Two years and seven months into this parenting business and I'm just now starting to understand something.
To be an excellent mother death to self is mandatory, not an option.
Our society is marked by a culture where television plays the babysitter and so long as the physical needs of a child are met, you're doing just fine.
But parenting is such a big calling. It's seriously, huge. It is an honor and a privilege to live out Deuteronomy 6 as a Christian parent and to understand these little lives are given to us to steward.
An amazing mommy friend of mine, Melany sent me a text message filled with encouragement during one of my many melt-down moments. (Don't you love having amazing fellowship that sharpens and strengthens you in weakness?!) And this is what she said...
"Don't you ever think you're a bad mom. Don't forget that Jesus hand-picked you to be Aaliya's mommy and Daniella's
stepmommy. He doesn't make a mistake and he trusts you to raise them up to live for Him."
Truthfully dying to self to parent is a lost art within our culture. We live in a day where public school* provides a "break" for many mommies, despite the lies it teaches our children and we'd rather give our children what they want instead of joyfully disciplining them admist their tantrum.
Dying to self comes in so many little opportunities every day...
It's getting up thirteen times during the time you're "unwinding" because your little one is teething and she just want lots and lots of TLC.
It's playing with your five year old instead of sitting and reading because you know that's her love language.
It's answering the one-thousandth "...but why?" question because you know their curious little minds mean no harm and they're trying to make sense of their world.
It's waking up early to seek the Lord on their behalf so that He may speak to you about your children's personality and download what He wants you to teach to them today.
It's excusing yourself from the group of people you're hanging out with to put the baby sleep because you know she can't sleep in such noisy, alternative environments, even though you were having a blast.
It's giving up your job, your ministry or your "calling" to take the low road of joyfully changing diapers, reading stories and jumping up and down in a silly way so that your children may learn to praise the Lord, undignified.
It's little things we choose each day. Like when we choose Jesus over TV. I want to choose my children over self.
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves." -- Phil 2:3
*Please note: I do not feel as though mothers who send their children to public school are poor mothers. My only purpose in using this example is so that we may all examine the motive of our hearts as mommies.