Mommy List

I have the flu. I have been slowed down over the last couple of days…. and it is killing me! I know I should be grateful for some “down time” but lying on the sofa all day reminds me of when I was on bed rest. And I hated bed rest. I need to be up doing things or I go a little crazy.
On that note, I have been able to check back in to the blog world. A world I have kind of been avoiding lately.
I was researching some ideas for my little diva princess’ birthday party on Pinterest. One click led to another and I was neck deep in the perfect mom’s blog. There are so many of them out there. She was a graphic designer, party planner, caterer, pastor’s wife, quite the decorator, stylish, fit, mom of three and, of coarse, an active blogger. I was hoping her kids were like at least teenagers and she had built this dynasty over ten or fifteen years but they were not. They were preschoolers. Although I was gleaning some fabulous birthday party ideas, I was very nauseous from guilt and comparison. I am not the perfect blog mom.

The guilt reminded me of an exercise I recently completed. Under the advise of someone wise. I compiled a list, on paper, of “what it meant to be a ‘good mom'”. I started with the obvious: “loves her kids, protects her kids”. But as my list went on, I got honest. I started writing down the things I hold no one else to but myself. These things included: “does weekly school lessons, goes on one fun outing a week, has a well decorated house, has a clean/organized house”. These things maybe aren’t too bad but when they are added to the already page-long list, my “list” can start to get ridiculous!

I have many friends who don’t do half of what’s on my list and I consider them to be great moms! I, however, place myself under such a different standard. I would never tell a new mom that she needs to workout, have a clean house, coupon and cook nutritiously every day. But I expect myself to do all these things and more on a daily basis.
Writing all of my expectations for myself on paper made me take a second look. Some how it freed me up and made me realize the insanity of my list.

It feels, sometimes, like the Proverbs 31 woman was a “perfect blog mom”! She “work with her hands in delight”, “rises while it is still night”, “from her earnings plants a vineyard”, “makes coverings for herself in fine linen and purple”, “she does not eat the bread of idleness”. A good friend pointed out something wise to me recently: no where in Proverbs 31 does it say she did all the things in the same day or even in one season of her life. Did rise while it was still night after she had been up with a cranky newborn all night? Did she buy a field with her earnings when she had three preschoolers at home? Did she make coverings of fine linen and purple when she had a baby with reflux who would undoubtable throw up all over those “coverings” six times a day? I don’t know, maybe, but I doubt it. It seems chapter is more of an epitaph, like praise given to this woman that sum up the majority of her days.

So should I crumble up my list and replace it with Proverbs 31? I don’t know, maybe. I can’t think of one thing in that list that I would not want to be named of me at the end of my “days”. But the Lord gave me peace in another epitaph, Jesus’ epitaph.

“I have glorified You on earth accomplishing the work which You have given Me to do.”- John 17:4

As Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He knows His hours are short and there is peace. For He has done the work which His Father had given Him to do. There is a lot of freedom in realizing what Jesus didn’t do while He lived on this Earth. He didn’t heal everyone, He didn’t preach to everyone, He didn’t eat a meal with every sinner but He did do the will of His Father!
This is the verse I want to present to the Lord at the end of the day. Some days, the Father’s will is for me to help serve at a local women’s shelter. Some days His will is for me to take dinner to my neighbors. Some days His will is for me to share His Truth with a stranger at the bank. But sometimes His will is for me to play hard at a jumpy house with my “cabin fevered” children. Another day His will is to clean my house and organize my junky hall closet so my family can function a little more efficiently. And some days, like today, His will is for me to rest on the sofa.
I may never own my own business again. I may not finish my college degree that I left hanging. I may never blog consistently, cook a perfect organic meal, or loose another pound. But if the Lord asks me to do any of those things I better get on it! My life is about obedience to my Father! I may fail at everthing on my “list”. Instead of measuring myself up to an imaginary list, I need to keep myself in check with the will of my Father!
He is the one I am to please! And let’s face it, my “Mommy list”, is mostly about me and becoming “that perfect mom”. Living for perfection is vain and will always leave me empty! In serving and obeying the Lord, however, there is peace!

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3 Comments on “Mommy List”

  1. Mary says:

    I tried to “like” your post but it wanted me to sign up or something and I just wasn’t going there tonight. I like it. I missed you tonight. Hope you feel better.

  2. I so relate to the concept of trying to be a perfect “mom.” Thanks for the reminder that our worth comes from what the Father truly says and thinks of us!

  3. Cayleen says:

    Thank you! I was searching for this tonight, thank you for putting it up here for me to stumble across 🙂


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