As a mom, I often struggle with the strong feelings of "mommy guilt." Do I play with them enough? Do they have enough structure in their day? Do I love on them enough? They haven't been eating so well lately. They throw fits, is that my fault? Do I discipline them "correctly?"
The list could go on and on...
I read something this morning that completely transformed my way of thinking about my parenting...
I read a devotional every morning titled A Cup of Comfort: Devotional for Mothers. This morning I read about the familiar feelings of mommy guilt, and how God helped this mommy deal with it. Here are some excerpts:
"When my children sinned, acted unbecomingly, or spoke harshly, though I knew they made their own choices, I also saw the seeds I had sown. Over the years, guilt over-shadowed my mothering. I seemed to fail on so many issues. How often did I wish I had been more patient? I nagged myself because we should have had more family devotions. I should have played more with my kids. Had I been too lenient in their dress codes and social lives?
Over the years I had sought God's wisdom many times. I longed to be a good example for my kids. Though often I sensed God's guidance and was able to respond to it with positive results, I continued living with a nagging sense of never living up to my expectations...
Through my tears, I prayed, and experienced what would become a turning point away from the guilt I carried. 'God, you know I've always wanted to be a good example for my kids. But you, of all people, know how I've failed at times. You know my weaknesses.'
Then the Holy Spirit led me to God's comforting truth. Before I knew what I was saying, I confidently declared, 'But, God, you can make up for every one of my weaknesses as a parent. I'm asking you today to fill in the gaps where I've failed. Thank you that when I am weak, you are strong!'
The simple truth that God can make up for my failures has relieved mounds of guilt in my life. Maybe I'm not always the example I want to be for my children, but I know I have a big God who covers me with His grace."
What an eye opener! Yes, we need to seek God's wisdom, but we have to also realize that as long as we're human, we're going to make mistakes. That's where God steps in! He can and will fill in the gaps where we fail. What a relief! God is bigger than our weaknesses and mistakes.