Thursday, May 9, 2013

Beauty from Imperfection {Forever Close}


Somehow or somewhere most of us as mothers start out on this wonderful but daunting role with the mindset that we must try to be perfect mothers. I know I did. And sadly, it has crept into my thinking more often than I care to admit.

But to think that we could even come near to being perfect is not only unrealistic, but it reveals that we are not only imperfect, but that our attitude is symptomatic of a deeper issue of pride. For only God is perfect. And we are not.

How can we possibly expect perfection from ourselves in this 24-7 job of mothering, when we are pulled and pushed to our limits, constantly serving, constantly loving. Stretched beyond our limits, day after day, and night after night. I am a mom of six (all grown now), and I look back and try to imagine how I made it through those busy, full, demanding (but wonderful!) days of mothering little ones and bigger ones. Especially as I watch my four daughters now - busy, giving to their children and their husbands each day, every day. Their lives are full, and their hearts hardly have a chance to catch up. Such amazing mothers they are - but how do they do it? And how do any of us mothers do it? Certainly, not without a lot of mistakes ...

And maybe our lack of perfection, and our many mistakes, are for a deeper purpose.

"Perhaps there was something more powerful to experience than a perfect Mother; the wonder of a committed Mother who simply humbles herself." (Ann Voskamp)

"It's not that you aren't going to blow it.
It's what you do with it afterwards."
(Ann Voskamp)

When we have been short with a child, when we have missed hearing their heart because we were so focused on correcting their outward behavior, when we disciplined incorrectly, or neglected to discipline, when we spoke harshly and wounded instead of encouraging a child - instead of despairing, we can open our hands to our loving Father, and trust Him. Humbling ourselves, and trusting in our perfect loving Father to use all for His purposes. Which are all good. 

"Don't be so hard on yourself. I can make good even out of your mistakes ... 
Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. 
Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. 
Your failures can be a source of blessing, 
humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. 
Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. 
I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. 
Trust Me and watch to see what I will do." 
(Jesus Calling)

"This is the one I esteem:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit,
and trembles at My word." 
(Isaiah 66:2b)

Loving Lord, please help us as young mothers and older mothers to daily, moment by moment, depend on You in this most privileged of all roles, yet most demanding of all roles - help us to hold our children tight, but with open hands, depending on You alone to do Your perfect work in them. Using even our mistakes, daily and moment by moment. May our mistakes draw us to You, and draw our children to see You ...

Continuing on with posting in my series on mothering, after a break of a few months ... Forever Close: The Heart of a Mother. And wishing all mothers reading this a very memorable Happy Mother's Day, filled with love, grace, and the beauty that comes from imperfection.

Linking up with:
Thought Provoking Thursday
Fellowship Friday
Faith Filled Friday
Teach Me Tuesdays
Heart and Home
Titus 2sday

10 comments:

  1. I've been pondering this idea of perfection that has been placed on mothers a lot lately. We are called to be holy, but will never reach perfection. This was written beautifully and spoke to my heart today. Thanks for being real and sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. Yes, this idea of perfection is placed on us often, and sometimes we do it to ourselves, too. I continually need to be reminded of what I wrote about. Have a Happy Mother's Day!

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  2. I have LIVED in this idea of perfection. I tried so hard to present a perfect picture to my own mom when I became a mom. And she wasn't even looking for that. It was pressure that I put on myself. This post is so beautifully written from a heart of experience. Young mothers everywhere should lay eyes on this post. It should be printed and framed as a gift for new mommies. The first quote is a powerful one.

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    1. Thanks, Steph - your sweet words about my post were such a blessing to me! Yes, I so often have put the pressure of "perfection" on myself, too. It is so beautiful that God does not expect this from us at all; and in fact, our imperfections and our weaknesses are opportunities for us to experience His strength and His mercy. Have a very special Mother's Day, filled with His grace and love for you.

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  3. Dear Cherry
    Thank you sooooo much!L your words truly mean so much to me today. My sons are both young men now and I often feel regret about all the times I have not been the mother I would have liked to be, but one thing I do know; even though I made many, many mistakes, I tried my best and loved them with all my heart. Well, I still do.
    Blessings and love to you
    Mia

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    1. Yes, Mia, we can be so hard on ourselves as mothers! I know that I do that, too - yet, God can use our weaknesses and our mistakes to draw us to Him and to depend on Him. And He can bring beauty out of our mistakes. Thanks for you visit - and have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  4. So true! So grateful that out of my imperfection, I see His perfection more clearly.

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    1. Yes, I like the way you worded that - "out of my imperfection, I see His perfection more clearly"!

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  5. As a mother of a toddler with another on the way, I'm grateful for the word you shared! God also used becoming a mother to open up a well of grace in my heart for my own mother.

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    1. Thanks for your visit - and I agree with what you wrote, that becoming a mother opens our hearts up to appreciating our own mothers even more. So true!

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