He Shall Hear My Voice

Sometimes, I am a stellar parent.  Watch me in action. Take notes.  One night, I battled my screaming, disrespectful two year-old through dinner and won.  Not only did he return to the table to eat, but his words were honey the remainder of the meal. While his little hand scooped food, his face screamed submission.

I’ve got this. I’m a great mom. 

Don't believe a word she says.  I'm always peaceful.

Don’t believe a word she says. I’m always peaceful.

Or the fact that I get four kids out of the house and to community by 8:15am most weeks during the school year. Clearly, I deserve an award for that one.

Homeschool mom of the year here.

What about the enchiladas I make? A meal that is pretty simple and everyone in the house loves.

The one recipe everyone loves!

The one recipe everyone loves!

Chef extraordinaire? Why yes. Thank you so kindly for the compliment.

BUT

More often, you will find me in the place I am tonight.

Alone, in tears, and feeling like a failure.

While reveling in the successful parenting escapades is more fun, the humbling side of this role is where I usually live.

The plans to prepare for tomorrow’s events and then read or write have vanished as the result of a mom who hasn’t set clear enough bed-time boundaries. After laying with them for almost two hours, the littlest one finally sleeps.

Two Hours. I noted the time and just wanted to cry.

A good mom would have done a better job.

What a failure. Other people’s kids go to bed like normal children.

Satan wins the gold medal in reminding us how fabulous other people are. And he doesn’t just throw out the superficial comments like – better hair, thinner figure, nicer car. He hits us where it hurts – our children.

It took two hours to get through math today, and the oldest still defies me, trying to get away with not showing his work.

What a failure. Other homeschool moms run a tighter ship.

The mess is out of control, and I spent over an hour today just picking up toys in the den and returning them to their homes all over the house.

What a failure. Other peoples’ kids clean up after themselves. 

Other peoples’ homes are neater, kids are more respectful, classrooms are more organized, kids go to bed on time, make better meals, read more, get to church earlier.

And the list could go on forever.

But I don’t have other peoples’ kids.  I have mine. Sometimes all I observe is the crazy mess that has resulted from the mistakes I have made as a parent. But if I look closely enough – through the right lens, I can often see a glimpse, as sparkle of the unique creation the Lord is developing in spite of my mistakes.  Maybe, just maybe He is even using my mistakes to make them who He desires them to be.

My fabulous four!

My fabulous four!

The real failure here is letting the enemy convince me it’s only me in this boat. Many other parents who go to bed the same way – in tears, feeling every bit of the failure Satan tells them they are. And even if it was just me, the Lord has promised me that He is always with me, and He always hears me.

A favorite picture hangs in my room.  It is based on Psalm 55:17.  Evening, morning, and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.

He shall hear my voice.  Psalm 55:17 By Michael Dudash

He shall hear my voice. Psalm 55:17 By Michael Dudash

Lord, as we lay down our day – may we lay it at your feet and not at the feet of our enemy. He will hand it back to us again in the morning to pick up where we left off, but You will only hand us a clean slate for a fresh, new day. You alone give us all we need to begin again. With that clean slate comes an abundance of

grace

mercy

love

forgiveness

second chances

compassion

joy

peace

wisdom

and so much more.

Amen

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