I don’t take award-winning photographs of my gorgeous, athletic, brilliant kids; my ribbon-merit baking creations; award-winning artistic renditions; and Pinterest-worthy home. In fact, if I was trying to take pictures of those accomplishments, I would probably be waiting a long time. A very long time!
Oh, my kids are adorable, smart, active, creative! Definitely to me! I love them though not because of some trait or ability I feel they must possess to be accolade-worthy. I love them because of who they are — not because of what they have or what they do. I love them because they are themselves. They are my children! It’s that simple. Yet, it’s not simple at all. It’s really quite profound!
I gaze at my kids and every day think how amazing and miraculous they are! How amazing and miraculous it is that I am their mom! I am grateful.
As a mom, there is a part of me that really aches when others don’t see my kids through the same eyes as myself. I “bleed” a little inside when my kid tells me that he is ugly, that he’s the last kid to be picked for football teams, that he never wins any of the creative days at school for dress. I “bleed” not because those things are so important but because my son is so important to me, and he has so much worth and he doesn’t see it. I try to tell him that his worth isn’t based on the fickle opinions of others.
In fact, I have reached out to a lot of his school buddies, invited them over. It’s fun to hear them greet me when they see me. My favorite line though I like to say is, “Hi, handsome!” I am not trying to establish an over-emphasis on the outward appearance. Yet, all kids need to know that they are something special! I focus on everything about them: their God-given talents and abilities, their own special unique features, and the fact that they are precious to me!
Even more importantly, I like to focus on the inside person. I call selfishness and sinful behavior as ugly but call good and loving behavior as lovely. I tell them that you can be considered “pretty” or “handsome” on the outside but be selfish, mean, angry on the inside. I told them that those things will make a person “ugly.”
When the boys and I have talks about girls, I encourage my boys to look for a woman who is beautiful on the inside to be their future wives. I then encourage them to be the kind of man that that kind of woman will want to marry.
I am a simple mom. I am not an amazing cook. I don’t knit. I don’t sew. My house isn’t Pinterest-worthy, but it’s my home. We are slowly fixing it up to where I really like the way it looks. It’s comfortable, homey, warm, and even charming at times. It’s basically clean and fairly organized. It’s not magazine-worthy, but it’s my home. It’s the place where my family and I make memories. It’s where we love, work, create memories, and learn to forgive and be forgiven. It’s real. There’s no pretense in the home. Some times, I am thankful that I know that I have God who is watching me that is pleased with an action I just took. At other times, I wish that no one: not a child, spouse, or God had seen a certain attitude or heard unkind words I had uttered that day.
There are times, I bow my head with shame because I wasn’t the mom God created me to be. I wasn’t the mom my kids deserve. I wasn’t the mom I want to be. It’s for these moments that I pray. I pray over my children — that God would heal the areas in my kids hearts that hurt because of something unkind I said or did. I pray that God would continue to work in me to help me to be more humble and more obedient to his voice. I pray that God would “cover” my kids with His grace in areas that I can’t.
I look at myself and see this average person. I don’t have an Einstein I.Q. I don’t excel in the arts or sports. I don’t have model-looks. I am not a mom that is everyone’s hero. I am just me.
Yet, when I see myself as God sees me, I realize the rest of all of that doesn’t matter. God loves me because I am His. I am His daughter! I am unique! There is no one else on this planet and universe that will ever be identical to me — in the past, present, or future!
You and I will leave our own stamps on this life that will never be completely repeated. I wish we could just wrap our minds and our hearts around that incredible truth just a little more.
Because the more I understand the meaning of my life, the better I am able to appreciate the meanings of others!