Take in a big sigh of relief today. Relax for one moment (if only to simply read this). Now I am fully aware that you rarely get a moment to sigh, or relax, or even breathe for that matter (at least I'm sure it feels that way). But please just try for a minute...or two.
Even if you aren't able to take a moment to yourself, I am fully aware that because you are a mom, you will be able to read this while additionally changing a diaper, preparing a meal, running an errand (please don't read this while you're driving:), running a business, and lecturing one of your kids who has just broken one of your wedding plates (still to this day the most devastated I've ever seen my mom)...all at the same time. Yep, that's right! You can do all of these things at the same time because you are the epitome of multi-tasking. You do a phenomenal job at it!
In the hustle and bustle of being a mom, I can imagine (I can only imagine because I am not a mom, nor will I ever be a mom) that you feel a lot of pressure, all the time. I can objectively say that you have the hardest job on the planet. I say "objectively" because I have two difficult jobs as well (church planting pastor and dad). But to me, they pale on the comparison scale.
This pressure you feel has probably taken it's toll at various times over the course of the past year. I'm sure you have felt defeated, deflated, depressed, despair, downtrodden, downcast, disappointed and all of the other "d" words that have negative connotations. You've probably felt like a failure much more than you've felt like a success. Reason I know is because I live with a mom; the mother of my children - my wife. I see it in her face so often. She knows and wears that failure all too well. And it pains me to see. In fact, tears flow as I think and write in this moment.
This mommy failure manifests itself in so many dark and dreadful ways but mostly in feelings of disappointment: Disappointment that you aren't living up to the standard that you feel internally or see externally. Disappointment that you aren't doing a better job balancing everything else in your life. Disappointment that you aren't more on top of things. Disappointment that you can't go back in the past and do things differently. Disappointment that you let another year pass and didn't do the thing you said you would do. Disappointment that you lose your cool more than you keep it.
Disappointment is a massive burden to carry. It is rooted in a discontented and unsatisfied heart that questions the Sovereignty and goodness of a loving God. Disappointment is paralyzing!
I think we can all agree that you, mom, need some hope today.
Can I first tell you how your kids would describe you if they were remarkable orators and articulators?
"Her children rise up and call her blessed;" Proverbs 31:28a
Your children, in all of their whining and tantrum-ing and rebelling actually love you and actually see you as a blessing. This verse is better translated as this: "Her children affirm that she is a massive blessing to them!" You are a massive blessing to your children, whether or not they even see it. Why? Because God sees it AND He says it. He sees and says that there is a strong possibility your kids will affirm your awesomeness! And I'm sure you've witnessed this through so many hugs, kisses, I-love-you's, and tender moments.
But here's the truth. There will be days that you actually let your children down and they won't see you as a blessing, and they may even rise up and call you a disappointment.
What does this reveal? That you need more than your children's affirmation. Your children are sinners and aren't going to see you as the blessing you are, mom. They are going to miss it. When they do, this has the potential to feed into your disappointment and lead you into despair, believing all of the lies that you are already prone to believe about your motherhood.
As you know, your children's feelings are fleeting. So is there affirmation of you. But God, He operates differently. If you are a follower of Jesus, a blood-bought saint, an adopted daughter, a sinner saved by grace, then God always rises up and calls you blessed!!! Consider these words:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places," Ephesians 1:3
EVERY. SINGLE. SPIRITUAL. BLESSING. IS yours! Because of Christ. Everything that you need is what you already have in Christ: forgiveness, adoption, grace, mercy, righteousness, love, and acceptance. Because of Christ, God only sees you as successful! You will never be marked by failure or disappointment by God because Christ took all of your failure and disappointment to the cross, on your behalf.
Today, more important than even your children rising up and calling you blessed, is for you to know that the God of the universe rises up and calls you blessed.
This is who you are, mom! Happy Mother's Day!