Encouragement for Moms

I finally watched Mom’s Night Out the other night. If you’re a mom and haven’t seen it, you need to watch it. Like right this second. It’s so good. I felt a little crazy though because I was crying and laughing all at the same time during that whole first part. It was my life on a screen. The colouring on the wall, the makeup mishap, the mess.

Last month, my husband and I went up for an altar call. I didn’t know what to do with the kids so we left the baby in the car seat with a friend and hauled the older two along. Midway through, as one of the pastors was praying for us, my daughters got into an all out brawl. I’m talking pushing, shoving, crying. A brawl. They actually almost knocked me right onto my kiester. The prayer ended awkwardly as I tried to physically separate my children and I was more than a little embarrassed.

Those moments happen.

I love being a mom and I love where I’m at, but getting to the place where I can say that and truly mean it with my whole heart has been a journey. I’ll share more about it in another post on another day but, for now, let’s just say that I didn’t always deep-down love being a mom. I loved it at times. But not always and not always deep down. I didn’t always deep-down love being a wife either. I didn’t always deep-down love my home or the spills or the messes that come with having kids. (And I didn’t deep-down love the post-pregnancy stretched out skin on my tummy that I’m told only plastic surgery can fix. Something no one warned me about. But how I learned to embrace those battle scars is also another post for another day.)

The point is that there were times that I downright resented my life.

Mostly though, I resented myself. For failing so often and not measuring up.

I love that part at the end of Mom’s Night Out where Allyson is talking to the big, tough biker dude and she says, “I’m not good enough.”

“For who?” he asks.

Seriously. For who?

We so often put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. But no one else expects us to do it all perfectly. I’m sure I’m not the only mom whose kids have turned an altar call into an altar brawl. But even if I am, I’m okay with that. Because, in that moment, I was able to identify a problem area that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.  I’m not perfect and my kids aren’t perfect. But I’m doing the best I can and learning as I go.

That’s all we can do.

A girl I know, Kathleen, has this on her Twitter profile: “This one thing I’ve learned, life is the messy bits.” I love that because it’s so true. Life isn’t about getting it all perfect. It’s about falling and getting up again and finding grace. Not beating ourselves up. Finding grace. Because when we let God’s grace envelop us, the messy bits become beautiful.

We become beautiful.

And we’re able to see that the messiest blessings are actually the most precious blessings.

It’s only when we embrace grace that we can truly embrace our lives. Mess and all.

{This post was also published on The Grace-Filled Home.}

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