“Having children requires a change of mind-set from me to we.” is a classic line from the book Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo.
I totally agree! Though I would argue that we begins with marriage itself–at least it did with me, for I had a LOT of selfishness to overcome–still do, some days. We take a few baby steps to we when we get married, I think….then we jump wholly into we with children. As they write, God uses our children as vessels to shape our character and bring us closer to Him.
No truer words have been written.
I remember when Noah was first born. I had so much to learn about babies….about raising children. So I read voraciously. I soaked up wisdom from Elisabeth Elliot, Stormie O’ Martian and Lisa Whelchel–to name a few. I really wasn’t much of a Dobson reader, though I have the books, still unread, on my bookshelf. I needed and wanted to read from women like me, who had been where I was.
Not only that, I learned from the godly women and mothers, whom God had lovingly placed in my life–Melisa, Sandy, Ruby, Martha, Rhonda, Terri, Gail, Jody and so many more. We did Bible study, prayer and mom play-groups together. Some days I failed miserably. I felt like I was gingerly walking through a china shop, as I raised Noah and then Kylie. I was so very careful–probably TOO careful. Then Tabor came along. Then Sydney. And by that time, I was too tired and overwhelmed to really continue in the same vein. I loosened up a bit in my parenting style.
As I read Mothering from Scratch, the one thing that stands out to me–as I read it now with eyes of the new mother I was–is PERMISSION to do things differently.
I wish I had had that sort of permission.
I wish someone had noticed how uptight I was and told me to chill out!
As we mother, sometimes, we feel like we are under a microscope and critical eye when we are around others–and truly? Sometimes, we really ARE! But I wish a sweet Melinda and Kathy had come along to say, “Hey! It’s okay to do this differently. It’s ok to not follow the latest trends and to just follow what God has placed on your heart to do to raise your child.”
In the book, my very favorite part is that Melinda and Kathy constantly point moms to spend time with Jesus and His Word. They write, “Mothering is a ministry. And Jesus never sent out His children to minister alone.” He comes with us! And He daily renews us, forgives us and teaches us. Oh to grace! How great a Savior!
Another part I loved was a quote they shared from my friend, Tammie Head. It is OF UTTER IMPORTANCE, especially, if you are like me and you struggle with an inner voice of self-condemnation.
Tammie writes that we can refute the voices in our head, by saying this: “You know what? That is not my God. The way I’m feeling is not my God. That’s not God’s voice in my heart. That’s not the way my God thinks toward me. That is not what my God would say to me. My God doesn’t feel that way about me.”
Then, as moms, we can dig into Scripture and read for ourselves what God DOES say and think and speak to/towards us.
Truth wins every time.
I cannot say that, as a mom, I have discovered the key to raising perfect children or even the key to being a perfect mom. I’m not. They aren’t. But I always fall back on a truth of God in my own life, which sets me free every single day. Even when I mess up, God is still very much FOR THEM and teaching them Himself in His own perfect way. He is still bridging the gap every single day to my parenting and to Chris’. Our kids will be alright. They will walk in the calling God has placed on their lives. And they, too, will fall and fail–like me. But they will fall on the grace and mercy of a God, who LOVES them unconditionally. And for that? Well, for that I am grateful and I can rest.
Be Blessed Friends! And take heart…
If you would like a FREE COPY of Kathy and Melinda’s book, Mothering from Scratch, please leave a comment, sharing your biggest life-lesson from mothering. On Tuesday morning, I will draw one name and send it to you!