If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome!
The other day I saw one of those finger apparatuses in the Dollar Store.
You know, you put one finger in one end and another finger in the other end. When you pull, your fingers get stuck. Then they turn purple as you try to set them loose.
Who was so brilliant that they somehow conned us into putting our fingers into this and called it a game?
More importantly, why do we keep doing it?
Sometimes we get all tangled and tied up and we wonder how we got there. In today’s devo I shared a story of being a young mom with three kids under the age of three. We were having a blast on a yellow slip and side in the back yard. When some visitors showed up and suddenly there I was, tangled and tied up.
My house was a mess.
My kids were half naked.
I had suds standing one side of my hair straight up.
My stretch marks were glaring for all the world to see.
I was tangled. Tied-up. And I was holding the rope!
We can’t go back, but if I could I’d gently unwrap that young mom from her own anxiousness.
I’d tell her that one day her kids would be grown. They’d pull their babies onto their lap and they’d tell fun stories — like the adventure with the yellow slip and slide — and that they don’t mention one thing about the visitors because those visitors didn’t register in their memories.
All they remember is the joy of sliding down a sudsy slip and slide.
They remember a mama throwing her head back and laughing. They tell about their half naked siblings and the dog barking as he ran alongside their flying bodies.
Goodness girls, we’ve got to give ourselves some slack.
If I pick up one of those finger apparatuses (I’m sure they have a name) I’m not going to poke my finger in. I’ve learned my lesson.
If I have a chance to beat myself up, then I’m going to take a pass on that one too.
You know that old lady in the store that gives you advice when you don’t ask for it? I don’t want to be her, but I am reaching for every young mom out there and I’m telling you something I wish I’d known back then.
Don’t spend one minute tying yourself in knots over things that don’t matter in the long run.
In the long run, the sweet memories you make messing up the kitchen as you make cookies with your kids are greater than the dishes in the sink afterwards.
In the long run, what people think of how you look fades because beauty gets a whole new definition.
In the long run, you realize that perfection was never a worthwhile goal (and it comes with a lot of extra-long rope anyway).
Instead, you loosen the slack a bit. You provide room for mistakes and growing through them. You choose which things matter for your family and leave the comparison game out of it, because sticking your finger in that mess is never worth it.
Let’s give each a little grace and while we’re out it, let’s pour some over our own heart too.
What is one way that you can untie the knot today? Let’s pray about that together.
One of the reasons I put pressure on myself was I wanted my children’s childhood to be better than my own. That pressure had the power to create a whole new set of dysfunction, if God hadn’t healed this mama’s heart.
Were you raised in dysfunction? Do you sometimes struggle as a mom, because no one showed you how?
Maybe you work so hard to do it “right” that your good intentions are tangling up everyone you love.
The Mom I Want to Be is a practical, gentle resource to help you as you love your children and heal from the damages of the past. I’ve lived this friends. As you read through the pages of this book, I’ll come alongside to encourage you in every page. ~ Suzie