I Confess I’m an Imperfect Mother

It’s so funny how this came about. Years ago I had plans to write a book titled Confessions of A Teen-aged mom. Don’t ask me what happened, I guess life took its toll and the book got lost. It may still come about one day.

I had plans of writing how my first child came and living through the pain of being shunned from my previous church. There were chapters on midnight feedings and how I was too tired and fell asleep breastfeeding. Along with many other chapters like anger and children, confessions of a single mom, suicidal roller-coaster and the like.

I feel like I’ve been through it all. I’ve got battle scars to prove my journey. Two failed relationships, one failed marriage, custody battles, living paycheck to paycheck paying for daycare and private school on my own and fears through the marriage I am in.

I’ve been compared, knocked down, looked over, mentally and emotionally abused and what have you. Who hasn’t?

Nonetheless, this day I get up every morning with new hope and a greater vision to seek God’s best in my life and the lives of my children.

But I am not perfect. I just laid that out. I’m not the screaming mom that takes single leaps in a bound when my boy’s cry. I am not the super organized mom or the mom that has her child in 10,000 biblical activities through the year. I’m not the mom that never catches an attitude or wakes up super early to start breakfast. I second that. I am certainly not the mom who get’s all her house work done, home school’s perfectly, nurtures perfectly or loves perfectly but these are very broad subjects.

If the chance comes I’m making a pizza and calling it dinner. I try to limit T.V. but sometimes, when I’m tired, there are pajama days. Sometimes dishes are left in my sink and the dirt on the floor may linger a few weeks.

Sometimes I don’t get dressed or even brush my teeth (don’t judge me).

But who is all these things?

Who has it together all the time? And if you do, then you are your own Saviour because there is no need.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

I fail and I fall. You got me. But I’m still growing. That’s the important thing.

I’m so imperfect and yet so glad that I am. Because through these imperfections God shows me how to slow down and catch up on life, the fun free one. He shows me to depend on him for his strength, his wisdom and his control. Not to compare myself to another mother or woman and what he has set before them. What God has given me is for me.

My crazy busy life, my personality, my husband, my struggles, my children, my ridiculous strength, my annoying yet amazing family, It’s all for Nykiah, because it’s apart of his work within me and the end of the story.

I am imperfect but He is stronger when I am weak and greater in my vulnerabilities. I am exactly what he wants me to be and how he needs me now. So that his glory can be completed in me. I’m just a dented, chipped, puzzle piece learning how to fit in his plan and stand where he wants me on the stage. I’m dress rehearsing for the real thing when all my responsibility will be to bow down and worship the king of kings.

I didn’t use to can but I do now. I never made pizza dough but I do now. I don’t have any girls, but I have boys. I don’t have a huge house but I have one. I don’t have long hair, but it’s healthy. I don’t always say the right things but I’m working on it.  I love God and I love people. Isn’t that really the point of all of this? Aren’t these really what the Lord has asked of us?

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22: 34-40 (ESV)

So while I’m focusing on what I’m not and who I could be, He is looking at greater things.

Praise God if another mom does more than me, praise God if another mom does less. We all have one thing in common, Jesus, his love and his work; Or that we love what we do and we are crazy for doing it!

I hope you can see your imperfections as another reason to give Christ your life. For someone already perfect needing nothing, it wouldn’t be a lot.

Trust him today and walk on the path he has you. Whether crazy and blessed or worst and a mess. Trust Him. And by all means, rejoice with other moms and women for their strength, humility and work that they were called to! (In other words, don’t hate, congratulate!)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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Linking up with: Wedded Wednesday and thebettermom

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Protecting the purity: How to shepherd your children

I think I’ve stressed about the importance of this issue enough over the pass few years. Enough to go crazy.

I’m a single mom with broken influence in my home. My boys don’t have a model at home to see. There is no father at home influencing them, who is active and able to discern through situations and step up.

I’m grateful for the men that my boys have in their lives, besides their fathers, who influence them biblically and walk with them. But when they go home, it’s just me and my babies.

My babies.

One day they will be men who acquire wives, and children and a life of their own. One day they will be accountable for what I’ve taught them about God. We are just practicing right now for the big test against the world.

The test that may take them by the foot and drag them through circumstance and tribulation.

Will they be able to stand? Will they know that there is a God who understands them? Will they run to him for safety? Will they know how to treat a woman? That It’s not okay to uncover her purity? Will they be leaders that shepherd well? Will they be respectable, hardworking and wise?

These are the things that I want for them. I’m certain that God agrees though the journey to become those men of integrity I am not sure.

Boys struggle. We all do. But there are sins that turn into struggles that can consume them if they aren’t protected now.

For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it. So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: Stay away from her!  –  Proverbs 5:3-8

Sexual immorality is one sin that has plagued our nation. From young to older. Our children are persuaded  that sexual promiscuity is okay.

