When I first became a mom I read every book and article I could find on mothering.
I asked the Lord for wisdom. James 1:5 says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." God is faithful to fulfill His promises. He has always provided women with beautiful souls to mentor me. I walked through Bible studies with them and learned how to "do life" as they did. I prayed for a heart like theirs. Of course the beauty I saw in them was always Christ. They will be the first to tell you that.
I feel a sense of urgency now that my children are getting older. I need to get it right! I feel like the first part of motherhood has been learning, a sort of trial and error period but now is the time for me to implement the knowledge I have acquired. No more mess ups. No "do overs". This is it. I want to leave a legacy. What do I want them to remember about their childhood? About their momma and daddy? Their home?
I was seeking answers one day when I felt the urge write out what I thought a good mother looked like. What kind of mom I wanted to be. What I thought I should be doing. I have hesitated to post this because I did not want anyone to feel condemnation if it was too much or pass judgment on me if it was too little! Anyway, here goes. This is not an exhaustive list but this is what I came up with at the time:
What Makes a Good Momma?
She has daily time with the Lord (not necessarily alone, grin).
She installs a love for Jesus into her kids
She prays for them and daddy
She is cheerful and gentle
She has a sweet voice
She hugs and kisses them
She keeps the kids well groomed
She keeps a tidy home (not spotless but she tries)
She meal plans and cooks healthy meals
She has routines for laundry and cleaning
She does crafts with her kids
She plays with them
She teaches them
She trains them
She has a schedule
She finds joy in all things and makes a joyful noise
She makes everything special
She reads to them
She makes fun snacks
She gives bubble baths
She does morning devotions with them
She creates an atmosphere of worship
She teaches them how to be good stewards of their time, talent and treasures
She teaches them how to do chores and how to be diligent
She trains them to have good character
She models integrity
She lets them know they are important
She looks them in the eyes and listens
She tickles and plays chase
She loves building puzzles, playing blocks and feeding baby dolls
She eats pretend ice cream and drinks pretend tea
She is not lazy
She does not talk to her children in a demeaning way
She does not make them into little slaves
She does not guilt them into being good little children
She does not think she is better than anyone
She does not think she knows it all
She does not talk about others
She does not think she can do this on her own
She does not pursue meaningless tasks
She does not nag
She does not dwell on negative thoughts
As I said, this is not an exhaustive list but this list can exhaust me! Sometimes I am encouraged by it and other time discouraged. It is something I strive for but I have not mastered this list. It is a goal, a reminder. I like to occasionally glance at it but often times I feel like I am failing.
I catch myself nagging.
I do raise my voice.
I get exhausted and I feel lazy.
I'm too tired to play.
My laundry piles up.
This list could go on all day ;D
This is where grace and simplicity come in.
What are the most important things I need to do as a mom?
Model a love for Christ.
Take care of their physical needs.
Love them and love their daddy.
Draw my strength for all of this from The Lord.
Draw my strength for all of this from The Lord.
Motherhood (life in general) is not about a list of dos and don'ts. It is not about legalism or comparison. It us about doing what you know is right every day. It's about being faithful in the little things and drawing upon the Lord's strength when you are too weary to do it on your own. It is about creating a life of delight and goodness for your family in the best way you know how.
In the end I know that what makes a good momma is emptying myself of me and the distractions and false notions that I am failing. It is the filling up of God's goodness, strength, joy, peace and hope. I want my children to look back and see a momma who loved Jesus with all her heart, poured everything she had into taking care of them the best way she knew how, made their home a safe haven and created a few fun memories along the way.
What I think makes a good momma has grown in ways and shrunk in others. I pray The Lord will enable me to be the mother He has called me to be consistently. God has created each of us to be the unique mom our children needs. I hope this list inspired you to seek out what you would write on you own list. If you do come up with your own, I would love to see it. Do remember that God's grace is enough for you and your children. He will equip you with what you need for what He called you to do. If you have children, you are called to motherhood and it is God who works in you in order to fulfill His good purpose.
Commit thy ways to The Lord and He will establish thy plans.
Grace and Peace,