And I do not feel guilty about my standing with God. I'm so thankful Jesus the One and Only made that right when He took the fall for all the ways I miss the mark of God's perfect standard and made it possible for me to be in relationship with a loving, just, compassionate Creator.
But my natural tendency is to operate out of guilt about a lot of everything else. And these days, we moms (especially those of us who “stay home” and theoretically have time to get everything right) have plenty we can feel guilty about.
Here's the thing: what you do as a mom matters. It does. You are nurturing eternal souls, but what that usually looks like is driving someone somewhere or doing laundry or trying to come up with something for dinner.
I'm hoping this blog will encourage other moms who are doing this work that matters so much but who feel overwhelmed sometimes by all the "shoulds" and "should-nots" thrown at us while we're doing it. At the very least, I hope you'll feel great about yourself in comparison to someone who didn't allow her kids to fingerpaint in the house, never got around to sending them to summer camp, and doesn't even try to get her family to eat kale or quinoa.
"Experts," doctors, talk-show hosts, morning news anchors, and certain skinny actresses have lots of advice for weary moms. Don’t feed your kids anything white. Especially, heaven forbid, sugar. Do feed them fish. And quinoa. And kale…lots of kale. Make sure they exercise an hour day. Don’t let them watch TV. Read to them. Do crafts with them…lots of crafts. Make sure they are brilliant in math and science…they are the future of our entire nation and, indeed, of civilized society as we know it.
Really, it all just makes me want to give up and feed my girls straight-up high fructose corn syrup and red dye #5 while they sit around and watch “Dance Moms.” But because of the aforementioned guilt, and because I love my family, I cannot give up and so am trying to do a few “right” things in the midst of lots of “wrong” things.
And I’ll cover all of it with lots of chocolate. Which I do not feel guilty about.
Thanks so much for reading this far! I'd love it if you ever came back, and if you do, here are a few things it might help you to know about my little family (me, plus my husband and two daughters—and for the record, the 3 of them are some of the most wonderful, precious, kind, loving, delightful, and likeable human beings God ever created):
2. My daughters watch too much TV.
3. We drink pop sometimes (that’s soda for you East-coasters).
4. I, personally (now this is JUST me I'm talking about), think scrapbooking is the 10th circle of hell. Cropping and Cricut-ting for all eternity. I have many friends who love it and are gifted at it, God bless 'em. But I don't have a crafty bone in my body. I have a chocolate bone instead.
5. We never eat fish even though I know we should. My husband I like it, but our daughters don’t even like the idea of it, and I'm just too tired to figure out what’s safe to eat, ecologically friendly to eat, affordable to eat, and appetizing to eat.
6. We live near Battle Creek, Michigan, Cereal Capital of the World, where the air sometimes smells like Fruit Loops.
7. We are not locavores. We buy out-of-season foods shipped from many miles away. I feel guilty about this, but bananas are a go-to fruit serving.
8. I am a terrible photographer. I don’t understand apertures or shutter speeds, and I’m too tired to figure them out. Plus, I don’t want to. I am only including limited photos on this blog because I, personally, hate to make a recipe if I can’t see a picture of it first. The bonus here is that any recipe of mine you make will undoubtedly look better than the picture of it does.
9. We send our girls to public school. Yes. See "Lists and Laughs," "With Apologies to My Firstborn," #3. See also "You Might Be a Home Schooler If...(A Guest Post By Someone Who Knows)."
10. We are followers of Jesus, saved by grace, redeemed by His perfection, and seeking to develop what Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman calls “the magnificent obsession”—with Who God is, what He wants, His Word, and His will for our lives. More specifically, I’m currently feeling guilty (see above) about not feeding His sheep, other than the three who live in my pasture. I’m trying to figure out what God wants me to do about that and am hoping He'll give me some really clear direction really soon.
In the meantime, I'd be thrilled to hear from you (ecstatic, actually). What's the "next thing" that you want to do/know you should do/need to do? Where could you use some mom encouragement? Did you let your kids fingerpaint in the house? That sort of thing...