I am not a cook.
Well, I am not a good cook at least.
My poor family suffers through my calling of motherhood as they grow up with dinner time fire drills. That’s no joke, either, the smoke alarm honestly goes off every single time I cook.
I don’t know why cooking is such a struggle for me.
Honestly, though, my mothering has taught me much about life and not just in the mothering area.
These are the two things I always thought I had down: faith and family.
My high opinion of myself came with absolutely no experience of either things. From the looking glass, motherhood appeared romantic and sing-song to me. My visions were matched with reality once I married and started my own family.
My perfect self-sacrificing Christian mom dream painfully collided with who I am.
The actual work involved in parenting hit me like a diaper filled Mack truck. I found out I mostly suck at all the tasks required to be a good, selfless and faithful mom–ouch that hurts.
It is 100% true though.
I was never taught to value someone else’s needs over my own, not that my parents didn’t love me or teach me correctly but my life never really required a lot of self-sacrifice–and never any cooking.
I also found out that I misunderstood what parenting is supposed to be about; it is about the baby and not about me.
Hmmm…I sure do hope that someone else out there has experienced this redirection from God, otherwise I am even worse off than I think.
I thought my little baby would provide me with all the fulfillment I needed, and you know what, that kid couldn’t do a thing for me–I had to do everything for him.
I never gauged my selfishness before someone was totally reliant on me.
- Selfish with my time.
- Selfish with my sleep.
- Selfish with my chocolate.
So instead of leaning on God–which is truly where the fulfillment of motherhood should come–I just kept leaning on myself.
Everyone suffered. Not just through my burnt food but my moaning and groaning about everything that is required of me.
God began working on me through my frustrations, though. The guilt of not feeling joy through motherhood was a load to bear, and I called out to Him to show me why.
It was then He began revealing to me that motherhood is a guided and directed role–I constantly needed seek Him out. I wasn’t doing that, and as a result this is what would happen:
I mean there is a dying pizza in there for heaven’s sake.
Well, okay, this kind of thing still regularly happens, but God uses this smoke-filled room as a teachable moment.
Parenting has taught me humility and a willingness to keep serving no matter how bad I am at it.
We must first understand that our fulfillment comes from God rather than the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves.
He will take our strengths and hone them into something beautiful–our weakness though, that is where we really shine because God uses them in ways we never dreamed possible.
Dinner in my house might always be announced by the smoke alarm, yet God still gathers our family around my meek offering
This is when I realize my imperfections do not keep me from doing exactly what He has asked me to do, in fact, my burnt cheeseburgers are regularly requested around here. I mean, who doesn’t love burnt cheese?
Inadequacies are God-given opportunities to seek Him and grow in our faith, and in our senses of humor. After all, He did create those too.