Monday, May 12, 2008

Measuring Moms

It is usually incumbent upon me to have something special planned for Sunday services honoring such days as Mother's Day. It can become difficult to find material year after year. This year, I wrote some thoughts to share with mothers, and Derek wrote a song which was greatly enjoyed by us all. Had I also been in charge of choosing the gift presented to the moms, I probably would have had little measuring tapes w/the church's name printed on them to hand out. You can actually find stuff like that: I checked! I thought I'd post my reading here in hopes that it may be of use or benefit to some other Mama out there! I trust it was a happy Mother's Day for all my blogging mother-friends and blogger friends who have Mothers. :)

Women in their roles as mothers are just as different as the very children they bring into this world. Different parenting styles, different strengths, different weaknesses, different talents, different backgrounds. I believe, however, that in the large throng of motherhood, there are some distinct threads of one-ness. I can't speculate on generations of Mothers Past, but I do believe that Moms today share a secret item, invisible to the naked eye, that many of us just may have here with us this morning. No, I will not ask the moms to dump out their purses and diaper bags as we search for this item! I will give you some clues, though, and you can be thinking if you recognize this familiar thing in your own life.

Ready?  Let’s begin!!
This object usually starts out rather small when your babies are small. After some nagging doubts whether your little one is growing properly and being cared for well enough, the item  grows. Then your child reaches toddler hood, and you find yourself with barely a moment to sit as you chase them around all day:  your mind races:  did you read to them enough, remember to play peek-a-boo, and count to ten today?  Are they getting enough vegetables? Ah, the little item just grew a little bit bigger. By the time your child reaches adolescence, the back of your mind is plagued with all sorts of questions: are you steering them in the right direction? do you have the answers for the difficult questions they ask all the time now? are you making the right decisions for their future? have you trained them well enough to be respectful of others? Do they have a solid foundation of what it means to be a Christian? Somewhere during all these years, the family has usually been added to, sometimes more than once!, and so, of course, the questions are multiplied.

And  we Mothers, like Pilgrim in John Bunyon's famed classic Pilgrim's Progress, get up every morning, and without much thought we take that burdensome item on our backs and carry it with us throughout the day allowing it to affect us in all that we do. Have you recognized it yet? It's called GUILT.

I don't think Mothers actually question its presence much anymore, it's become such a routine part of our lives. And it comes with one of those bonus gifts, as well! A very special, barely-perceptible, easily-portable Measuring Tape. We whip that handy dandy little gadget out with great expertise in no time flat. We usually hold it up to other moms, and upon determining that we just don't measure up to the great feats being accomplished by them, we just heap more Guilt into the giant burden-pack that we're carrying around. "Her home is so much more beautiful and better decorated than my home." "She never has those pesky little black circles under her eyes like I do." "She is so much more put-together and organized than I am." "Her children are so much better behaved than mine are." And on and on it goes. It is my firm suspicion that while I haven't proceeded past the stage of adolescence in rearing my own children, if this burden is not removed and dealt with properly it will just continue to hound us and haunt us even into the grandmother-hood stage of life.

Many times we come to church on Mother's Day Sunday; we have our Guilt-burden firmly in place on our backs, and we have our portable Measuring Tape securely strapped to our side. When we hear the glowing description of the Proverbs 31 woman (who looms above us all in an un-reachable manner that I don't think Scripture intends), or when we hear the testimonies about other mothers who have usually passed on to their eternal reward, we hang our heads in shame as we once again apply the Measuring Tape only to find ourselves coming up short.

 I believe with all my heart that if I told you, ladies, that as you file out of the service this morning, you would be receiving  a gift; but instead  of a flower or candy, or whatever it may be.......that today we would be handing out large heavy backpacks for you and that they come with a 100% guarantee  to make you a better mother.... every one of you would put it on. You would carry it in all its burdensome heaviness and you would do it gladly if it would ensure that your children would be all that they could be, being productive members of society and living lives of success, blessing, and prosperity.

Of course that’s not the case this morning.  In our human strength, we have no such guarantee.  But in fact, I would like to ask you to do just the opposite. I would like to ask each mother here this morning, to instead, take off the burden that you wore with you today. Lay it down. Leave it here. And I would ask something else....let's trade in those Measuring Tapes. Let's trade in the ones that measure us up to other people, other Moms, and always leave us feeling hopeless and failing. In exchange, let's accept a much better system of measuring! One  that measures the Mercies of God, which are new every single day. The Grace of God which He bestows on each one of us, regardless of our worthiness. The Wisdom of God, a priceless GEM in the business of child-rearing, which the Bible tells us that God will give us LIBERALLY if we ask it of Him.

When we begin to measure those invaluable resources, and recognize that we as His children are tapped right into them, I think we can gladly trade in our Guilt, and we can leave here this morning full of Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. With our heads held high: WE ARE MOTHERS!!! AND WE ARE NOT AFRAID. WE ARE NOT ASHAMED.!!!!


Leah said...

That is absolutely fabulous!!!!
I know how hard it is to come up with something new. Those are great thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Good words, my friend. I'm not a mom (I guess you knew that), but I think these thoughts can be applied to other facets of our lives as well. Thanks for the encouragement!!

Allana Martian said...

Very well said, Tara! A great and timeless reminder!

jenny said...

Amen! Great words and truth.

Kimberly said...

You've gotten to the heart of things here, Tara...really good!

Also so sad about Dottie!! What a writer!

Kim M. said...

Definitely hits close to home. Thanks!

GodSeeker said...

Darling, that was fantastic!!!! You said it so well. I can identify completely.

Anonymous said...

Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you

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