Woe to Instagram, Facebook, and other wonderful social media sites. I love these sites as much as the next person. I dutifully post my cute family moments, victories, and smiles. Occasionally, I even post a picture of a sick child with a cute sad emoji to bring home the “reality” of it all…of course, while cuddling the sick child, preparing organic, homemade chicken noodle soup, and smiling at my husband as he enters a spotless home to sit down with a hot dinner. NOT.
We currently home school. I run a business. I am in a marriage. I have three children. I’ve been told that I must have the patience of a saint.
You should be a fly on the wall in my home.
We moved last week, we had house guests (which we were happy to have!), our 4 year old was sick for over a week, and we have been on a home school break for a few weeks since we are schooling through part of the summer this year. One day last week we had muffins(made by our local coffee shop) at 10:30am, I
yelled spoke firmly at a kid for running, and I considered closing myself in a closet to escape the demands of the week. Half of my kitchen was still in boxes, and I couldn’t even begin to think about cooking a meal for my family. Y’all, to top it all off, I broke my coffee press while trying to make coffee. If you know me, you know that’s a big deal. My husband comforted me by saying, “It’s okay, babe. It’s just one of those days.”, to which I said, “Yes, but it has been one of those days every day for a few weeks now.”
There are days that do feel effortless, and are filled with warm fuzzy feelings, but hey, there are plenty of days where I am counting down the hours until bedtime, while covertly peeking out the window to see if the school bus is passing by any time soon. This is my life. I love it, and I wouldn’t change it for anything, BUT it is not perfect.
I am human, and so is every other mom out there. Don’t trust the Facebook window, because that’s all it is. A window. You don’t see the junk drawers, messy closets, dirty socks and unmade beds. You get a glimpse into a window that the other person allows you to briefly peer into.
When an individual makes the choice to home school, work from home, work outside the home, have 10 children, raise their family on foreign soil, or fill in the blank, it does not necessarily mean that they are naturally patient, organized, gentle, calm, etc..
I can assure you that I do not have the patience of anyone who is known for their exceptional patience. Nope. Me? I have little to no patience on any given day, not counting the days that are extra hard, hormonal or tiring. By my own power, I am weak and impatient. I am short tempered and easily angered. That is Stephania. At the heart of who I am, I am naturally selfish and weak.
BUT, thank the Lord that I do not always (yet sometimes I do..ugh) rely on my own power to get me through the day! It is by the grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, that I can portray any sort of character that might be viewed as patience. See Galatians 5 for a full list of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I strive for those qualities, but friends, I am not perfect.
Thankfully, I’m not.
If I were, I would have no need for the redeeming power of Jesus, and then my children would not be able to see my brokenness redeemed, day in and day out. They need to see that, because they are just as broken. We don’t fail our children when we are imperfect, we fail them when we are prideful, and don’t allow our own brokenness to teach grace and redemption.
Can we begin to strive for authenticity within our friendships and families? Can we open our windows a little wider and allow our imperfection to encourage other moms on the same path? Can we model grace for our children, by living it out and letting them peek into the messy, soul redeeming work that is ongoing in our lives?
Believe me when I say… an authentic mom has far more reach than a perfect mom.
Let’s be okay with saying, “I’m not.”