The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Tag: motherhood

When Mother’s Day Is Detrimental

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This holiday has been celebrated in the US for a little more than a century (since 1908), and I know mothers around the nation really appreciate being applauded and recognized for countless hours of selfless care for their families.

We all know motherhood is hard. It’s never-ending. Even when the kiddos go to bed, I’m still on duty, my senses just alert enough all night to hear a child’s cry. I suppose that even when my littles are grown and live in different houses with families of their own, I will still spend my nights with my mother-heart a little bit alert. I want to live my life in prayer for these kids.

Motherhood is sanctifying. My sin is glaringly obvious when I see that same sin in my children. Encouraging them to get rid of sin starts with my own commitment to denying sin. (Which is, of course, only successful through the work of the Holy Spirit.) I often think that it’s an awfully good thing that God blessed us with babies so quickly after our marriage, because I hate to think how stubborn and selfish I’d be if I hadn’t started this sanctifying process so young. God had His work cut out for him, to really get ahold of my me-centered heart. (And as you’ll see below, that me-centeredness still creeps up more often than I’d like!)

Motherhood is also SO rewarding. After birthing these gigantic children, I had the reward of nursing them for almost a year (6 months for J). I have the reward of snuggles, hugs, tickles, and laughs. I put the work in as a homeschool mom, and get the reward of seeing the “lightbulb moments,” like when they start reading fluently or suddenly understand a concept we’ve been discussing. I get the reward of seeing the Scripture they’ve memorized be applied in real life. I have had the greatest reward: watching all four of our kids recognize their need for a Savior, and asking Jesus to be Lord of their lives.

These are the things that are recognized on Mother’s Day. I think it’s a healthy thing for dads and kids to try to understand the mothers in their lives. It’s good to treat them like a queen for the day, and thank them for all they do.

But while I love the rewards and accolades, I really pour my heart into parenting so that God might be glorified.

One of our favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I had to remind myself of that whenever I looked at Facebook or Instagram yesterday. There was picture upon picture upon status upon status of people praising their mothers and doing sweet things for them. And that ugly thing called envy reared its head. Jealousy – it’s not a pretty sight.

I was looking for human reward instead of God’s glory.

My sweet family bought me lunch, and sat around the table talking about “what they love about mommy,” and we planted my “gift” a week or so ago (5 beautiful red lilies).

Why wasn’t I content with all of that sweetness, knowing that my family appreciates me?

Why did I feel as if my day wasn’t enough because I didn’t receive {insert any Facebook status here}?

Sin. That’s all, friends. When I was supposed to be celebrating the gift of motherhood, I was internally acting like a selfish, spoiled brat. That’s just lovely, isn’t it?

Mother’s Day (or any day) becomes detrimental when I start comparing my experience to yours. You know the old saying, “Comparison kills contentment?” TRUE. STATEMENT.

The highlight of my day yesterday was a family bike ride to a park, a walk in the woods, and playing “Sprinkler Baseball” in the front yard. It was relaxing and fun and stressful and hilarious.

Maybe you read a book in your hammock or went out to coffee by yourself or played roller derby. Whatever your day looked like, if God was glorified, it was a successful Mother’s Day. It doesn’t matter what anyone else received. The day you experienced was a gift in itself.

Happy Mother’s Day!

We love you, mommy / Lacey! You are the best mommy in the world. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make for the sake of the family.

Grace says: You are awesome with the food. You read us the Bible very good.

Caleb says: mbtxcyhguyrczqtnugf6jiyhgb (my favorite letters).

Ava says: I love you. I want to give you a treat.

Jaden says: the same as Caleb, and that he loves you.

Being a Great Mom…

I was really encouraged the first time I read Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes. That was a while ago (2-3 years?), and I picked it up tonight to read again.

This poem was near the beginning, and it made me want to weep…

My hands were busy through the day.
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn’t have much time for you.

I’d wash your clothes,
I’d sew and cook,
But when you’d bring your picture book,
And asked me please to share your fun,
I’d say, “A little later, son.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door…
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.

For life is short, the years rush past.
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away.
There are no longer games to play.
No good-night kisses, no prayers to hear.
That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.

from
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes (pg. 27)

Look back at my last post and see how much time I spent playing with my beautiful children. I’ll save you the time – it was right around 0.00 minutes.

When it comes to spending too much time doing dishes and laundry and not enough time playing with the kids, I am the worst offender. The thing is, I don’t even like doing dishes and laundry. But they have to be done at some time or another, and it seems to be my job to do them.

So, how do I juggle it all?

I want to have a clean house and clean clothes to wear and yummy food to serve my family. But most of all I want to have children who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their mommy loves them and loves spending time with them. I don’t want them to grow up and remember me as the housekeeper. I want them to grow up and remember me giving my energies to them.

And I fear I’m failing miserably.

If nothing else, this poem is a grand reminder to me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember to put down the dishrag and wrestle around with Caleb, make Ava giggle, read a book with Gracie, and crawl around with Jaden.

I just don’t want to miss it.

Over-Achiever

We are so proud of our Gracie-girl, who finished her entire Sparks book last week at AWANA.

(If that sentence sounds foreign to you, I’m sorry! AWANA is a program for children that our church participates in every Wednesday. It focuses on Scripture memorization, and each student gets a book with verses to memorize. A book should typically take approximately one school year to complete.)

I obviously knew she was going to complete the book, since we work together on the memorization. But what I was most excited about was the review. I was expecting her to take the rest of the year to go back through the book and review the verses. Uhm, nope. She did ALL of the review verses the same night she finished the book!

That means she has really committed the verses to long-term memory. How exciting!

Confession time…(It sounds like a rabbit trail, but stick with me here.)

In elementary school, I was a chubby kid who wasn’t good at sports or anything in particular. I didn’t think all that much of myself, and I certainly didn’t have a healthy view of myself as a child of God. So, I thrived on accomplishments.

The one thing I did have going for me was that I was a good student.

As I grew older, I strove for good grades and was probably considered a “teacher’s pet.” (Okay, okay, I was actually voted “Teacher’s Pet” in our senior class mock elections.) I ended up being the valedictorian of my small public school class. You can imagine what wonders that did for my self-esteem.

But you can also imagine what happened to my rickety self-image when I got to college and wasn’t the smartest girl in the hall, and I couldn’t always get an A+ on every assignment. If I couldn’t even achieve perfect student status, what was I worth?

Obviously, I had to somehow form a healthy view of myself through Biblical truth – that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, made in the image of God, and I am His precious child (no matter how much I achieve, or don’t achieve). I truly can’t remember how that happened. It definitely wasn’t a one-time change, but a change of heart occurring over time. I’m pretty sure motherhood helped shape me tremendously.

Okay, now I am on a rabbit trail.

Anywho, here is my concern. Grace is so much like me. She is a great student. She gets SO excited when she does well in school.

And I’m sure all of that is pretty “normal.”

But how do I help shape her view of herself in a healthy, Biblical way? How do I help her know that her value is in her status as a daughter of God, not in her grades? What can I do to help her know that truth from a young age?

Anyone willing to weigh in here?

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