I sighed as I stepped in a puddle of water on the kitchen floor as I microwaved some leftovers for my daughter to eat for lunch in front of the TV. The baby was sniffling through his fifth cold of the season as he attempted to nap on me in the carrier.
Can you say #momfails? A messy floor. Radiation from the microwave. Box mac and cheese. Screen time. A babe that doesn’t sleep like the books say he should. I promise I don’t do those things all the time … I do cook from scratch, come up with creative games, clean my house … but you know, sometimes I don’t.
Motherhood isn’t kind to the perfectionist. Prior to motherhood, I was fairly successful in education, the workplace, the social front. But motherhood has brought me down peg after peg after peg as many days end with a nagging fear that I’m not enough. I deeply, deeply love my children and am indescribably grateful for them, but some days I feel like the role of motherhood is ruining me. Where is that girl who was so successful … now hidden under messy buns and piles of laundry and self-doubt? So much of my weaknesses have been exposed, my limits have been reached. I’ve been painfully made aware of my lack of control when it comes to outcomes from my efforts. It can be discouraging to feel like I’m not doing this whole vocation thing “right.”
Yet perhaps therein lies the truth. I’m not supposed to focus on “doing” in this vocation but rather “becoming.” Motherhood isn’t ruining me … it’s simply exposing the parts of me that need grace and growth … and that may not otherwise have been exposed. Motherhood isn’t crushing me … it’s shaping me.
God has recently been speaking to me through Isaiah 64:8 about the potter and the clay. He’s been showing me that even on the days when I feel anything but beautiful and purposeful, He is still at work and is using these moments to make me into the woman He’s called me to be. He is shaping me through everything He allows into my daily life. So those moments that I feel squashed by my inadequacy in motherhood?
They’re really squashing the false notion that I’m in control.
They’re squishing the belief that I can be perfect by my own strength.
They’re squeezing out the selfishness of my flesh, the pride of self-sufficiency, and the temptation to measure my worth by what I accomplish in a day.
They are shaping me.
The kneading and molding is hard. Yet it’s so important to be soft and open to His hand, remembering that the Potter is also our Father, a loving Father. By His grace, I’ve had the eyes to see this more and more lately. I’m less resistant to the molding and more expectant and hopeful to see parts of me taking shape. I’m trusting more in the beauty He’s creating through this process — and I’m seeing glimpses of it!
Instead of lamenting that I’m not enough or I can’t do this on my own, I’m finding strength and joy in those realities because I’m growing closer to the One who IS enough and who never asked me to do it on my own. It’s only when we realize our own inadequacy that we turn to Him for grace and help — and find it in abundance. There’s a release and a relief to learn that we aren’t in control, we don’t have to be perfect, and our worth has nothing to do with success.
So even if it’s a mac-and-cheese-in-front-of-the-TV kind of day … maybe that’s not a #momfail. Maybe it’s just one more opportunity for me to peacefully and trustingly open my hands and heart to God in the midst of the crazy and allow Him to shape me.
Where in your life do you feel like clay being squished and kneaded? Can you see God shaping beauty from it?
Copyright 2020 Laura Range