If I’m a #MomFail, Can I Still Get to the Parenting Promised Land?

I thought being a mom was the hardest thing I’d ever done until I tried to write an article about being a mom.

I’ve been a momma for ten years and most days still feel like a #momfail. I lose my temper and yell at my kids and make a big deal out of small things. I worry about everything. The laundry is never finished, and I almost always forget to grab something at the store that I needed for dinner.

And sometimes I’m just downright selfish. Nothing opens your eyes to your own selfishness quite like hiding in the pantry to eat the last cookie. Add on the fact that my kids are also selfish creatures and that comparison can be a real jerk, and being a good mom can feel about as possible as finding a unicorn.  

On having it all together

I have grouchy days and I have days where I’m basically Mary Poppins. There have been days that are harder than most and seasons that are more difficult than others. Some days I feel like I have it all together and some days I really don’t.

A few weeks ago my youngest son celebrated the hundredth day of school, so I got him dressed, spray-painted his hair gray, and dropped him off at school. I felt totally on top of things.

In fact, I was so on top of things that I was actually an entire week early on-top-of-things. Thankfully, my little guy was a trooper and even agreed to get dressed up again the following week.  

All this to say, when it came to writing an article about parenting, I didn’t feel like I had much to offer. Every time I sat down with my computer to write, all I could think of were my shortcomings and failures as a mom. I struggled to see any wisdom or advice that could be gleaned from the craziness of my life. Frustration and self-doubt set in, leaving me with a blank page and blinking cursor for several weeks.

It wasn’t until last week during my time alone with God that I realized the only thing I can really offer anyone is the truth that comes from his Word. As I was studying the book of Joshua, God revealed to me a special truth I want to share with you today.

Crossing the Jordan

I was reading chapters three and four, where the Israelites cross the Jordan River to get to the Promised Land. Because it was harvest season, the typically calm river was now raging. The priests carrying the ark of the covenant were the first to step in. As they reached the edge of the water, the flow was cut off.

The people waited and watched from a distance until it was their time to cross as well. I envisioned the Israelite women stepping foot on the dry riverbed, keeping their babes close by. The path was unfamiliar and the terrain was rocky, but they could confidently walk forward, knowing that the Lord had gone before them.

Midway, they passed by the priests still holding the ark of the covenant and, from that point on, each step they took came with the assurance of knowing that the Lord was there with them in the middle. Every step took them closer and closer to a promise fulfilled

Once on the other side, twelve men went back into the riverbed where the priests stood. They hoisted large stones onto their shoulders and brought them back to be used as a memorial, a reminder for generations to come of what the Lord had brought them through and the promises God had made good on.

Can’t you just see life in this passage?

Faith to go forward

Sometimes we find ourselves in a season that seems unpassable, like an illness or job loss. A once-calm situation (or toddler) is now raging. We worry that everything might give way and we will be washed away with all the stresses of our life. The path is rocky and life around us can seem uncertain.

But, like the Israelites, we can confidently go where God leads because we know that he has gone before us. We must trust that he has us and is with us, even in the middle of an impossible situation. Because the God who held back the flow of that river is the same God who knows your name. We must take the time to see him working all around us, capturing the evidence as we go and looking back on it as a reminder of his faithfulness.

And, friend (if you have read this far, then I definitely consider you my friend), I don’t know what your life looks like right now. You might be entering a difficult season or you might be right in the middle of one. Or maybe your feet are just now hitting solid ground on the other side.

No matter your season, don’t miss the opportunities God gives you to tell your kids about him.

The memorial stones were intentionally planned by God for the Israelites to serve not only as a reminder of what he had done but also as a tool to be used to speak truth into the lives of their children.

So, use the hard and difficult times you’ve walked through to tell your kids of the God who can do impossible things.

Show them the ways you were able to see him work in the circumstances around you.

Tell them of the God who loves us so much that he made a way for us.

What are you modeling?

Remember: it doesn’t matter if you have your life together or not.

It doesn’t matter that sometimes you will lose your temper and snap at your kids. It doesn’t matter that you forgot one thing on your list but managed to work the mountain of laundry down to a small hill. It doesn’t even matter that your five-year-old was an elderly man in a sea of preschoolers.

What matters is the evidence of Christ in our lives every day.

Do our children see us open God’s word? Can they watch us walk through a difficult season, confidently proclaiming God’s faithfulness? Do you take the time to pull them in close and speak words of truth into and over them?

Those are the things that matter, the moments that matter.

Let us never miss an opportunity to point our kids to Jesus.