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Good Mom vs Crazy Mom

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
- Proverbs 31:10,13,18,28-29.

I can't help but laugh when I read Proverbs 31. I hope God isn't offended by that, but I do laugh, especially at specific parts. My hands don't feel very "eager" most days. And the only reason my “lamp is still on late at night” is if one of my five kids is sick or if one of my two toddlers is keeping me awake. And I’m certain my children have never “arose and called me blessed" either!

But after I'm done laughing, I can also feel discouraged when reading these verses. I feel like a failure and inferior to the "Good Mom" and wife they are describing.

I spent some time recently thinking about what I think a modern day "Good Mom" looks like (or at least, what the world says she looks like):

A Good Mom has limitless energy. She bakes things from scratch and always has a clean house. She is consistent and kind. She never raises her voice and is filled with patience. She is always encouraging and positive and can turn any conversation into a spiritual lesson. She has new craft ideas for every holiday. She is really creative and talented in many ministry areas. Her kids never watch TV because they are always entertained with exciting ideas that she came up with. A Good Mom always has time to play. She serves healthy, well-balanced meals. She cans and freezes vegetables and fruits from her weed-free garden. She is always fun and very funny. She loves to car pool and enjoys driving her children to all their various activities. She gets up early each morning to spend time with God. The best part is she still has energy left for her husband when he gets home from work. She wakes up feeling refreshed and energetic, even if she had to get up with one of her children several times during the night.

And then there is me. I call myself A Crazy Mom. Am I ringing any bells here?

A Crazy Mom (like me) is exhausted before the day ever starts. Her kids fight a lot. Her house is a disaster 100% of the time. Her idea of cleaning the house is to make sure there are no visible chunks on the toilet seats in each bathroom. Several days a week she is too tired to get up early and spend time with God, even though she desperately longs to. A Crazy Mom often feel overwhelmed. Her patience is wore thin by 10am. She is not consistent, and it irritates her. She gets angry and raises her voice with her children, and then feels huge guilt afterwards. Her favorite meal to serve is frozen pizza or take out. She feels very proud of herself if her children get bathed once a week. She hasn't had ALL of her laundry folded and put away for three years. Her van has stuff growing in the back seat where her kids leave food. At least one day a week, her only goal for the day is to keep all of her children alive (since she has three children with Epi pens and severe food allergies). She often worries that she’s not teaching her children the most important things they need to know about life and about Jesus. She often feels like she’s messing her kids up. When her husband gets home, she goes and locks herself in the bathroom for twenty minutes, praying for strength to finish her responsibilities for the day. She often does not have anything left to give her husband after the kids are in bed, which only produces more guilt.

Where did I pick up this belief that I need to be the Good Mom I described above? I am not June Cleaver! And neither are you. And God does not expect us to be June Cleaver. Does anyone else struggle with this? I believe we have put these ridiculous expectations of what we think a good mom (and a perfect mom) is on ourselves, and we have also picked up these expectations from others in our lives. It is bondage, plain and simple. It is not what God's will is for us (Galatians 5:1).

I never knew the meaning of tired and "stretched beyond what you can handle" until this particular season of my life. I have also never experienced spiritual breakthrough and growth like I have during this season of my life. I find this interesting.

God is using my children and my current life circumstances to bring all the impurities and the ugliness buried deep inside my heart up to the surface, and then skimming it off with His loving and merciful hand. He is reshaping my character to be more like Jesus every day. Yes, it’s a painful, slow process, but I wouldn't change it.

Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel.
- Proverbs 25:4.

But He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
- Job 23:10.

Refined by fire. Refined by trials. And yes, refined by craziness. God can transform any one of us into a beautiful “vessel” that He can use for good. An amazing miracle.

God didn’t put Proverbs 31 in the Bible to put us on a guilt trip (Romans 8:1). It is a beautiful picture of what we hope to attain with God's help. But it is a journey, not something we learn quickly or easily. Proverbs 31 is a tool; a guide and a goal. And in each season of life, our goals as mothers change and shift dramatically. The season of mothering I am in now is very messy, chaotic and loud. I am not saying that when I mess up and sin, it's okay because I'm in a chaotic life-stage. I need to continue to take my sin to Jesus, ask for forgiveness, beg for wisdom, and choose to get up and fight another day. But I also need to offer myself some grace, and remember Who offers me His infinite grace every day.

I mess up a lot as a mother. Every day I feel the tension and struggle between the kind of mother I long to be, and the mother I actually am. But here’s where I need to take a slow, deep breath and realize it’s okay. It really is okay.

Truth: God made YOU (and only you) to be the mother of your children. He thought you were exactly right for the job, and so He gave it to you. Just the way you are. Never lose sight of that. YOU are the only right mom for your child or children.

So why can't we be Good Moms and Crazy Moms at the same time?

The beauty is that I believe God can miraculously merge the two together. He take the best from the Good Mom and He takes the best from the Crazy Mom, and because of Him, can create a beautiful picture of love, and guide us into the kind of motherhood He intended us to live out.

I am not perfect. But I am a good mom. And in this season of my life, I am also a crazy mom. So I guess that makes me a crazy good mom.

And I think God is completely fine with that. He loves us just as we are. He thinks we are amazing even in our craziness. Even among the chaos that goes on at our houses a lot of days. In this season of life, I rely on God for the order and sanity.

And the rest of it…? I take a deep breath, whisper a prayer for strength and sanity, and thank God for the precious gift of being a mom. And then I let it go to my Father.

He’s got you.

Father, You are my sanity and my foothold when I have no other. Thank You for the crazy way you love me. And for the grace You shower me with every day, especially in this Crazy Mom stage I am in. Please give me joy in this season of life, and pour Your wisdom and Holy Spirit over me. May I see my children with Your eyes of love, and remember how much You love me too, just the way I am. Continue to reshape me, through my children, to become more like You. Amen.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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