Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The "Motherhood" Bar is Set High...

Nobody ever said motherhood would be easy. In fact, I think it is the most rewarding, yet hardest thing I have ever done in my life. And I'm not talking about the birthing process either.

Yes, being pregnant and going through labor are never easy tasks, but sometimes I think I would rather be taking deep breathes and pushing for life, then deal with some of the day to day tasks of motherhood.

First there is the "June Cleaver" standard that I will NEVER live up to. My house will not always be clean, the laundry will not be caught up and I'm afraid we don't have a home cooked meal at the dinner table every night. Not going to happen in today's world. Not with our busy schedules.

Second, I can NEVER live up to the "Mary, mother of Jesus" standard, because frankly I am too selfish. We recently watched "The Passion" with our kids. Every time I watch that movie, my heart weeps for Mary. Watching her watch her son fulfill His purpose at ALL COSTS, leaves sickening butterflies in the pit of my stomach. As a mom we want our kids to grow up and be the best they can be. As a Christian mom, I desire for my kids to be all they can be for Christ. The question is, will I be able to let them go unselfishly? No matter what the costs may be? I'm afraid my mommy heart is so very selfish at times.

Third, I can't always live up to the standards that I have told my own daughter to aim for. In turn the "bar" she has set for me is VERY HIGH, VERY COSTLY and on some days, I'm really not sure if I can live up to it. Me being all imperfect and weak sometimes.

I know you are probably wondering why all of a sudden I'm so somber. As you know I have had to deal with several issues lately with my daughter and the mess that surrounds the middle school age. It leaves me thinking and praying A LOT. She is doing alright today. She is dealing with what comes her way, when it comes. She is one strong cookie, and I am so very proud.

However, in the middle of all the "mean girl" talk, school frustrations and how to act and respond, there is A LOT OF TALKING about EVERYTHING. Everything is not always an easy subject for mom. In fact, some days it is down right impossible to make sense of it all. Some days I feel the pressure looming, the bar rising and my heart sinking. Truth is, how can I expect my kid to act and be a certain way, if I am not willing to walk that way myself. In other words I have plenty of guilt sometimes. Plenty. Every day I have to throw my hands up and thank the Lord for His GRACE.

This past weekend something happened around here that was questionable. I prefer not to tell details, people involved, etc... because there are people in my little town that do read my blog from time to time. In other words I am not setting out to be judge and jury on anything. I am simply relating how I feel. This particular situation left me confused. My hubby said it best when he said it was "Christian people being WORLDLY." It made us look at certain situations and individuals and "question" everything we thought we knew about them. It made me think A LOT. It also made me feel guilty. Just thinking about it made me feel yucky.

Yesterday, I had a conversation that added to that guilt and made my mommy heart tingle. We were back on the subject of why girls have to be mean sometimes. A normal conversation these days, 'cause Kayla is just trying to understand. In the middle of the conversation, she implied that she had been called "Miss Goody Two Shoes." UGH! I so know where this is going. I have so been there and done that. Poor baby. My daddy was a minister too. There is a reason minister kids can sometimes be the worst, they have a reputation they set out to destroy...

NOBODY likes being called "goody goody." Nobody. It doesn't matter if you are... the phrase has a negative affect on anyone it lands on. It's so sad.

I did my best to once again encourage. I tried my best to not "preach," but listen. I tried. But I thought a lot in between too. And then it was said. The words that pierced my heart and made me feel like a total failure.

"Mom, it is so hard to know what is right and wrong anymore. The world is full of grey. There are a lot of grey people walking around. We are told not to do this and that, when we are young, yet the TV shows we watch, the music we listen to, the gossip being spoken, tells me something else. When the people I love and admire, both young and old, friends and relatives, say they follow Christ yet accept so much of the world as being OK, how do I know what is black and white anymore. I'm confused." (Of course I rephrased an hour conversation, into my own words and a few lines, but you get the meaning.)

OUCH! That bar is so very high...

