Being a momma is quite an adventure. Usually I have one goal with mommy friends; to convince you that you are probably a better parent than I am. There is just so much pressure on mommas to do EVERYTHING perfectly, parenting blogs aren’t particularly helpful in this. In our quiet moments as moms, we look on Pinterest and see a list of everything we aren’t doing for our family. Crap, a family night is supposed to contain party favors and a banquet table for my kids with labeled appetizers?!?!? Every time I see a list of 20 things you can do with your kids, I think, ‘bite me, I did 2 things with my kids today and I am tuckered out.’ I think most moms I know fall asleep at night with one worry, “I screwed up today. I failed my kids in such and such ways.” So if you chat with me about being a Mom, I can probably list off to you the many reasons I am convinced my kids will be in therapy most of their precious lives. Oh you said something mean to your kid, guess what, I told my tender hearted girl that all of her friends were nicer than her. WHO SAYS THAT!??!? Me, in a desperate tired moment, full of sin, with confession and apologies and hugs and kisses and words of affirmation later.
In the coming paragraphs about what I am learning right now, please don’t read into any word I type a suggestion that the Fieleke’s have it all together. WE DON’T! When other mommas are chatting about how to get their kids to eat healthy food, I am laughing on the inside thinking, ‘Its a good day if my kids don’t put the dog food in their mouths at a friends house’ and ‘lucky charms are a food group at my house’. Judge away, thats what the internet is for, right? 😉
Here is my favorite thing about being a Mom this far. My kids teach me endless lessons about Jesus. This morning I read Jesus’ disciples asking Him who the greatest in the Kingdom was. I can totally see myself asking him that, aiming for performance and perfection. Jesus response was to put a little kiddo on his lap and reply, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
In our house we have some daily mantras, sentences that we have been repeating for years now. One of them is, “no squeezing my boobies, Lydia.” The more helpful ones are, “We share everything we have because Jesus shared everything He had with us” & “How can you serve so and so and put them first right now since Jesus put us first when He died for us.” I guess the first time I said that to them, it was because a problem came up. Kids hate sharing (newsflash, they are born with a sin problem). So I started reading books and blogs about how to get kids to love sharing. To tell you the truth, the answers made me sad. For example, only make them share toys they don’t care about and hide the toys they love during playdates so they don’t have to share the special ones. Or a sesame street video with words, “My favorite thing about sharing with you is that you will share with me next.” I guess it all made sense, until God gently reminded me of the Gospel. He held nothing back, He gave himself for us. He gave up his riches and robed His glory in flesh to live the life of a servant, washing his disciples feet, before He paid the price for their rebellion on the cross. So it was resolved, in our house, we share everything. Every toy is up for grabs. Our girls have never known anything else. When they say, ‘mine’, we remind them it is God’s and He is happy to share with them. Sounds great right?
Then I had to start taking huge doses my own medicine. For years now, I have said 5+ times a day, “We share everything we have because Jesus shares all He has with us.” And the Holy Spirit started melting my dumb adult reasonable mind. I didn’t want to invite students over one night for dinner because our grocery budget is tight. And the Spirit whispered, “I am so rich in kindness and grace that I purchased your freedom with the blood of my son and forgave your sins.” (Ephesians 1:7). I didn’t want to give money from our tax return to the orphanage we love and support because we had a long list of wants. And Jesus spoke, “I shared with you, share with my children.” I ignored Him until the next time I spouted off to the girls, “How can you put sister first since Jesus put us first?” Ohh, you want me to die to myself, Lord, and out of a grateful heart give money that you gave us to an orphan. Makes sense, why didn’t I think of that?
When students and friends are over they hear us chat with the girls about the simplicity of the Gospel and they say, “I left and later I was convicted to put my roommate before myself.” Its just not supposed to be as hard as I make it sometimes, is it? I guess all I have learned about being a momma to these little gifts is that the Holy Spirit lives in me and will continue making me more like Jesus, if I cooperate, until the day I meet Him face to face.
Today I just have a grateful heart and wanted to share. For me, the Gospel changes everything.
That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served – and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage. Matthew 20:28
ps. keep checking the blog because in a few days, Josh will post a video about a recent trip to Asia and him spending the day with the baby we support and pray for at the orphanage we support. Get excited!!!