February 9, 2012
Bad Moments Don't Make Bad Moms
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
Do you ever feel like the ping pong ball in a heated match bouncing between feeling like a good mom to a bad mom?
I volunteer to keep the class guinea pig over spring break much to my daughter's delight. After all, we have a hamster we adore so we're highly qualified... GOOD MOM!
Two weeks before spring break our pet hamster has an accident and makes an early exit from this world. I get a letter from the principal informing me after hearing about our unfortunate hamster situation, we are unfit class guinea pig babysitters... BAD MOM!
I delight the teacher by showing up on time to read to the class... GOOD MOM!
That same day I get an e-mail from a teacher listing three parents who haven't turned in permission slips and I'm on the list for all the world to see... BAD MOM!
I make sure my kids pack something healthy for lunch... GOOD MOM!
The schedule falls apart and I feed them sugary cereal for dinner... BAD MOM!
I so desperately want to be a good mom. And sometimes I feel like I am, when life is clicking along with good attitudes, healthy hamsters, turned in permission slips, and a pot roast for dinner. But let's be honest. The days where everything turns out right and there's a pot roast on the table are sometimes few and far between. And I find myself feeling like a failure. Have you ever been there?
The other day I was processing these things with my friend, Renee, when a strange theme seemed to arise. I just started laughing. I told Renee that many of my days tell the same story... I was on the verge of a breakdown and then I spent some time with Jesus and He made things better.
Renee quipped back, "Well, isn't that where most of us live?"
Not that we're on the edge of a breakdown, but we live in a place of utter dependence on God. I know I live in constant need of His love, encouragement, wisdom, perspective, strength, patience and grace.
Anything I do right as a mom is because of my constant dialogs with God. I've learned to talk with Him in honest plain language and say things like, "Hey God, I feel like a bad mom because I snapped at my kids. But my circumstances don't define me, right? You do. So, I'm receiving Your grace and letting go of those feelings pulling me down. Please help me."
I must remember the truth of today's promise in Ephesians 2:4-5, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."
God's grace is always willing to step in. Not that it excuses me from being more patient, organized or responsible. But it reminds me, "Lysa, you are doing better than you think you are. My love for you is great! Stop bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad. In the good times, rejoice and thank Me. In the not so good times, call out to Me quickly."
With God we're never a bad mom. We might be having a bad moment... or two... or seventeen. But a few bad moments do not define us.
God's grace is there to cover us. Teach us. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt us, redirect us and change me.
Forgiveness is there.
Love is there.
A second chance is there. And another one after that.
You are a good mom my friend...even if, like me, you've had a few bad moments... you are the exact mom God knew these children needed. Let's live in that truth today.
And who cares if we are labeled unfit to watch the class guinea pig? As I stepped back from the situation I realized that saved us from some undue stress anyhow. Smiles.
Dear Lord, I know that only You can fill me. I am thankful Your grace is always there to cover me, especially on my tough mom days. Help me to stop bouncing from feeling good to bad. Teach me, redirect me and change me today. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
If you're having one of those "I feel like a bad mom" moments, read Lysa's blog today. It will be one you print off and save!
And if you'd like to make progress in transforming the mom inside you, consider getting a copy of Lysa's book, Am I Messing Up My Kids?
Lysa is speaking in over 40 cities this year and she'd love to meet you! To check for a city near you, click here.
Reflect and Respond:
With God I'm never a bad mom. I might be having a bad moment... or two... or seventeen. But a few bad moments do not define me as a bad mom. God's grace is there to cover me. Teach me. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt me, redirect me and change me.
Colossians 3:15, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (NIV)
© 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 09 February 2012.