Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why I Wanted to Cancel Mother's Day

I wrote this letter to my children this morning:

The day before Mother's Day, I felt like there was nothing worth celebrating. All I could think about was how I had failed in countless ways as a mother. When you, my children, were very small, I remember a friend telling me that if I were a perfect mother, my children wouldn't need the Lord. OK, that made sense. It made me breathe a sigh of relief because I didn't have to be perfect.

However, sometimes I think I let that truth, and God's mercy, convince me to be lazy about mothering. I am ashamed at all the ways I have set a bad example. I have been lazy, crabby, mean, and selfish. I have set the example of hiding from my problems and shirking my responsibilities. I have complained instead of rejoicing; I have worried instead of praying; I have grumbled instead of giving thanks in all circumstances.

When I thought about Mother's Day, I thought about you giving me cards that said, “You're the best Mom in the world,” and it made me regret all the ways that I have been so much less than the “best” Mom in the world.

So, I thought I didn't really deserve Mother's Day.

But none of us deserves God's mercy. None of us deserves what Jesus did for us on the Cross. So, I have to face my failures and ask for forgiveness, from you and from the Lord.  Then, I am free to receive His mercy and love because.  And then, I have to resolve to “do better.” That doesn't mean “try harder,” because growing as a mother – like growing in any kind of holiness - doesn't come from my own sheer effort. It comes from my submission to Christ and His will for my life. If I want to be a better mother, a better example of gratitude, joy, and service, then I need Christ first. I need Him to give me the grace to say no to my desire to be lazy, my temptation to complain, and my habit of thinking of myself first.

I apologize for not putting Jesus first in my life every day. I'm sorry that I haven't worshipped and adored and glorified God the way He created me to. And I'm sorry that I haven't taught you to do so as well.  Forgive me for trying to be a mother on my own strength rather than through Christ who gives me strength.

Forgive me for all the ways I have failed you. I pray that God will help you to heal from the ways I've hurt you. I know that HE is enough when I am not. I pray mostly that I will be able to submit to His will to be able to be used by Him to be the mother HE created me to be.

So, on Mother's Day, instead of dwelling on my own insufficiency, I will rejoice that God is enough. I will rejoice that love covers a multitude of sins. I will rejoice that, even though I'm a “failure,” God brought us together as a family for a reason. Not because any of us is perfect, but because we're perfect for each other.

I love you!