So what do we do?

Us women who have been forced to take on a role that was originally designed for a man, leaving us to succumb to teaching our boys to step into a biblical role setup for man that was scripted for them.

Can a woman teach a man to be a man?

My boys are 6 and 3. How in the world do I protect them now when they are so young? They won’t understand.

(Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it – Proverbs 22:6)

He won’t depart from it. That means, that the foundation that I teach them on will not crumble when they walk.

Us single moms do it all. Some because we have to. Some because we chose to through consequence.

But there is help.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. -Hebrews 4:16

The Lord is the one who will shepherd them, lead them guide them, give you discernment to protect them and keep them. There is no one better to entrust our children to. No one better to trust ourselves. We can go to God and ask for help and he will not turn us away.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. – James 1:5

So here’s some practical things to help you out along the way. Things I’ve learned over the time that I’ve been a mommy and things that are spelled out in God’s word.

  1. Let them be boys. Don’t rob them of their innocence. Sometimes,as parents we have expectations for our children that are meant for,adults.
  2. Limit their access.  Guard them from the influences of the world. Put passwords on computers and check their technology daily. Be careful to block inappropriate websites and TV shows. Know that we can’t block them from everything.
  3. So we must pray for them. There is nothing that God doesn’t see and nothing that he doesn’t understand. He created them. He knows how to keep and control them. He will lead them when you aren’t able to.
  4. Listen. Be quick to listen. Pay attention to red flags and help them understand themselves as individuals under Gods authority. Take opportunities to talk with them. Give them a platform to be able to talk freely but with boundaries.
  5. Point them to Jesus. Don’t neglect to incorporate God in daily living. Let him be the center by pointing your boys to Jesus in discipline, correction, praise and teaching. Lead by example. Purposefully direct them by engaging with them. I heard a pastor at my church telling his daughter, ” how good is it that God gave us ice cream!” Be intentional.
  6. Teach them repentance and confession. Take part in showing them repentance and what it means. That May mean sometimes actively repenting
    yourself. If we don’t know that something is wrong or offensive we won’t be convicted. And we will convince ourselves that nothing is wrong.
  7. Pray with them.  Incorporate a family time where they can be creative in getting to know God, ask questions and worship together. As my children get older I’d like to act out different stories in the bible that will engage them and help them understand different motives, expressions and scenario.

There is a wrong way to parent our children.

When we fail to give our children Jesus and they go on living their lives as primary owners and not renters.

Run to the good shepherd. He keeps count of all his sheep. He knows when one goes astray or when one is battling sin. He can foresee a crooked path and make it straight.

Nykiah

My Brothers Keeper: Teaching Them to Love Like JESUS

The other day I read a blog entry by Becky Kopitzke that started out with a book called Redeeming Love . That got me to thinking.

This morning I woke up cranky, intolerable and just plain not in a good mood because I’m exhausted. I can remember looking into the eyes of my children and hearing my oldest ask, “why are you so angry mommy?”  They hadn’t seen irritation from me like this in a long time. They were worried.

This week started off totally gruesome for me. To start, I lost my bus pass while running to catch a bus, was burned by scolding hot water at work (completely an accident) and the day ended with me walking almost two miles home and sending my children to bed without mommy time. -Exhausting

I woke up this morning trying to regain traction and felt so limp and weak but through this totally gruesome day I found hope in the  love of Jesus. -Comfort in God’s word

(All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.  Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.  We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.  And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.  And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.)

– 2nd Corinthians 1: 3-11

Over the past few weeks I’ve been stressing to my boys the importance of being brothers and being their brother keeper.

Of Course they are boys, they argue, they fall out laughing, they tattle when the other is not cooperative to the others selfish motives. And then they reconcile.

– back to best brothers as usual. I’ve learned overtime that this is the way of the brotherhood  and It’s something I can’t change. What I can change is their view of each other throughout their brotherhood in light of the cross.

I can exemplify and teach them repentance when they have offended one another, caring for each other like in Matthew 22:39 and loving each other like in 1 Corinthians 13. I can teach them the importance of grace and compassion, and forgiveness and patience.

-but it first starts with me. It starts with me understanding my charge as not only their mother but as their sister in Christ.

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.

John 15: 12-17

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2

This morning I couldn’t help but to repent and ask my babies for forgiveness for not loving them like I should. I asked the Lord to redeem my way of loving them.

When we remember Jesus and the true meaning of his resurrection we can have hope in knowing that he died to redeem our love and in his love we are redeemed to love.

HIS way

I know that I can go to the cross every time I mess up and exchange my way for Jesus’ way. This is where it begins for those little eyes. This is how they will learn to love like Jesus.

My love isn’t perfect but his is and by it we are all redeemed.

I hope you all enjoy your Easter and are encouraged by the resurrection of Jesus and the fact that he now he lives in our hearts perfecting his love that he has been redeeming ever since.