My definition of being a good mom has changed over the years.
Maybe I'm tireder or maybe I'm wiser, either way I've changed.
I'm not the field trip, theme birthday party, picnic kinda mom. I still have little ones, but I don't do these things very often.
I love the women that do these amazing things, and I did them, years ago, but it never came super natural for me.
Maybe I'm tireder or maybe I'm wiser, but it just seems like a lot of extra work to take care of me these days also.
I have given this job to Jesus full time.
He loves me and takes care of me and whips me into shape by His Word.
I still have to do the maintenance things that women do, but when it comes to caring for me....I need all the work on the inside where it lasts and I need a serious professional,
God himself, not myself.
If I spend too much attention on the outside it just seems to get snotted on or puked soon after anyway.
When I asked the grown kids recently what we did that impacted their lives for the better, and the answers I got were things about relationship and time.
Relationship with God and with people.
Their answers had to do with the fact that Charlie and I were together forever, and that we loved Jesus and taught them what that looked like at home in our daily lives.
They answered, saying when we invited others in and opened our home and our hearts to others; it made an impact.
This seems so crazy, because when you invite others in, no matter what level, it means some sacrifice and sharing time and stuff.
But this is what they valued the most.
Isn't that so opposite of what the world will tell you?
It reminded me of when the older kids were little kids and I had decided to make their summer amazing. This was even before facebook or pinterest where I could get likes for such an awesome summer.
I decided at least a couple of times each week we would go somewhere or do something that centered around them having fun and making memories.
As I was exhausted at the end of these days, when I would tuck their tired little bodies into bed, I would ask what was their favorite part about the day, and the answer would be something like this:
When we stopped in and saw Meme at the fairgrounds.
When dad came home and we got hay together.
I was like what in the world am I doing????
My "me" time is usually spent running or driving.
There is something about forward movement, I guess.
Running, because I love it and I need it; I need to get this heart to beating and lungs working hard; and driving because I can strap down the little ones and let my heart and breathing calm down and I can enjoy good coffee and good worship music.
My "me" time is usually spent trying to keep my head on straight and my heart tender to the things of the Lord. None of this comes super natural for me, it takes a super-natural God to keep my head and heart in the right rhythm.
I have to press in hard and long for a tender heart and clear mind.
The older I get the more Jesus time I need, not less. I need to get before God and ask and receive from Him long before I can face the day or people.
My kids are my first mission field, they see me at my worst and and my best, and I'm their first introduction to Jesus.
This terrifies me actually, but it's where I see God's grace the most at work in me and thru me.
2 Corinthians 4:15-16d Version (ESV)
The way I see it, the outer layer isn't going to get any better at this point, and it's only going to last so many years anyway....so I may as well put the work on the inside, that can be transformed and renewed and be made more beautiful as the years go by forever.
The other part I have come to understand, is being a mother is a heart condition.
Sometimes it comes thru birth and sometimes thru adoption, and sometimes just simply thru a mother's heart.
When you have the heart of a mother, whether you are a mother or not, you just are a mother to anyone that comes into your heart and needs to be loved with the
God gave mothers the
MOTHER of LOVE.
is fierce and wild and tender and big and crazy.
May we all love with the MOTHER LOVE and LOVE like a MOTHER!