Hello everyone! These last five months have been a whirlwind! Little O has changed everything and for the better! I am no way in shape to give parenting advice and probably never will be. But I do believe that part of parenting and being a mom is vulnerability. And to that end, I want to share with you some lessons I have learned about being a mom so far in these last five months.
It is amazing how much can change in five, almost six months! From the sleepless nights to the silly giggles in the middle of the day it is pure joy and craziness! I have been working through this bible study called, Mom Set Free by Jeannie Cunnion. I highly recommend it to any mom or mom to be. It is very freeing, hence the name! Anyway, she spends the entire first half of the book talking about grace and forgiveness and learning how to forgive ourselves and let go of insecurities that have weighed us down. I kept wondering why she was spending so much time going over ourselves as moms and when she was going to start giving parenting advice on how to be an amazing mom?! Then I realized one day that the
first step to being a mom is really learning to work on yourself first. I have learned over the last five months that parenting is as much about yourself as it is about the child. It may sound selfish at first but, if we want to raise our children to live with grace, confidence, and forgiveness, we first have to strive to live that way ourselves! Notice I said strive. We will never be perfect and that is why we have the sovereign grace of God. Cunnion says, "As parents we do not need to base our self-worth on how good and perfect we strive to be. Rather it should be based on Christ's grace. Our children learn from or actions. Our kids don't need more self-worth. They need more Christ worth!" So the first lessons I have learned and are still learning about being a mom, is how to forgive myself and let go of insecurities that I have about being a mom because I will never be perfect.
I am my worst critic. I struggle so much with forgiving myself. For me, it is harder sometimes to forgive myself than others. I verbally express my frustrations with myself a lot of times and my amazing husband has told me countless times to not be so hard on myself. I have realized, and am still learning, how to walk in God's grace and forgiveness for myself. My son is watching everything that I do and if I constantly put my self down he will learn to do that to himself as well. I am afraid of becoming over confident but I truly believe that you can be confident and humble at the same time. Pricilla Shirer said, "humility is not thinking unkindly about yourself. It's being willing to set yourself aside for a more important purpose." Now that I have a son, one of my purposes is to be a mom. A mom who loves herself and lives confidently in light of God's grace and forgiveness. Without Him, I am a mom who is aimlessly striving for a level of perfection that can never be achieved. With Him, I live in freedom from perfection because I know He is perfect and I can rely on Him to be what I cannot.
When we live in this way of thinking, we then create a culture in our homes that Cunnion refers to as, confession and not perfection. When we mess up we don't try to hide our imperfections and beat ourselves up. Instead, we confess our imperfections to our perfect Savior who forgives and we move on and live in freedom that He has provided for us through His death on the cross. Oh how beautiful! Oh how freeing! It makes you want to just shout doesn't it!?
Ephesians 4:1-3 says, "...I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." This is my goal for myself and my home. I am just beginning this journey of parenthood but if I can learn to be humble and patient with myself, I am hoping that I can not only be that towards my child, but towards my husband as well. As a mom and wife I want to be worthy of this calling I have received. That first starts with allowing God to work on me and through that work, He gives me the tools that I need to live as He has called me to live: a mom set free.