Competition Doesn’t Belong in Motherhood or the Gospel

posted in: mothering, parenting, Uncategorized | 1

Motherhood is a crazy race that many of us women run daily – with the bottles, diapers, car-pooling, homeschooling (if that’s your thing), soccer practice, ballet, etc. It is so easy for us to compare our lives with others and realize we either are better or that we don’t quite measure up. Here is a little bit of what I’m reading, listening to, and learning about this dangerous cycle.

I was reading this morning in Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman. My husband later asked me what I read in it that was encouraging me. I had to struggle not to compare myself with others or be sarcastic (which he appreciated) and I told him about these two dangers she points out:

1. I’m a terrible housewife (pg 31). Those days when I’m giving in to laziness, playing too many candy crush saga games, or right now when I have more legitimate excuses like contractions or exhaustion from being three weeks from my due date, I usually complain like this when the Mister arrives home: “I didn’t get this done. But, someone else would have had a 4 course meal on the table, all the laundry done, and the kids dressed in new outfits.” Or it would be something like, “Love, I’ve been exhausted all day – only one load of laundry got done.” My tendency is to compare myself with others when I want to hide my own sinful habits and ask for sympathy instead.

2. I’m an amazing housewife (pg 32). Honestly, I don’t fall into this category that much right now. Because I don’t have it down. I think this tendency will come when I lose this baby weight (from two back to back babies), have perfect stylish clothes on, have my schedule down, don’t cry very much, hormones are back to normal, and cook healthy foods for myself and others. But, I know so many others who do have this tendency. One of the ways I do see myself doing this is Sunday after Sunday I don’t ever see Little Mister’s nursery number put up on the screen. I seem to take pride in the fact that he is such a good toddler in the nursery.

Both of them are pride – and both have them need to be put to death by the blood of Jesus on the cross.

And here is where we fall short: not only do we compare ourselves with other moms, but we also compare ourselves in our place in the gospel story. That is how the connection came to me this morning. We often look at our lives and our homes/jobs/ministries and compare them with others and see that we don’t struggle with sin near as much as ______ does.

As I was driving to a park to walk this morning with Little Buddy, I replayed my friend Daniel Renstrom’s Amazing Love (on Jesus Wants My Heart, a stellar family worship album). Such a conviction of sin:

No condemnation now I dread

Jesus and all in Him is mine

Alive in Him, my living head

And clothed in righteousness divine

Bold I approach the eternal throne

And claim the crown through Christ my own

No matter the size of the crown that is mine when I get to heaven – it won’t be because of anything I’ve done. It will be because of the amazing love with Christ lavished on me. I didn’t (and still don’t) deserve anything of his merit or grace. He is gracious to me beyond anything I could ever do to deserve his love. I am in the same boat with all the people that I compare myself to.

As part of Mister’s prayer this morning as we started our day was a sweet sentiment of the love that Little Buddy will have for me as he gets older – that he won’t compare me with other moms, etc. I love that sentiment, but know that it is somewhat unrealistic. I compared my mom to other moms all the time – not that it was fair or right, but that’s what my sinful heart did. I pray that I can be the Mom that not only my two little buddy’s need – but one that will find my only boast in the Gospel of Jesus.

The Hand Model – and Us

posted in: Women | 1

Most of us are not hand models…but if you saw this video on the CBS Evening News with Katie…then you might have seen a glimpse into your own life (or my life: which I did). Here is why I say that. And please, click the video above, watch it, then come back and read below…
( I assume now that you’ve watched the video) – thank you Tim Challies by the way for pointing it out…

Here are four points (some specifically for women, some for all of us).

1. Pride. I was once told that we see the sin in others when it is a sin that we also struggle with. The glaring sin of pride is the first thing that stood out to me when I heard this woman’s conversation with Katie. This woman may have the world’s most visible hands…but she didn’t create those hands. The Creator God gave her those hands…and not once did I hear her turn around and pay compliment to Him? All creation was made for God’s glory…including hands.
2. Dismissing Responsibility/Laziness. In order to protect her hands, she can’t do many of the things that God has commanded us to do. Specifically as women we see in Titus 2 and Prov 31 many responsibilities that women/wives are to do with their hands: cook, gather material, work, provide clothing and food, take care of the household’s needs, etc. This requires use of hands. May require different things for different people, but at some point – we need to use our hands. She isn’t. She is relying on other people, and in turn, dismissing the responsbilities given to her. Do we really need our husbands, children, maids to open a can for us?
3. Fear of Failure. She is so afraid of taking off her gloves, cooking, etc because she feels that if something happens to her hands, than she will be a failure. I wonder when this obsession with her hands started? Wonder what role her parents had in this overarching theme of her life? I wonder what would happen if she broke her hand, or got a splinter, or a nail chipped…would her life be ruined? Do we NOT do things because of fear of failure or do we do the easy things because we know we will succeed and we don’t have to worry about someone doing it better? What happens when this woman ages and her hands wrinkle?
4. Wrong Dedication. I am working on a church Sunday School curriculum called Treasuring Christ. It is designed to teach students that Christ is more worth anything we can live our lives for: that God, through Christ, is all that is worth living for. He is everything. Her life is about her hands and her work. She goes about her whole life in seeking protection for her hands and a spotlight to be shown on her hands. Where is Christ? Ok, we may not be hand models – but what area of our lives is more than Christ? Is it your family? your career? Your sports? Your hobbies? Your money? What? Take inventory.

Here is the grace of Christ:
Colossians 2:6 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taughts, abounding in thanksgiving.”