“There is no such thing as a perfect parent so just be a real one.”
One way to describe a mother is one who is perfectly imperfect. Uniquely designed by our Heavenly Father, each mother has a very special role in the lives of her children, in the lives of those in her home, and in the lives of those in society. All the little lessons built up over time shape the next generation of this world; what a thought! This calling is as aspiring as it is cumbersome, and can I tell you that “mom guilt” is a real thing?
Earlier today, my littlest love ran up, and as she often does, wrapped her little four-year-old arms around me, lay on my lap and declared, “I lumm you Mom!” to which I replied, “I lumm you too Sissy. So, so very much!” I kissed her forehead, wrapped her in my arms tightly, and began to tickle her back (which is her favorite).
There are rarely moments that can make your heart soar more than these. They are glimpses of the love our Heavenly Father has for us, bottled up and committed to memory. It was so beautiful that I wanted to get it onto paper right away so that I would never forget that feeling and the precious moment we shared.
Unfortunately, not all days are like this one. Not all moments are those we want to bottle up and store in our treasury of sweet memories. Some days are hard and some moments are those we wish to leave as quickly as they arrived. Some days there are no moments of “I lumm you’s” and instead they are replaced with moments of anger, hurt, or frustration. We say things we regret, and we do things we wish we could undo. We are perfectly imperfect mothers. Our role in loving our little ones is a vital, heavenly calling, but I believe we often forget it is not one that we are called to walk on our own.
For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock?
God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
2 Samuel 22:32-34 NLT
Just as David understood who upheld him and who was perfect in all things, we must often be reminded of the same thing. Women, we are not perfect, and we were not created to be. Let that weight free you in some way. Imperfection will forever plague us as the human race as it serves as a tool to point us to a perfect Creator. It ought to show us our need for Someone greater than ourselves. Therefore, if we cannot be perfect, let us be transparent with our children.
Yesterday was a really hard day for me. I yelled more than I would like to admit. I said things I shouldn’t have said and apologized to my kids at least four times. I was a horrible example of Christ’s love. I blew it, completely blew it. I prayed to God, “Lord, you know the wickedness in my heart. That which I don’t want to do I do, that which I want to do I don’t do. I’m not sure why I keep failing in this area, but You know and You promise to uphold me. You promise to complete Your work in me. Forgive me, and please give me a new tomorrow.” I would like to say that these conversations between the Lord and I are rare, but they are actually very frequent. Thankfully, in my weakness is where He is able to be the One who is strong:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
After I asked for forgiveness from the Lord, I went to my kids and apologized to them. They are always so quick to forgive me, and there is an entirely different lesson in that for another time.
However, I began to ponder over this idea of perfection. I began to think about why do we constantly strive for perfection as women and as mothers? Why are we so afraid to be transparent and vulnerable with our children or with our friends? Why are we often afraid to be transparent and vulnerable with the Lord, the only perfect One who can fill in the gaps of where we are weakest?
These are heavy questions, many of which I have asked myself many times. Often I come to the conclusion that it is my own pride. I think the enemy uses this tactic because he wants us to feel like solitary islands, thinking we are the only one who struggles with this issue or that issue. Yet, as Christian women, we need to be able to distinguish God’s truth from the enemy’s lies, and that can only come through knowing God’s Word in our hearts.
God answered that prayer I prayed, the one for a new day. The next day was the one where I bottled up the “I lumm you’s,” the sweet hugs and kisses, the tickles and the smiles. The next day was redeemed by the Perfect Father who created me in His love. His mercy, forgiveness, and strength renewed my soul so that I could face another day as the imperfect mother that I am.
I am daily reminded of my imperfection, but that is the beauty of the gospel. My imperfection makes my redemption all that much more beautiful. My imperfection is what makes His forgiveness so much more real.
Perhaps you are a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a sister, or a friend. No matter your season or ultimate calling, your perfection is found in Christ. Let Him strengthen you, uphold you, and whisper “I lumm you’s” as you spend time seeking Him.
By: Sarah Russler