To mamas with children:
Please do NOT say to a woman who has no children yet but is struggling and wishes she was a mom, "You wouldn't understand what it's like to be a mom".
Please. Don't say that.
To pregnant mamas or mamas of only one child currently in the babe stage:
If you have not had to deal with discipline issues or really ANY independence issues whatsoever, and you have an idealistic view of parenting, do NOT say to a mom with multiple children, "I wouldn't do that. That's not the right way to do ____fill in the blank_____".
Please. Don't say that.
Every mama everywhere is changed by her own experiences raising children. We all have, and will continue, to make at least 102,687 mistakes in mothering. Every single day, I learn. Every single day, I make mistakes that make me a better mom tomorrow. I am a different woman and a different mom now than I was 5.5 years ago. hallelujah. And I will be different 5.5 years from now. HALLELUJAH!!! Can I hear an "Amen", sisters??!!
Boy, do I remember -
-seeing a child have a meltdown in the grocery store and having contempt for the mother that "can't control her child". Contempt. Oh, to be able to go hug that mama now and apologize for my attitude.
-puffing up my chest and thinking, "my child will never eat food from a jar!" Humph! (That's just hilarious now that I even ever thought that...)
-feeling secretly proud that MY child didn't watch videos like so-and-so's kids... at 1 year old she sits and looks at books quietly alone for hours on end. It must be because I don't show her videos... her little mind hasn't been tarnished. (little did I know, this behavior was NOT normal! This is a personality trait! My little second born was um.... NOT so easily amused!! Although, now that I think of it, by then, I WAS doing the unthinkable and allowing this mind tarnishing... so I could take a SHOWER. hmmm....)
-Complaining to a dear friend that I was going to have to bring my 6week old baby on a plane for a wedding, how much of a pain that was going to be... when she was going to the wedding, too... wishing, hoping, wanting a babe in her arms to show off...
Oh, the grief we can sow with our tongue.
And where does this tongue-lashing originate? Love? Uh, no. For me, it's pride. Or jealousy. It's icky, even to speak it. But my heart is filled with pride. I am beating it down constantly.
This is an excerpt from my pastor, John Piper's sermon last Sunday:
So the lesson for us is: Everywhere you see some growth, some virtue, some, spiritual discipline, some good habit, or good attitude, rejoice in it. Give thanks for it. Compliment it. Don’t resent it. Don’t be like Cain. Respond the opposite from Cain. Be inspired by other people’s goodness. Love is humble. Love delights in other people’s good. Love doesn’t protect its flaws. Love takes steps to change them. What a beautiful fellowship where everyone is rejoicing in each other’s strengths not resenting them!
The sentence in there that brings me to my knees is "Love doesn't protect its flaws". We need to be open and vulnerable with each other. Don't hide your flaws, mamas. Let's be real with each other so as to bring each other up. Let's be real with each other, excited for each other's virtues, growth, and habits that we wish we had.
And how do we do this, my bloggy friends? When the sin of pride is at our very core? We pray for the touch of the Holy Spirit to be on us, and for His love to flourish within our hearts.
Wow, who knew my rules of grace would get so serious! Should I change the title?