My oldest daughter and I are on a winding journey, trying to navigate this middle stage of life.
She is in middle school and I’m smack dab in midlife. As you can imagine, it’s kind of messy. Sometimes you feel boxed in during this juncture, not quite as independent as you’d like to be while managing a lot of hormones, a busy schedule, and trying to find your footing in the process.
Sometimes I view these passing interactions with my daughter as the verdict on our relationship. When she gives me a quick kiss on the cheek and whispers, “I love you, Mom,” I feel like a million bucks. Other times there are angry words between us as we (two firstborn females) face off. We both want to win the argument! When she’s mad, I feel insecure as a mom—similar to how I felt back in middle school, wondering if I’d done enough to make the cut.
Now, almost thirteen years into this parenting gig, Mommy Guilt (defined as the dull aftertaste of regret from less-than-stellar parenting moments) threatens to hijack my resolve to hang in there.
You Have More than Enough, Mom
We put so much pressure on ourselves to get it right as a mom. We try and be flawless and kick ourselves for being human and end up in a discouraged state. We also put so much pressure on our kids to get it right. We try and mold their outward behavior, hoping it will make a heart change, as we lecture them into an agitated state.
There must be a better way, right?
For starters, you are doing a better job than you think!
My dear friend, Laurie, reminded me of this the other day. We met for warm beverages and poured out our hearts. I confessed how I had not done my best with my kids. She stopped and assured me that my assumption wasn’t true.
You fed them (who cares if it was frozen fish sticks). You gave the best you could at the time and there is no reason to apologize for that.
I was skeptical. But as I dared to believe what she said, I could feel the heavy weight of Mommy Guilt drop from my achy shoulders with a thud!
It was enough.
Hmm, kind of reminds me of the loaves and fish story in the Bible (see Luke 9:10-17). What was available seemed meager—even laughable, for what was needed to sustain those gathered ’round. Yet God blessed it and multiplied it…and it was more than enough.
God takes our meager offerings as moms and transforms them into an abundance for our children—with leftovers even!
Instead of trying to muster up enough, or lasso the moon to serve on a silver platter, what if we just gave what we had in our hands and asked God, Jehovah Jireh, to supernaturally make it go further than seems possible?
I often try to parent on my own strength, and come up short. Yet my Father in Heaven, who provides manna in the wilderness, is able to provide what I need to feed my children’s mouths, minds, and hearts. He makes up for the lack and the slack.
It is not all up to us. We are not our children’s Savior!
We do what we can and we rejoice in what He is able to do. He specializes in the impossible after all.
So whether we find ourselves at the beginning, middle, or end of our child raising season, let’s rest assured that we serve a God whose love is better than a million bucks.
We rest secure in Him, not because of what we do or don’t do but because His love has been proven on the cross. His approval is not fickle and does not change with the shifting hormones of our daughters or of us. Jesus has done the impossible and provided His best for us, through His death and resurrection. The weight of our sins was placed heavy upon His shoulders so that, through faith in Him, we can lay down our guilt and pick up the lavish gift of His grace.
Let’s enjoy the constancy of His love and extend it to our children, especially when we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a mess.
God, please transform our meager offerings into a glorious display of grace that is more than enough for the moment. Amen.
She is a writer, speaker, and singer who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. Katie inspires women and youth to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of her favorite things. Katie and her tween daughter, Brooke, created the Grounded Series to help mothers and daughters have fun together while growing in faith.