What makes us better mothers?
Do you homeschool or send your kids to school?
Do you cloth diaper, use disposables or both?
Do you breastfeed, bottle feed or both?
Do you home birth, hospital birth or done both?
Do you natural birth, use epidurals, or done both?
Do you cook with whole foods or open up a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese?
Do you home church or are a member of mega church?
Do you wear a head covering, long skirts or have short hair and wear trendy clothes?
Do you do attachment parenting or let your babies cry to sleep?
Do you have 2 children or 20?
Do you use birth control or not?
Do you live on your own land/farm or do you live in a small apartment?
Do you work or stay home with the kids?
Do you immunize or never dare to inject your child?
I am going to be very transparent and open with you all. I don't know if it's just hormones but what I have swimming in my heart and mind lately needs to come out. So this is the case for my posting this side of me. I know we can go from blog to blog like we might go from home to home, everyone has different lives and different family chemistry. I am still on my search in finding out who I'm suppose to be in this world. Yes, I am called to be a wife, a mother, and a woman of God...I know this. But I look at my life and wonder "Lord, who am I?"
Okay-- prepare yourselves for this LOL.... :) When growing up, I was the sort of teen that fit in everywhere and with all types of people. The cool preps, the punk rockers, the skateboarding crowd, the cheerleaders, the partiers, the head bangers, the smart nerd types,.....etc... . I was a "watcher" of people. I would sit back and look at others and think "wow, they have a happy life." or "They are pretty, talented, and the most popular. Maybe if I do what she is doing then maybe I might get all the boys to like me." :) and as I grew up and became a Christian, I would do this in church. Thinking, "Well....they seem godly and happy and have friendships with the leaders in church....hmmmm.....maybe I need to be like them?" You get my drift? I wasn't going to the Lord for my identity, but I was going out.....I was looking outside to find my identity. I know really sad. :(
Soooo, when I became a mother, I found myself falling into the same pattern. I would look "out" because I knew there were some success somewhere and I wanted to be the "best mom" around. I wanted to show the world that I was a good mom. All in the name of the Lord, I wanted to do all that might look "righteous" to those around me. Ouch!! I know....Please bare with me. I can't believe I am even sharing this with you all.
I will share some personal examples of how I thought if I "followed" certain trends or ways of life it would make me "feel" like a better mother in the eyes of the world or church. Yes, I would end up following others way of life and then thinking that "this was it!!" This is the way ALL moms should be like. This was "true mothering"! Unfortunately it caused a bit of judgement to come out on my side towards those not like me or feelings of being judged if I decided to do the opposite. What torment to feel this way. Anyway, here are some examples of what I have gone through or thoughts I've had.
I had been through a whole foods, natural eating kick and I would think that if I didn't feed my family the "perfect food" it would make them sick and God forbid...I don't want to look like I feed my kids Captain Crunch in the mornings. GOD FORBID!! LOL I still find myself on the cereal isle looking left to right hoping none of the healthy moms I know aren't in the same store because who knows what she will think of me. She might think I'm not a good mother and how dare I feed my children this junk or even worse---Ramen Noodles!! You know what I mean...don't say you don't know? :) LOL
Or what if I do give my children vaccines? Does this mean I am poisoning my children? Or what about homeschooling, what if God called me to put them in school?? Oh, God NO, NO, NO---not public school, anything but that! Only the "lost" go there or the parents that don't care for their kids. I need to sacrifice and prove that I can do it ALL!! Barf-A-Roni! I know horrible thinking, but really, I would think these thoughts. Remember I'm exposing my dirty laundry (my whole life of dirty laundry LOL) My thinking now is (after the convictions of the Lord---ouch it hurt, let me tell ya!!) Yeah, I'm a homeschooling mom, but this doesn't make me any better than if I decided to send them to public school and it doesn't mean I have backslid. (Oh and if your are wondering--no we are not putting the children in school)
How about the family who chooses to have two or four children and not 8, 10, 20? Ohhhhhh......brace yourselves--AGAIN! Are those moms being selfish and not giving all "control" to the Lord? Maybe? Maybe not? Who's to say that the mother of two is not doing God's will for her life? Or that she is selfish? Why should we judge?!!
