Encouragement for today - Nov. 11, 2010

 November 11, 2010
The Mother Load
Lysa TerKeurst

"One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving." Psalm 62:11-12a (NIV)         

We moms should never build the stability of our identity on the fragility of our kid's choices.

Have you ever felt like a failure as a mom because you got a not so great call from the principal's office? Me too. On the flip side, have you ever felt like the greatest mom ever because your child got some special recognition? Me too. So, let me say it again just so this crucial truth can sink in a little deeper.  I'm repeating it for no other reason, sweet sister, than the fact I need this message.  So, forgive me if this devotion preaches a message only to myself.

We moms should never build the stability of our identity on the fragility of our kid's choices.

I've got five amazing kids.  I really do.  They are wildly funny, imaginative, moody, opinionated, strong, weak, happy, sad, good and sometimes not so good.  In other words they're pretty normal.  And while I've done everything in my power to raise them to turn out amazingly awesome - and they very well might turn out amazingly awesome - there aren't any guarantees. 

Sometimes bad parents raise terrific kids.

And sometimes terrific parents raise kids that chase bad things their whole life.

So, what's a mama to do?

Embrace the process. Learn from the process. Let God speak to us during the process.  And see the process of raising kids as an ongoing opportunity to invest beyond ourselves. 

We get to love our kids like crazy. Pray for them faithfully. Talk to them regularly.  Listen to them tenderly. Model honesty and integrity. And point them to Jesus at every turn. 

We get to do all that. 

And tucked within these privileges is the reward. As long as I look for the reward within the process, I won't misplace my expectations. I have to rest in the assurance that God sees everything I invest in these kids. 

And He will use every step of this process for good.  The process will be good for me. And this process will good for my kids. It will be good.  But this process won't always make me feel good or look good.

If I always expect my kids to make me feel good or look good, I am setting us all up for failure.  My kids were never meant to carry the weight of a mama's need for validation.  I can't let their failures send me to bed.  And I can't wear their successes like mommy medals of honor.

Motherhood is tough you know?

It really is.

However, it's also our only opportunity to reach into the generations to come and make a difference.  So, an imperfect but wonderful difference I will make.

Dear Lord, help me to embrace the privilege and process of motherhood. I see parenting as an opportunity to invest beyond myself. But I also admit that I really need Your help. Please guide me so that I can model You every day in every way. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa's blog for a chance to win the ultimate mom gift. You don't want to miss this!

For more gut honest and wise advice on being the mom you want to be, check out Lysa TerKeurst's book Am I Messing Up My Kids?

Lysa's best-selling book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, is helping women know how to better understand and apply the Bible. Every mom should read this!

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl DVD set

Lysa will be speaking in over 40 cities this year and she'd love to meet you! To check for a city near you, click here. 

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Application Steps:
If we always expect our kids to make us feel good or look good, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Be honest with yourself and think of some ways you may be doing this.

Spend some time resting in God's daily assurance. See your parenting as an opportunity to reach into the generations to come.  

Am I consistently pointing my family to Jesus? How am I doing this?

Have I misplaced any of my expectations?

Power Verses:

2 Corinthians 1:5, "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." (NIV) 

Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (NIV) 

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Thursday, 11 November 2010.