Monday, May 11, 2015

A Post-Mother's Day Reflection

Super-mom forgot to supervise.

Did you ever imagine motherhood would be a ride like THIS?

I always wanted to be a mom. I’m just not always the mom I wanted to be.

Here’s a little confession: I actually remember telling someone I wanted to be a supermom. I know…

But somehow confessing, recounting, and laughing about it redeems the weirdness.

The supermom I wanted to be drove a minivan. She had long hair that didn’t tangle when she drove with the windows open. She sewed adorable dresses from 4-H patterns as her daughters quietly played nearby her purring Singer.

I imagined I’d be pretty crafty too. When Kurt and I were huffing and puffing our way through Lamaze classes the teacher asked the class, “What are you most looking forward to about having children?” My inner crafty-mom spoke up--out loud in class--and said, “I’m looking forward to helping my kids make play-dough.” That's what I was most looking forward to.

Wish I was kidding.

I imagined taking every opportunity to teach my children all the things I wished I’d learned early in life. Including Spanish.

And in the evenings I planned to sweetly lead my children in bedside prayers. I’d gracefully teach them about the Love of Jesus and use those “hard moments” as “teachable moments.” I’d harness the power of music to help them hide scriptures in their hearts.

And then I became a mom.

A locking steel tool box is a good fort.

I tried to be the mom I wanted to be, but things have rarely gone according to plan.

I wrecked the minivan three times. Yes, thrice. For the record, the Chevy Venture didn’t handle so well in snow. Its one redeeming feature was the unobstructed aisle down the middle that gave me a straight shot from the front seat to the back to catch puke in a bucket on a road trip.

My long hair tangled in the wind, so I cut it short, and so far none of my sons has asked for any homemade article of clothing.

These days when I’m feeling crafty, I toss my boys a hot glue gun and send them out to the gravel driveway with the instruction, “Find an extension cord. Have a good afternoon.”

I once bought a Barney video in Spanish, but eventually passed it along to a friend whose children actually spoke Spanish. I’m still holding onto hope our Spanish Barney days provided an advantage if they ever try to become fluent. 

I used “hard moments”--make that “hard seasons”--as opportunities to model all sorts of apologies. 

I did harness the power of music to imprint Scripture on their hearts thanks to Steve Green and his Hide ‘em in Your Heart CDs. But the verse they’ve quoted back to us most often is from the Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want.” 

The weird thing is that when it comes to motherhood, childhood or life in general, the Rolling Stones got it mostly right: 

You can’t always get what you want,
but if you try sometimes,
you just might find,
you get what you need.
The writer of Proverbs, however, put it more succinctly: Many are the plans in a man’s [or woman’s] heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
(Prov. 19:21, NIV)
And that’s a solid truth worth hiding in our hearts. 

We may “plan the work and work the plan”—children quoting verses out the minivan windows in multiple languages in their homespun clothes--but it is the Lord's purposes that prevail. Thank Heaven!

I’m not the mom I always wanted to be, but with time, and by God’s grace and patience, I’m becoming the mom He planned. And so are you.

Happy (late) Mother’s Day, Mom’s. Let's embrace the bumpy ride.


  1. Oh, sister, you spoke to my heart. I'll be back for more, somewhere in the middle of doing the Mom Thing.

    1. So thankful to hear that, Tressa. Hang in there :-)