Before becoming a mom, I didn't have a grasp on what this mothering thing was all about. I had inklings here and there, but nothing I could stand on. I felt fearful and had a lot of anxiety. I asked myself so many questions- am I a good mom, do my children feel loved enough, do I spend enough time really engaged in my family and not missing moments, what more can I do, what if I mess them up? ...among many, many others. Needless to say, I needed some perspective. I needed to hear from "seasoned" mothers what this thing is all about, and how to approach motherhood with confidence instead of fear and doubt.
I wanted to share a bit of what I learned from the conference. If you haven't heard of her already, I would highly recommend ANY of Sally Clarkson's books. I just finished reading "Seasons of a Mother's Heart" and it too gave so much perspective and was a breath of fresh air.
Without further ado, here are some bullet points of things that really hit home for me (can any of you relate?).
- Throwing out the thinking that "Someone is watching me, I better handle my child's disobedience right or I'll be so embarrassed". Take it to the cross- deal with my child gently, christ-like, and without fear.
- Letting myself fail. Let my children fail. Let my husband fail. Do NOT build a world for my family where us (as sinners) have no grace in sin. The opposite of what Jesus came for!
- Until I accept God's grace in all of my limitations and short-comings as a mother, I can't be the mom I need to be. Do not be overcome by guilt!
- Apologizing to my children when I make mistakes makes the most impact.
- If I strive to help my child's heart be aligned with God I will be the recipient of His work- not my own. This is SO freeing!
- Always remember that there is a world out there clamoring after their innocent souls. I am the light of Jesus to them at their young age- BE THE LIGHT!
- Be intentional & sacrifice. DO NOT SETTLE. Mothering is a blessing and a calling- do not think of it as a task. Wake up everyday knowing my mission.
- Make sure that I am constantly focused on Jesus. I will reflect the sun (Son). Just like the moom does. I cannot shine unless I am facing the sun.
- Allow people to HELP ME. Swallow my pride.
- Remember that life is hard, but it's not my husbands fault! Do not cast my daily burden's on him and expect him to fix it all.
- Let go of thinking that that my kids will be a summation of all my mistakes. They are NOT me and God is so much bigger than that! He has a plan for their lives completely seperate from me.
- Be an advocate and encourager to my girls. When someone has an advocate they will not quickly fall. And remember, if you are not their advocate, then who will be??
It's important to remember that motherhood is truly a mission. We need to love and take care of our children because GOD VALUES THEM. He entrusts them to us, and it is up to us and we are responsible for how well we took care of them. I know that I need to completely appreciate my child's unique gifts/personality that God gave them. I need to be sure to not work on changing them to be "acceptable" in someone else's sight, but to build them up and encourage them to DREAM big and be their biggest advocate!