When I started blogging I debated about “how real” I wanted to get and how much of my life I wanted to reveal. In the end, I decided that no matter what I wrote I was going to write with one purpose… to encourage.
I am not perfect. My kids are not perfect. My husband is not perfect. Our family and our life are far from it. But the one thing that I am determined to be is a woman who chooses to see hope and to speak encouragement to others.
Do I mess up? Absolutely. Do I say things I regret? Yes. Do I act out in ways that I shouldn’t? Every day. I mess up. I pray. I try again. I stumble. I fall short. But I don’t give up. I refuse to give in to self-pity and hopelessness. I refuse to be overwhelmed by circumstances. Yes, I may fall, but I refuse to stay down. I may not get it right today, but I am going to try it again tomorrow. Why? Because I have children who are watching every move I make.
I have children who hear me talk about the Lord and read them the Bible, and hear thank the Lord throughout the day. I have children who see me singing worship songs to the Lord and on occasion see me dance for Him. They see me write about the Lord and hear me talk about Him on the phone. All this sounds like your poster for the Christian mom, right? But here is the side to the “Christian mom” that often only my children see…
They see me get angry when things don’t go my way. They hear me yell. They see me overwhelmed and frustrated, discouraged and down. They see me cry and hear me pour out my heart. They see me stumble and they watch me fall. And you know what? I am convinced that they need to. I am convinced that our children need to see me stumble and watch me fall. It is when I fall that by watching me, they can learn how I get back up.
In fact, the greatest way to teach a child is by example. If I want our children to apologize when they act out, I must apologize when I act out. If we want them to make a conscious choice to change a bad attitude, I must make a conscious choice to change my own bad attitude- and letting them know I am doing so. If I want them to turn to the Lord during the hard times, then that is where they must see me turn when I am having a hard time.
They need to see the tears. They need to hear the prayers. They need to know what it looks like to “do” things right and know what it looks like to “make” things right.
I thank God, my Heavenly Father, for His Word and for sending Jesus to show me how to do and make things right. I thank God that He has placed His Spirit in my heart, empowering me and leading me to overcome my own failures. I thank God, that through the process of parenting, He has taught me more about His love for me and my purpose than I could have ever known, including the importance of leading by example.
I pray that as I continue this blog, my transparency in my own failures will comfort other moms and dads out there like me, who need encouragement and reassurance in their own failures. We are not perfect and we do not need to be ashamed to say so. We don’t have to be afraid of being real. Through moments of weakness, our strength is revealed and God can work all our imperfections according to His perfect plans if we allow Him to. Will you? That is what matters most.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11