I can't believe it's already fall. I can't believe Brooke just turned 4, and the twins are already 2. Brooke is already in school...even if it is only for two days a week. Life seems to be going by SO quickly between school, birthdays, speech therapy and cubbies. I ended last week feeling like a complete FAILURE. I was late to school almost every morning, I got in "trouble" for leaving the twins in the car while I ran Brooke into preschool (gasp, I know), she wore the wrong shoes to school (shoes I specifically bought because I thought they were acceptable), and I really struggled with anger for the last couple weeks at various circumstances. Guilt settled in as I thought about my impatience, selfishness, forgetfulness, etc. I pulled out a letter that my sweet friend Terri mailed me a few weeks ago and tears came to my eyes as I realized how sinful my actions have been. I'm thankful for God's forgiveness, but I know that there isn't a way to go back in time. I needed a reminder of my duties as a mommy. I NEED to show Christ to them. I HAVE to share parts of this with you because I know it will be an encouragement to many of you other young mothers.
For The Young Mother: Ministry, Guilt, and Seasons of Life, by Jani Ortulnd.
"As a young mother everyone wants SOMETHING from you - your family, your church, your boss, your neighbor. And most likely, you give way more than you ever thought you could. But along the way guilt nibbles at your soul, eating away your inner peace and joy. And it often lingers through the years, even after your children are grown and gone."
"Don't waste your guilt - but instead listen to it and evaluate it. Take it out of the shadows and examine it in the light of Scripture. Lay out your feelings before Christ. Is this guilt legitimate conviction of sin? Then confess your sin, receive His forgiveness and ask Him where and how he wants you to change. But maybe your guilt is a nagging, self focused fear that if you were just a bit better or worked just a little harder, then you would be noticed and admired enough to feel okay about yourself. That is a false guilt, rooted in pride. It will hurt your family and hinder your relationship with your grace-giving Father If this describes your guilt, then remind yourself that through Christ's death and resurrection, you are accepted by god. The solution to false guilt, as to true guilt, is the gospel. "
"Remember my mission field - one reason a young mother can feel wrongly guilty is that she forgets that her first and primary mission field must be her children. Mothering calls for the best in us as women. As mothers, we SHAPE the souls of our children and ultimately influence the world."
"Heart for the Home - Ministry to our children means being "all there". It means rejoicing that you get to show your children how to peddle a tricycle, make their bed, build good memories and share their toys with others. You serve your family, and ultimately your heavenly Father, by helping your child do that puzzle for the seventeenth time, by washing those sticky fingers, by planting a little garden, by acting out Bible stores and praying together."
The last few weeks, I honestly feel like I spend my days cleaning up messes, changing diapers, breaking up fights, disciplining, getting in and out of carseats, and running from place to place. I don't want these sweet, little years to go by without taking advantage of the love that I can show my girls. I want to sacrifice "my" time by spending time teaching, playing and loving my girls.
"And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."