Or, what about birthing? Does home birthing or using no meds prove I am a TRUE WOMAN? I have arrived! I Birthed WITH NO medications so I am THE WOMAN! Where is my button saying I am a Natural Home Birth Mama! LOL :D Quick I need to pin it on so EVERYONE knows I did it!! How about cloth diapering? Maybe if I diaper my baby with cloth then I am doing good for him. (I have started cloth diapering again after laying it down for a couple of years--she still wears disposable at night and when I don't feel like dealing with washing dipes. LOL! Freedom!)
What about the working mom?? How dare I look down on her or even think negative thoughts of why she is working. I have no clue and I don't need to be concerned or judge her for working outside the home.
Then there is the breastfeeding condemnation we might face. These are true thoughts that many mothers might struggle with and beat themselves up about if they are not successfully nursing their babies. Tears come pouring down the faces of mothers thinking they are not good enough to feed their little newborns; thinking they are not doing their job as a "nurturing" nursing mother. These thoughts beat mothers up!! I tell those moms "It doesn't matter HOW you feed your baby. This doesn't mean you don't love them or aren't caring for them. It is ok to give them formula. You are no less of a mother than the one who nurses her baby till he's 2. Enjoy being different than the norm, rejoice and know that you are your baby's mama and this little one loves YOU not what he eats!!" :)
Ok....ready for another? Watching entertainment? What if some moms let their kids watch to much tv? Does this make a family irresponsible and not good parents? We don't know what season of life they are in or why they chose to let their kids watch certain movies or not watch TV at all. If we don't watch TV or movies does this make us better? Of course not!!
I hope I didn't offend anyone of my readers. I am just sharing some ugliness that the Lord has exposed in me. It is truly an ugly heart of judgment I may have put on others for not doing certain things, certain ways. You know sometimes I feel like I can be such an ugly person inside. I have been crying out to the Lord to show me His love. What it means to Love in His way. He revealed alot of it through things in my own life. Like I said there have been seasons in my life that I had been so radical about and thought everyone needed to do it like ME!! But God showed me that everyone and every family is different. Some have different callings in their lives. Some might be going through a season in life that no one understands why. Some might have been directed by the Lord to follow a certain way of life. Some might just be slow to understand the Lord's direction in their life. I have learned that my only reaction and thought to anyone or any family must be LOVE! Pure Love!! This is all they need from me is Love. Not my opinion or advice as to what they should or should not do. I need to support them in the God kind of Love.
Judgemental thoughts is such an ugly thing. I have learned through my own life that I would actually judge others and then realize a few years later.....I am on the other side. I am now like the one I judged. Ouch!! But what a lesson learned! Jesus continues to show me and convict me in ugliness of heart and I weep in sadness knowing that I would think this way. This scripture has brought such light to me and it is a scary thing to be a judge, even if you don't realize you are doing it. I didn't realize I was doing it!! I thought I was giving my opinion on the matter or thinking about what they should do. Not realizing it was not my business unless they asked, and even still....I need to encourage them to seek the Lord for answers, not man!
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
I am coming to understand LOVE in a new way. I am still learning and the Lord is showing me everyday how to LOVE in His way. Not a judgmental love or thinking I have all the answers for the person, but to show them to seek Him for the answers and He will teach them all they need to know and who they are to become. EVERYTHING!! Even if the world, church, peer groups, homeschool groups, etc think they are nuts they need to do it because the Lord told them to.
The Lord loves His children just the same, no matter what state in life we may be in. He delights in our love for Him. Not everyone is a clone and not all need to be the same, even though God still sees us all the same. I remember having a vision of heaven.....I was in a beautiful field of little yellow flowers. This field was miles and miles in size. It was huge! It was beautiful! I remember looking at one of the flowers and seeing my face in it and the Lord said "These represent my children on earth. I see them all the same. There are none who are more prettier, more successful, or different. They are all the same to Me." And He treasured this field.....it was right next to the throne room of the Lord. It was truly beautiful!
He is waiting for us to come to Him with open arms and not to follow those things that we think might make us better mothers or women of God, but be led completely by Him in what He wants us to do. You just might be surprised on what he wants you to do. Things you thought might be the so called "right thing" to do in the eyes of the world or church and realize He is leading you to sacrife your Isaac. Yikes!! But what lessons you will learn. There is truly a freedom when we surrender our own will to the Lord!!
With His kind of LOVE,
PS: I encourage you to read the comments posted thus far. I have added a response to one of my readers. Interesting stuff..... Feel free to join in the discussion. :) We are all growing and learning together.