Notches in My Mothering Badge

Just the other day…I overheard my middle child say to her older sister, “sometimes I wish we didn’t have a mom”. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach right where I was standing. The night before, we had let our older girls watch the beginning of the movie, “Mars Needs Moms”, against our better judgment. My husband had quickly looked at the reviews and had come to the conclusion that it had a positive message. In the end, it does have a good message, but getting to the end is the problem, as the entire movie is pretty scary for little ones. We turned it off about a quarter of the way through. Anyways, the above sentiment quoted by my sweet five year old was a direct result of watching that movie. Note to self: check movie reviews better in the future. Lesson learned.

But, for a moment, let’s get back to that statement…”sometimes I wish we didn’t have a mom”. She said it right after I had taken computer privileges away from her older sister for disobeying. She just turned five years old, people. I get it. Yet, it still stung to hear those words. I may or may not have cried for a whole ten minutes…because, well, she’s just never said anything like that before. Ever. In those moments though, I began to think of my own mom and how many times I didn’t say those exact words, but I certainly felt them.

I remember one time when I was a teenager, I was intent on being particularly bad. I was actually planning my rebellion on the phone with my friend. Little did I know, Mom's intuition the Holy Spirit had gently nudged my mom and she was listening in on my conversation from another phone in the house (something she never did, by the way).  As I voiced what I was going to do, she promptly said, “Oh, no you’re not!” in a very stern voice. I wanted to crawl in a hole. And you can be quite sure that I was “wishing I didn’t have a mother” at that moment!

Can I just say…thank the Lord for a mom who listened to Him?!!!

Do you know how much trouble that woman kept me from all because she walked with the Lord (and still does)?! Oh no, I didn’t like it back then. I slammed many a door in response to her “ruining my fun”! I cried many overdramatic tears. However, you can be sure, I love her for it now. Oh, how I love her!

Needless to say, after recovering from the sting of my five year old’s words, I realized I didn’t need to feel sad. I needed to feel honored. I had just earned a notch in my mothering badge, one of many I hope to collect.

Being a good mom does not mean I need to try to be my child’s best friend so that I can “feel” her love or hear her sing my praises at all times. That makes our relationship about me (selfish) and not about her at all. No, being a good mom means I’m going to take the higher road of loving at all costs, even if that means temporary pain and discomfort for my child. Why? Because I know that the end result will be a well-rounded adult who understands a healthy balance between justice and grace…and a whole lot about what true love is and what it isn’t.

But furthermore, it means I do the main thing first. I stay close to the Lord. I walk with Him. I lean on Him and ask Him to show me how to mother these precious gifts of mine every step of the way. Oh, He knows I’m faaaarrrr from perfect. He sees the times I’ve already messed up. But I have to believe and I have to trust that as I keep Him first, this journey through motherhood is not only going to work out, it’s going to garner some beautiful results in the end.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
For His glory,