I fully feel that as each day passes, mothering seems to get harder. My friends closest to me reach out for prayers for struggling as mother. I hear them try to hold the fear at bay as they fight against the overwhelming tide of being unable to "do this" as a mom. I weep during a work meeting with my sweet co-workers (who are also like sisters to me) over feeling so helpless and out of control in my role and drink in their prayers for each other. I walk around, slumped and nearly physically feeling the burden on my shoulders of all my failures.
I have been at the feet of Jesus, at a loss. I don't know how to do this well and it's so scary. I'm a chronic overthinker and my thoughts plague me with all the ways I fail. I've often said my only true gift is "beauty"- I am always searching for beauty around me, driven to help reveal beauty by simple ways. Last night I prayed, "Jesus... I can't make this beautiful. I don't know how to make my mothering an art. I need You to reveal the beautiful in this mess."
As I began my morning today, my heart heavy, the thought popped into my head that my counselor has audio downloads for several common themes on his website. I go to scroll through them and "The Art of Mothering" jumps out at me.
Gordon says, "You are vessels to help your children to become more beautiful, so that those in the world as they interact with them taste and feel and are impacted by their beauty. Your children are God's workmanship. You and your husband are artist-makers. When we parent out of fear or duty or obligation or anything else, we become more rigid in our parenting and it turns away from artistry... If you are trying to find favor with God to be the mother you ought to be, or to obligate your children to love you the rest of your life because of your mothering, you won't live freely. If your mothering is about your effort, to some degree, you have been cut off from Christ and grace."
Yes. YES. I have completely lost the grace in my mothering. For myself, and for my children.
Pray for me friends. I'm at a place of humility and also some shame. I want to mother my children artfully, not out of duty and not out of the law. I want to parent out of love and freedom, not duty and obligation and trying to "get it right."
I thought I would share this today... in case anyone else feels this way and needs to know they are not alone, and to encourage you to download this audio... it's $1.99; cheaper than a drink at Starbucks and a whole lot more filling.