Hebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
I was walking around the living room frothing and working myself up into Threat Level Red mom fit as I picked up a trail of candy wrappers that would cause envy even in the likes of Hansel and Gretel. It was a just a few days past Halloween and my home had been converted to a candy wrapper trauma center.
As I huffed, puffed and picked up wrappers, I flashed back to a Christmas over a decade ago when I had "graciously" provided the candy wrapper pick-up duty for my nieces and nephews. As I did so, I thought to myself what a great mom I was to my solitary child whom I had in my watchful eye at all times. She would never be so inconsiderate because I was after all a superior mother and wouldn't raise a child with such poor manners.
Turns out I was absolutely correct. I didn't raise a child with sub-par candy wrapper manners; I raised four of them. Ouch!
Immediately my candy wrapper pity party evaporated as I considered my heart - past and present. I realized that long ago I set unrealistic standards for mothering that no person could ever uphold.
Are you ever tempted to rate your performance as a mom based on imaginary standards such as candy wrappers? I am and it catapults me straight into the eye of a mommy storm. I feel like a failure as a mom and project my children’s foolish behavior onto myself. I mark my grade with the proverbial “F”.
When I’m tempted to go this bad mommy place, I think of my parent - the Heavenly One. He doesn’t throw a fit when my heart gets polluted by sinful attitudes. He doesn’t get huffy when cross words float from my lips as easily as litter flutters to the floor. He knows my behavior is not a reflection of Him. He sees beyond my packaging to my heart.
There He inserts the sweetness of His grace as He whispers, “Pick up the wrappers and hand them to me. I can handle your litter.” What freedom in knowing He doesn’t keep a report card. What great comfort in realizing God stands with me even in my worst moments as a mom.
When my serving tank runs low, I can pull into His filling station.
If I feel under qualified or overworked, I can access His resume.
When feelings of inadequacy or failure threaten to flood, He will dam the river.
Jesus, You never grumble when I drop candy wrappers or any of my other garbage in Your lap. No matter how many times You've taught me a lesson, You just gently remind me of Your truth once again. You love me. Period. No expectations.
This morning You are a "Post-it note" to my heart of how important it is for me to stay tuned into You. Today may Your patience with me be reflected in my dealings with my kids, my spouse and anyone else who happens along my candy-wrapper ladened life.