Perfectionism is the enemy of grace. As a mom, I oftentimes struggle with perfectionism. I will always remember my mom telling me, “Felicia you are too hard on yourself”. In other words, relax and give yourself some grace. How do we show ourselves grace? Who can we look to provide an example of consistent grace? Well friend I’m glad that you asked….let’s take a look at the ultimate grace giver.
“For it is by grace you are saved through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no man can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
When Jesus came to earth and died for our sins He took all of our striving and best attempts to earn salvation. In addition, he has equipped us with everything that we need to not only be a follower of Christ but an awesome mother. We can look to Christ to help us be the moms that he has called us to be. When we do that we can stop putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect and to raise perfect children. Instead, we can rest in the grace that He has given us to shape this next generation for his glory. If Jesus relied on the Father to teach and inspire multitudes of people why can’t we rely on Him to lead us as moms? Grace eliminates perfection and pride which ultimately leads us to freedom!
Grace = Freedom
Jesus is the great grace giver and freedom fighter. John 8:36 says “So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” So what are we free from? Free from our own expectations of what motherhood should be. Freedom from other people’s expectations of who you should be as a mom. Freedom in Christ trickles down to our daily lives because we know that our Heavenly Father is leading and guiding us. We are not alone in this parenting journey! Self-reliance now becomes reliance on Christ. Be free mama, He wired your children so he knows what they need. Ask Him to show you, trust, and do!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not until your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
So now that we are walking in grace and freedom what practical steps can we take to ensure that we allow for grace.
Control what you can control
Whew! For me, this has always been a struggle because I like being in control. In my home, we are on the backend of potty training our son, Ethan. It has not been an easy road and oftentimes I get frustrated that he isn’t showing any signs of getting out of diapers. I was determined to take him through potty training boot camp just like I did with his siblings! Major fail. Thoughts of him not being able to attend pre-k and me failing as a mother began to flood my mind. Panic and anxiety were knocking on the door and it began to manifest itself as frustration. One day I began praying about it and I heard the Lord say “Cast all your cares on me because I care for you” – I Peter 5:7.
A light bulbub went off! No boot camp, incentives or worrying was going to make him learn how to use the potty so I needed to chill!! I changed my approach and in a matter of three days, he began to tell me when he needed to go potty!! This was a lesson in adapting, surrendering control, and trusting the process. He is still learning but we are making progress.
Build your supporting cast
We are made to be in community with one another. As moms, we need other moms to help encourage, support, and hold us accountable. Why? We are all walking similar paths with shared experiences. Instead of trying to do it alone, we can share our lives and foster community. So how do you build a supporting cast? It first starts with you. Be friendly, create opportunities to meet other moms whether it be through your child’s school, a playgroup, or even your small group. Be a giver, not just a receiver and sow into the lives of other moms who need your love. This simple act of kindness will be reciprocated back into your life. Finally, pray that the Lord would send you a mom tribe because He already knows what you need.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Take a time out
In scripture we oftentimes see Jesus remove himself from the crowds and even His disciples to spend time with His father.
“Jesus went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23
I have had to take several timeouts during this time of quarantine so that my six-year-old and I could be productive during Mommy School. In all seriousness, we as moms try to do it all and that only leads to frustration and resentment. Jesus is our greatest example and if he had to get away and spend time with the Father then so do we. Throughout the day we are continuously on the go and for me, even during nap time, my mind is already on the next task. How can I sustain as a mom if I am not being filled up with something other than coffee? I can’t. That is why my time in prayer and reading the Bible is critical to my ability to function in the way that He has called me.
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38
I need that living water that is constantly flowing, watering, and replenishing my soul. Jesus needed that connection as well which is why He was intentional about spending time with his Father.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12
Spend time with your Heavenly Father he wants to fill you so that you can nurture and love your children. So mama go find your timeout corner and sit still, pray, read, reflect, and listen.
Mama, the Lord sees you and He loves you. It is not always easy and if you’re like me then sometimes you just want to hit the redo button but be encouraged. He is there during the good, frustrating, bad, disappointing, happy and trying times. Our children are gifts from the Lord (Psalm 127:3) and we have the privilege of being their moms. Show yourself some grace and keep putting one foot in front of the other.