I’m really putting myself out there to be judged with this post. Airing out the dirty laundry for all to see, but I believe that in order for us to live authentically we have to be real. We have to be open, raw, and able to admit our wrongs AND able to tell others YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Because I know that I am not the only one who has battled this issue and I want to give those moms out there who might be in that spot hope that they can change.
Yesterday I read a reflection on Blessed Is She that really got me thinking. The writer said that gossip is often mistaken for community because it gives us something to talk about. Gossip ends when we learn to focus on building real authentic relationships that are based on talking about the good of others and chatting about our OWN difficulties, achievements, and musings on life. YES, YES, YES!! A million times yes!
So, in an effort to not only preach a message but to also be one, I give you all this blog post. Judge if you must, or maybe, just maybe, let it be an invitation to build authentic relationships with those around you.
(Excuse the spelling, we all have learning to do, plus I kind of love it 💗.)
Finding this homework paper of my daughter’s made my heart soar! Her world is “peaceful, fun and relaxing”. She “loves her world”. (excuse me while I go wipe the tears from my eyes…ok, I’m back. *sniff, sniff*) Her life wasn’t always that way.
See, I used to be one of those yelling moms. The type that spazzed out over everything and would yell at the drop of a hat. I HATED myself for it. Yes, I hated myself, not the action.
I would yell even when my girls didn’t deserve it (which was pretty much every single time). Then I was too proud to ask forgiveness from them for MY mistakes. It wasn’t their fault I yelled, but I was quick to say, “Why do you do that and make me yell?” *cringe*. So yeah, I hated myself, because afterwards I’d cry and feel awful for it. But apparently not enough at that time to change it (palm to face-hard).
I was so prideful back then, even though I didn’t actually like who I was. Pride can lead a person to be too stubborn to change, even when they know they should! The devil is really good at telling people they are ok to keep going down the path they’re on. He was really crafty at filling my head with lies that it wasn’t a big deal and I would look weak to my kids if I apologized! I mean why would they take me seriously if they thought I was weak?! Those thoughts are LIES. Friends, asking forgiveness for our wrongs is the furthest thing from being weak. It actually takes incredible strength to go to someone and freely admit we wronged them and ask forgiveness. Humility is the fastest route to happiness and love.
As the years went on, I continuously told my husband that was not the mom I wanted to be. He’s pretty awesome so he’d try to help me. I did find myself yelling much less frequently, which I honestly take no credit for! I can’t for the life of me pinpoint what changed but it did and I’m thankful. But, the humbling part of asking forgiveness?…yeah, that was very slow to follow.
My job as a mom is to teach my children how to become amazing adults (not amazing kids) and what sort of behavior was I teaching them?! My gosh that is painful to think back on! Great adults, great christians, know how to ask for forgiveness and truly mean it. How can they learn that sort of behavior if the one person they look to most for an example of how to be an adult was failing so miserably?
I have spent the better part of this year attempting to grow in holiness. The recurring thing I kept coming up with (the Holy Spirit guiding me) to achieve said holiness was humility. Since we’ve already discussed my lack of humility lets just say this was a struggle. I fought with God tooth and nail to hold onto my pride. Then I reached a point somewhere along the way that I was just sick and tired of myself. I busted out the Litany of Humility (see below) and very painfully attempted to say that prayer. Often I’d get a few lines in and stop and put it away. No joke. The next day I would maybe get a few lines further, until one day I cried my way through that beautiful prayer and begged God with all that I had to help me with this. THANK GOD He is faithful, merciful and so abounding in grace!! He poured it all over me and I learned (and am still learning) to ditch the pride and live more humbly.
One day I had a setback and went off on my precious daughters. It was like a dagger to my heart to see their faces as I yelled. I stopped, I took a deep breath, turned to them and just grabbed them and hugged them both. I cried, tears just rolled down my face, and said “I am so sorry! I do not want to be this way and I am so sorry. You don’t deserve this. I love you both so very much, please forgive me!” Kids are pretty damn amazing. Those little angels of mine hugged me so tight and they cried too and smiled the biggest smiles and said “we forgive you and we love you too mommy!” Then they happily bounced away to play like it was no big deal. Had I not apologized, their little wounded hearts wouldn’t have allowed that happen.
My daughter’s homework paper was a reminder I needed that despite knowing I have a long way to go to becoming a saint, I have also come pretty far. Because her world is peaceful, happy and relaxing and by God’s grace, she loves her world. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve these true blessings that I call my children, but I thank God daily for them. They really are a gift and gifts are meant to be cherished.