It is just that…love/hate. I love everything the holidays symbolize…celebration, hope, unity, love and life. It’s beautiful, magical and lovely but the tradition of ‘expectation’ breaks me every time. Why is it that as moms we are the magic makers but we often become the target for judgement, blame and disappointment? Why is it when I am up into the wee hours of the morning prepping for this magical moment in my little ones lives (which I’m not gonna lie…I do love this part), that I am the one who is told where I ‘missed’ the mark, forgot or screwed up?
This Easter was no exception to the rule….I bought, stuffed and hid all the eggs, just to have fire ants infest the few that had fallen on the ground (OK, confession…I did place one by the tree, my bad…but the others were blown onto the ground). Then to turn bad into worse, my son jumped up..hitting his head on my coffee cup..yes, pouring hot (not scolding, but definitely more than warm) coffee all over him. Yeah, it was as bad as it sounds…he survived. No burns. They all survived the ant infestation. No bites. They were fine. Me, not so much. I decided to get into my head after I was verbally reminded of my epic fail, retreat to my room, and “get ready” for church. I hate when I let myself slip into these mellow dramatic pity parties, but none the less, I do. They suck. I eventually get over it (alone time speeds this process up, praise the Lord!) The day then continued, church was beautiful, amazing and just what my soul needed. Again, Praise the Lord!
It is in these mom fail moments when I feel low, disappointed or just like I’m missin’ the mark that the ‘bad thoughts’ creep into my head. “Why do you even try?”, “No one even cares!”, “You did this to yourself!”. Sound familiar? No….just me? Well, these are the things I tell myself when things don’t go my way. Yes, I know exactly how that sounds. Believe me, I irritate myself in these moments.
So what if on these holidays when so much is expected of us, we just sit back, focus on what really matters and let everything else fall to the waste side? What if we kept our intentions pure, simple and out of love? What if we didn’t let the noise of OTHERS disappointment affect us? After all, this is their issue, not ours. Humans are going to always fall short, disappoint, we were not made to carry the burden of everyone else’s happiness. We just aren’t. It’s not a part of the deal. So instead of trying to make them proud, lets just stop. Whether my family realizes all my efforts of trying to make these magical moments happen, doesn’t really matter. I do these tasks because I love my family, I want to create these moments for my kids to remember and I want to celebrate a holiday that celebrates our creator, our savior. Jesus. So if staying up til the wee hours stuffing tiny little eggs gives me that chance to tell the story of Jesus, His life, His death and His resurrection, then it is worth it! And fun fact, guess who DOES see all our efforts…He does! God is watching and smiling upon His children as we so carefully and lovingly stuff goodies and candy into baskets because He knows that our children will know about Him. He knows that we will be celebrating Him and all that He did for us on the cross. So if He is proud, if He sees, then isn’t that all that really matters? Isn’t THAT what this is all about?
“And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us” Acts 15:8
I can assure you that my mom fails won’t end here. I know the next big holiday will probably drive me back into my room for a hot second but I also know that I will survive. I will be okay. These mom fails don’t make me not want to celebrate, they just make me want to focus on why I am celebrating. I need to get the annoying voices out of my head and fill my head with the truth that God sees me, God sees my heart and God sees my intentions. I need to stop looking to my family, my kids for approval and start seeing that the ultimate approval has already been given. If there is one thing I can take away from yesterday is that Jesus is ALIVE! He lives in all of us. He lives in me. So if Jesus (my Holy Spirit) is in me, moving, caring, loving, then how can I mess up? How can I fail?
I’m thankful today for perspective. I am thankful for prayer. I am thankful for His word. His truth is always what pulls me from the dark thoughts of my false reality, my mom fails. Moms, we are doing so good. I see you buying the matching clothes for those adorable family photos that almost always lead to meltdowns. I see you overspending to create the most magical moments that usually end with an overly tired child and no “thank you’s”. I see you begging your babies into the childcare room so they can have fun learnin’ about Jesus while you get 45 min of uninterrupted time with God. I see you because I am with you, in the mess, in the muck. This is such a beautiful, exhausting, season that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Lets keep stuffin’ those eggs (just no hiding the night before), picking out those oh so cute color combo outfits and bringing our babies into the Lord’s home. Not because they will see our efforts but because He will.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
I pray these words find you, that mom, dad, guardian, that is just trying their very best, even when they aren’t feeling their very best. I applaud you and all your efforts!