I have read some great blogs about being a mom. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, some encouraged me and gave me great ideas, and others made me question if I should have ever been entrusted with these two little lives in the first place. We all know our culture is media-driven and I don’t think I need to repeat all of the great rhetoric about how that affects us. All of us moms have experienced the guilt that comes after scrolling through Facebook and seeing all of the pictures other moms have posted of their kids’ art projects and healthy lunches while our own children are sitting on the couch, watching TV and eating chips (while we are on Facebook).
Recently I realized just how often I feel this guilt. Its almost as though I have a 50 lb bag of it on my back that I carry with me everywhere I go. “So stop looking at Facebook!” you are probably yelling at the screen, right? (Come on, you know you were at least thinking it.) But that’s not it. While I do enjoy Facebook, and my school career affords me a lot of time on the inter web, Facebook has mostly become a buffer for me…something to give me a mental break from whatever homework assignment is bending my mind. I am on it a lot, but its mostly to have conversations or post things for work, or keep up with work (all through FB, yes!) It isn’t very often I scroll through the news feed, at least not very deep. So why do I still feel this guilt if I’m not seeing the “mom of the year” news reel as often?
I’ve got news for you, ladies. It’s not just Facebook. It is everywhere, everything, all the time, all around. We live in a culture of comparison because we live in a culture that endlessly sends us messages that we just aren’t measuring up. Be more beautiful (like the girl on the magazine cover). Be thinner (like the girl on the billboard). Be classy (like the lady in that perfume commercial covered in diamonds). Be provocative (like that dear, misguided soul twerking on the VMA’s). Be rich, be smart, be funny, be healthy, be bold, be fearless, be better, BETTER, BEST!!! It is no wonder we get lost in the chatter. Not only do we get lost, we end up picking up the slack in all of these areas where we are lacking and that slack becomes one huge, heaping weight on our back.
I don’t believe we were created to live that way. Now, more than ever, we need to recognize that we were created for something better, something immortal, something that cannot possibly be compared to anything else because nothing else could possibly measure up to it…something eternal. But while we were created for that, we are living in this, and the only way to tap into that is laid out pretty clear for us in Scripture.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
That seems plain and simple. So why isn’t it? Why is it so hard to “remain“? Do we need to bring back the WWJD bracelets to remind us? Because I’m pretty sure that won’t help us with the “be fashionable” demand. But it does make me wonder…what would Jesus do if he were a mom? Here are a few things I thought of…
1. He would love his kids fiercely. There is no greater love than God’s love and Jesus is the human picture of that love. Think of how much you love your kids. God loves us infinitely more than is humanly possible.
2. He would discipline his kids when they needed it. Jesus is no softy! Discipline goes hand in hand with love.
3. He would get dirty. You better believe Jesus would be rolling down hills, making mud pies, climbing trees and digging up dirt. No mom can abandon all responsibility to play with their kids all day, but hopefully we are finding times to play with our kids on their level.
4. He would laugh. Whether it be at the kids or with them…laugh he would.
5. He would encourage and uplift other moms. No judgment here. Oh, Jesus would be bold to speak the truth, don’t get me wrong. But he would always clothe it with love and humility and always in a way that would build up, not tear down.
6. Let’s face it, he would probably grow stuff. I mean, I know he set aside his deity and all…but I bet he’d have a killer garden. (I do not have a garden, nor a green thumb, and that is OK)
7. He would talk about his Dad…A LOT. (Yes, talk about your dad too, but the point here is…well…you know…GOD)
8. He would teach his kids to pray. Jesus led a perfect, sinless life. So, obviously, he would be the perfect mom…the mom you would always compare yourself to. But we often forget that Jesus was fully human. He was tempted just like we are. He experienced pain and grief and fear and sadness and anger…even explosive anger! He just never sinned. But because he was fully human, the only way he was able to do that was to rely on his Father. The same is true for us. This is why Jesus went off alone and spent a lot of time in prayer. If we cultivate a life of prayer like that of Jesus, we will be teaching our kids to pray.
9. He would tell stories. Uhhh…yeah! I think he might have a few in his repertoire.
10. He would totally cry. Remember that whole bit about Jesus being fully human with human emotions? Yeah…if Jesus were a mom, he would totally cry.
11. He would continuously and sacrificially give of himself to his children, over and over. Ouch…that one hurts. It is a constant struggle. God, give us moms the strength to continuously put our kids first.
What would you add to the list?
(Coming up…more reflections on what it means to “remain” in the True Vine)