I’ve noticed a trend among mothers…those who aim for aspirational motherhood and the mothers who embrace the “hot mess” mom persona.
Our greatest aspirations never seem to measure up to the perfection our hearts desire. Scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram, we can quickly spiral into depression feeling like we can never measure up to the perfection that surrounds us on every side. Home cooked meals, clean and beautifully decorated homes, perfect bodies, and impeccable make up all cause me to wonder if this is real. Have I really fallen so short of the mark I aim for?
On the other hand, if you’re anything like me, you wonder if the “hot mess” mom has really understood the seriousness of the eternal calling in motherhood. She complains about lack of sleep, laughs at her excitement to leave the kids at school, embraces unhealthy relationships with food, and jokes about substance abuse getting her through parenthood. At the end of her stories and jokes, I catch myself wondering if this all there is to hope for.
Could it be in the wide expanse between these two, a Christian mom finds the path of peace as a believer?
It doesn’t take much observation to find that every day I miss the mark. I usually struggle with selflessness when I’m asked to do so much, I fail to point my children to Christ when they ask questions, and I often struggle with impatience toward my husband and children. The feeling I get when I think I am falling short is because God’s law is written on my heart (Romans 2:14-15). Deep down I know I am missing the mark that I am called to (Romans 3:23).
There are two ways I can approach this feeling of failure. I can tell myself, “It’s okay, everyone misses the mark. I’m enough. I am everything my children need”, or I can preach the Gospel to myself, “His grace is sufficient for my failures, His strength shows when I am my weakest” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Telling myself, even if I fail these children He has given me, He is sovereign to save them. It is okay to long for the completeness that is not yet..the perfection of what is to be.
Rather than looking at ourselves and into our circumstances, He invites us to look up. Look up from others around us and look to what He has done, is doing, and will do both in our lives and for eternity.
Look up from the brokenness of our homes, our children, and our lives, and look to the Healer who knows how it ends. Look up to the One who is sanctifying us as His own vessel for His own beautiful use. Look up in gratitude for the tiny moments of beauty He has already put into our lives. And look up, for the rest He has in store for us in who He is. We don’t have to be enough when we look up and see He is already enough for us.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9