In church this morning I thought about how much motherhood costs us.
Think about it, as our children grow physically and emotionally, we have to learn new skills too.
We have to leave behind coping mechanisms that are no longer healthy or appropriate given their age. We face our unrealistic expectations about life and the way we thought our family would work. We process disappointment and sometimes grief.
There's plenty of amazing things about raising kids but motherhood costs us.
So back to church., we sang the lyrics, ‘Come and move, we say yes to you...'
It was one of those songs with a line you repeat eight times. Those aren't my favorite but this morning, as we prayerfully repeated it for the sixth time, I thought about the fact that God loves my children more than I do.
I also wondered how many times I try to come along behind their missteps and clean up their mess so they don't have to learn hard things. And then, of the disaster I make trying to fix it. Of the damage I do to relationships when I try to control outcomes.
By the eighth time through, I was thinking of every mom in this space who desires to lead their children well….
About our desires for our kids.
Of our journey to “Say yes” to God in every transition even if it’s hard.
And of what those yeses cost us.
I wondered of the motives behind the dreams I have for my kids.
About whether I want certain things because the outcomes will make me
look like a good mom.
Or whether I truly want God to use every circumstance they face to help them grow into the people he created them to be.
Because here's the thing, if we really want them to experience his goodness and his grace, they're going to have to go hard things.
They're going to have their hearts broken.
They’ll jack things up, make some big mistakes, and encounter the kind of pain that brings them to their knees.
And when they do, we have a choice. Will we rush around and pick up the pieces.
Or will we allow the slow work of life transform them from the inside out.
Will we love them without condition as they veer off their path.
Will we be a living sacrifice as we reflect the same love Jesus has shown us.
We’ll have to be intentional.
We'll have to step back.
Some things can only be learned the hard way.
Our job then is not to control our kids but to love them enough to allow them
to manage the consequences of their choices.
Then to give loads of grace and zero clack-back as they live with the reality of those consequences. The costs us. It's painful. It takes work to remember their poor decisions don't reflect on us no matter how it feels. This is even harder if we haven't settled the battle for our own worth.
If my heart is still dancing to the tune of performance it will be hard for me to let my child face their consequences of their actions.
If I’m still tapping my feet to perfection, it will be nearly impossible for me to separate their identity from mine.
But if my heart is to love my child 'even when,' like Christ does, then it's the only choice I have.
Your decision to invite God to come and move in your child’s life might cost you comfort or your image. It might cost you some of the dreams you have for your family.
I can promise you this though, when your child encounters difficulty, God will give you the grace to walk down this path of broken dreams. And eventually, he will replace them with fresh hope and a vision of something more beautiful than you could ever have imagined.
Motherhood costs us something and it gives us the opportunity to say yes to God every day.
Yes to embracing challenge.
Yes to growing in order to love with no strings attached.
Yes to healing so our emotions don’t suffocate our children.
Yes to allowing our kids to experience and manage the consequences of their decisions.
Yes to listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit
as we navigate tough relationships.
Yes to the privilege of going first.
Yes to leading with our lives.
Yes to staying in this for the long haul because Moms Don’t Give Up!