August 21, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“Mother of the Year”
Micca Monda Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 ministries Speaker Team Member
Proverbs 31:28, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (NIV)
I struggle with being a godly wife and mother. I suppose that’s why God called me to Proverbs 31 Ministries—to teach me how to live out the desire of my heart. I really want to be the best I can be, but my efforts to become this “ideal” woman can leave me grieved and depressed.
I felt especially defeated the year my youngest son started kindergarten. In
Parker was scheduled to begin school on Tuesday. We started off well. I took him to school, kissed him good-bye, and headed home to a kid-free house. “Finally,” I thought. “All three children are in school. I can get some work done.”
I was busy at the computer when the telephone interrupted my pace. “Hello?”
“Mrs. Campbell, this is Parker’s teacher. It’s after and I was wondering who would be picking him up from school today?”
Stunned that I had forgotten to pick up my own child, I jumped in the car and raced to the school. There he stood on the sidewalk holding his teacher’s hand with big ole crocodile tears in his eyes and REJECTION stamped across his heart. I took him home, apologized profusely, and made his favorite meal for dinner. I felt like the worst mother ever. Nothing I could do from this point on would be as horrible as this. Nothing!
Thursday, we returned to school. All was going well until I was, once again, interrupted by the phone. It was Parker’s teacher. I had forgotten to pick up my child not once, but twice in the same week! I just knew this was going to show up on his psychological record someday.
Not stopping to put on my shoes, I jumped in the car and sped to school on two wheels. This time he was standing with the room mom. He wouldn’t even look me in the eye. The room mother, who was obviously a true Proverbs 31 Woman, helped him bucked his seatbelt while I tried explaining myself.
“You’re not going to believe this, but that crazy schedule has me so confused that I did the same thing earlier this week.”
“Yeah, I know.” She replied bluntly.
Having been labeled a “bad mother” by the first week of school left me feeling like a complete failure.
Through it all, I learned something. God has a sense of humor because, later that same year, ParentLife magazine named me one of eight “Mothers of the Year!” Go figure? Parker’s reaction to this surprising news was, “If they lived with us for a while, they’d probably reconsider.”
Those were my thoughts exactly. In fact, I asked my husband how I could be given such a great and undeserving honor. With wisdom, he shared that maybe it was God’s way of saying I’m doing better than I think.
His sweet statement helped me put things into perspective. God never said I had to be perfect. That was my expectation. He never said that I wouldn’t make mistakes or a wrong decision every now and then. Again, that was my hope. I had assumed that the Proverbs 31 lady did everything right and I was suppose to as well. The problem was, with all her great accomplishments, I never considered her “not so good” side. Like me, I’m sure she had one.
Sometimes I let the bad out weigh the good and become plagued with “mommy guilt.” Perhaps the “Mother of the Year” award was God’s way of saying, “Hang in there. You’re doing better than you think, and I’m not the only one who notices.”
Though I sometimes feel inadequate as a mother, perhaps my children will some day – despite my mistakes - arise and call me blessed.
The next time you need encouragement as a mom, let God whisper to your heart: “I hear when you pray for your children, and I’m there when you teach them about who I am. I watch you love, care, and sacrifice for them, and when you do fail, you’re not too proud to ask for forgiveness. Hang in there. You’re doing better than you think.”
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, when things get rough help me to remember I’m not alone. With you I can always find the strength and encouragement I need to be the mother my children deserve, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Start a support group for moms in your neighborhood, school, or church. Pray and encourage one another on a regular basis.
Is there something you need to ask your child’s forgiveness for? This will go a long way in regaining your “Mother of the Year” title.
Where do you find encouragement when you’re overwhelmed as a mom?
Do something today to pamper yourself. You deserve it!
Deuteronomy 11: 18-21,“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” (NIV)
Being a Great Mom: Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes
Blended Families by Maxine Marsolini
Originally published Monday, 21 August 2006.