sins and ask Jesus to forgive us. From that moment on, we can fulfill the calling that we received from birth.

But let's get back to the circumstances surrounding our birth. Maybe some were fortunate enough to have been born into a godly family who were taught the love of God from their youth, fell in love with Jesus, and experienced God's amazing grace at an early age. But most have had a struggle with various influences in their lives and clouded the call they were given. Some may have had godly people come alongside of them and extended grace, they have been able to accept the wonderful gift of God's grace as they grew older.

However, others may still be struggling with the sin nature and haven't experienced the extension of grace by others. Perhaps this has led to them becoming bitter, cynical and even angry with the world. Some have even done diabolical things and others have suffered. If this describes YOU, please hear me. GOD LOVES YOU! Yes, you! He still wants to extend His grace to you and help you to become a new creature. God wants to bring joy to your life and equip you for your eternal home in heaven.
Then, there are those who somehow try to hang on to a moral superiority spirit. You know, like the scribes and Pharisees. You remember the one who prayed in the temple boastfully who was thankful that he wasn't like THOSE other people who were not up to his caliber of piety. If you fall into this category, you need to take a fresh look at yourself and examine your self-righteous heart. God is NOT pleased with you just as He wasn't pleased with the Pharisee. You need the grace of God to rid you of your bad spirit.

What I want each of us to take away from this is that we could all have been among the most evil of society. We were all born being called to His grace, but what have our actions and attitudes been towards that calling?

Lastly, I want to bring this back around to a young man that I knew in the Fall of 2006. He was a smart guy and always thoughtful and respectful towards me. He was a kind and considerate young man. I never saw anything out of the way with his behavior. Because all I saw of him was his impeccable good character and diligence in his studies, I have remembered him for the last 11 1/2 years.

Today, this young man sits in a jail cell charged with the criminal homicide of his own 5 year old son. My mind cannot reconcile this act to the young man I knew just a few years ago. While we all seek justice for the son, we must not have a heart of vengeance or hatred. To do so, we are self-righteous and just as much of a sinner in need of the same Jesus and the grace of God.

As humanity, we have laws and consequences for breaking those laws. As spiritual beings, we also have consequences for our sins. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. In God's eyes, there are no little sins and big sins with different consequences. All unrepented sin receives the same punishment, death. So each of us need to examine our hearts. Do we have sin in our life? Do we have a heart of hatred? Perhaps some may have sexual sin, pride or even something seemingly innocuous like gossip. I fear that more people will miss out on the grace of God because of an unrepentant heart for a wagging tongue than all the other sins combined.

It is my prayer that all of us have repentant hearts, from the murderer, assault perpetrator, thief, idolater, hater, gossiper and all other sinful behavior. We all have consequences, whether earthly or eternal. Just remember, Paul was a self-righteous, zealot, murderer. Yet, he became perhaps the greatest evangelist the world has ever known. He wrote a lot of the New Testament and upon his earthly death, he received his heavenly reward. In contrast, Ananias and Sapphira blasphemed by lying to the Holy Spirit, They both were struck dead and received their eternal damnation.

Where is your heart today? Are you fulfilling the calling you received from birth?