I have to ask myself, is it alright for me to watch the rated R movie just because I am an adult. Is it alright to watch television shows that make me smile, but make me uncomfortable if my child is in the room. That favorite song on the radio, with the questionable line or word, is it alright for me to listen to it, as long as I don't play it when my kids are in the car? What about that book sitting on the shelf, the one I wouldn't want my little girl to read, but I couldn't put it down until I had read every page? I teach my children to "turn the other cheek," but do I? How many times have I acted one way on Sunday morning, yet found the dirty jokes, gossip tidbits or rumors humorous on Monday morning? It is like we as Christians have said, "If we can't beat them, we will just join them." The lines are so very blurry these days, that I even question what is right and wrong all the time, myself.

OUCH, indeed. My toes were severely stepped on and God used my own daughter to do it.

I guess I will take this one day at a time and try my best to walk carefully. However, I think I should probably not let myself grow so callous of worldly things, that I don't even feel the guilt in certain situations anymore. Lines are being crossed everyday, friends. The only way I will ever reach the bar, is if the Lord pushes me up and opens my eyes to see past it. That has to be my goal. The stakes are too high to not at least aim for that. My baby girl and boy's life depends on it. They depend on me. God gave me these precious people to raise. I need to try my hardest to honor Him in that.

On a happy note, my sweetie pie of a daughter ended our conversation with a smile. She makes me smile anyway... She said this, "Mom, it hurts a little when they called me 'Miss Goody Two Shoes.' But truthfully, they are wrong. I think I am the true rebel at school."

HUH? My mommy heart skipped a beat. Where is she going with this?

"You see, it takes a REBEL to not act like everyone else. It actually takes a REBEL to be 'good' these days."

Thank you, Lord. This girl does my heart good. Let the REBELLION begin. :)


He & Me + 3 said...

That is just awesome and you have a wonderful and strong daughter. She sounds a lot like me when I was her age. It does take a rebel to stand up for what is right in this crazy thing we call our world. Soaking our kids in prayer and teaching them the truths & being there for them is the best thing we can do. They are facing so much. I think there is too much gray out there too...I choose to decide what is black and white for myself with the prodding of the HOly Spirit. Sometimes I don't like it...but I know it is what I am supposed to do.

Kellie said...

Wow, that is deep today. I can understand exactly what you wrote, though. Life is so hard in this world we live in. The best thing we can do is keeping looking to Jesus and ask Him to help us through each day. Glad your daughter is a "rebel WITH a cause." :)

Bridget said...

Wow, you have a very strong, amazing daughter!! :D

Amber said...

Praying for KayBear. And wishing that the craziness of this world would just vanish.

Love you muchly.

Kristin said...

That is wonderful that she already has enough confidence to stand up for what she believes in, no matter what others say. I don't know why girls that age have to be so brutal either.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

What a wonderful way to end that post. It was hard to read, knowing her pain. I was that girl once, too.

We can't preach don't do this and don't do that if we aren't willing to stand by it and not do it ourselves (movies, jokes, tv, books, ect.) They can sniff a hypocrit a mile away.

I have had to change a lot of things because of this. The Holy Spirit uses my children constantly to refine me and make sure I'm practicing what I preach.

Thank you for your prayers for Andrew. He is doing so great! I hope Sawyer is doing good too.

Anonymous said...

We are so busy, too! I can almost see the bottom of my laundry room floor! However,I have decided that some of the most meaningful conversations happen enroute to. . . everyday life! One of my sons is dealing with mean people right now - and I told him it is a one day at a time thing. Sometimes God lets us walk through things to prepare us for later. And, sometimes, we have to step in. I love how your daughter defined "rebel" - And, as moms, we make the best choices one day at a time, guided by the Holy Spirit. That's all God really calls us to do. It's just hard walking through ugly!I think you had an awesome mom moment with your daughter!

Joyeful said...

What an awesome post, Mich!! It makes me really stop and think about the years ahead of us. It even starts now, while they are so young--they watch us so closely to see if we live the way we expect them to. Thank God for His grace and for His strength--He knows I need it.

I love what your daughter said about being the rebel. We are called to be rebels! Rebels for Jesus! Rebels for righteousness.