Friday, September 27, 2013

Encouragement for the Ordinary Mom

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I've been thinking about this post all day and now that the kids are in bed and I have time to write, words fail me.  It's been a long day.  A long day of parenting, disciplining, and just keeping up.

If you're anything like me, you desire to be the best mom you can be.  You desire happy kids, a happy husband, and a happy home.  Your desire is to achieve what the world says a "good mom" should be -- strong, multi-tasking, always prepared, happy, loving...you get the drift.

Encouragement for Moms



But, if you're anything like me, you fail miserably day in and day out.  As hard as being a mom can be, I believe we're our own worst enemies.  The expectations we've set for ourselves and the unattainable to-do list's keep us discouraged, overwhelmed, and tired.

I needed a pep-talk today, so I gave myself one and I'm bringing it to you.  You, the ordinary mom that's bogged down by work, housework, children, and more.  Here's eight tidbits of encouragement.  Remember them, take them with you, and never forget -- you're not alone!

We All Have Bad Days
When you're at your worst and nothings going right; the toddler is tantruming, the baby is screaming, the dogs are barking, dinner is burning and you feel like bed time just couldn't come fast enough -- you're not alone!  We've all had days where we've yelled too much, lost our patience, and flat out stunk at parenting.  And that's ok.  Bed time will come and tomorrow will bring a new day.  Rest in knowing that the Lord's grace is new every single morning; for you, for me, and for our kids!

Your House Doesn't Have to Be Spotless
I have to say that my house is one of my biggest sources of stress.  It's never clean enough and I never have the time to keep up with it the way I'd like to.  I'm having to learn how to tell myself that a spotless home does not define me.  I'm a stay-at-home mom of a toddler and an infant.  I'm lucky if my floor is swept once a week, the laundry is folded at some point, and the bathrooms are clean when guests come over.  I'm learning to be ok with that.  I'm learning to give myself grace when it comes to the demands of the home.  Sometimes we just have to say, "It will be there tomorrow."

Pinterest is NOBODY'S Reality
Going along with my lofty desires of a spotless home, Pinterest can be an ordinary mom's worst nightmare.  The constant barrage of perfect dinners, perfect craft and kid's activities, and perfectly decorated homes would send any ordinary mom into a tailspin.  Guess what?  Pinterest is nobody's reality!  It took that food blogger, DIY blogger, and craft blogger numerous takes to get that perfect Pinterest picture.  Reality is burned dinners, messy houses, and craft time fails.  

Perfection is Unattainable
The perfect home we strive for is unattainable and that's okay!  Our main goals need to be loving the Lord, loving our husbands, and loving our children.  Everything else means nothing compared to the relationships that we're missing out on when we're overwhelmed and striving for unattainable perfection.  Christ has given us the gift of family for his glory and honor.  Let us strive for daily grace, for ourselves and the ones we love.

It's OK to Say No
"Good mom's" strive for happy kids, happy husbands, and happy homes.  Sometimes I think we think that means that we have to say "Yes" to everyone and everything.  The reality is, it's ok to say "No" -- to kids, to husbands, to friends.  I'm a people pleaser and a lot of the time it's hard for me to tell someone no; especially in ministry.  It's important to know when you're overwhelmed enough as it is and give yourself the grace and leeway to say, "No"!

Ordinary is OK
Being an ordinary mom is okay!  I didn't grow up with a DIY, crafty, or extraordinary chef of a mom.  We didn't have an elaborately spotless home, gourmet nightly meals, or daily arts and crafts activities.  My mom was an ordinary working mom and she (and my dad) did an awesome job of raising my sister and I.  I have the greatest memories from my childhood and I credit my ordinary mom (and dad) with a job well done!  That means that ordinary is okay for me...and you!  Sure, your kids may benefit from the way you teach them to cook or the sewing lessons you give, but if you aren't that mom...it's okay!

Jesus is the Only Extraordinary
The extraordinary goals we strive for as mom's are goals that only an extraordinary Savior could attain. We're human, we're sinful, we're flawed, we're imperfect, we're ordinary.  But, if you've been bought with a price -- the blood of Jesus -- your ordinary is good enough!  If your ordinary is done with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and grace...your ordinary is good enough!  Because when God looks at your ordinary he see's Jesus' extraordinary and he says, "It is good enough!"


Let Grace Be Enough
As my friend Aimee said not too long ago, "grace & grace. grace for yourself, grace to walk away, grace to disconnect. grace. embrace it sweet one." On a day where I just had to walk away from my commitments, grace was enough. 

As mom's we need grace -- Jesus' grace and our own. Let grace be enough for you, for your family, and for your home...you deserve it!

A Royal Daughter


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28 comments:

  1. I had to giggle at Pinterest is NOBODY'S Reality....VERY true! Sometimes moms think we have to be perfect and Im sure none of us are far from it. There are some days I do not know how I am standing but I wouldnt change it for the world :)

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  2. I love all these suggestions. Bad days will come but its the good days that get us through the bad. :)

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  3. I really needed to hear a few of these! Saying no is not a strength of mine, but I'm working on that. And a clean house? I beat myself up for not having one every day. Although to be honest, I'm not even hoping for spotless. I'd just like to clean the food out of my carpet and get the dishes and clothes put away. Sigh. Maybe someday. Until then, maybe paper plates? :)

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  4. So true. I think we tend to be so hard on ourselves, always striving for perfection. But perfection is not reality. We have to keep reminding ourselves that.

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  5. So true! I need to be reminded of these daily, I think. I always stress out about having a messy house. Who has the time? My friend told me yesterday that it'll just get messy again, so it is like I am just skipping a cleaning session :) I thought that was clever.

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  6. I know lots of moms this would be great for.

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  7. I love this. I read this kind of thing so often on blogs, moms who feel guilty, not good enough, overworked, overwhelmed. My favorites here are this one: "Perfection is Unattainable" because the only perfect anything we can be is ourselves and we're all flawed, and "Jesus is the only extraordinary," his way is the important way, and lastly "grace." Grace to yourself, your spouse, your children. Grace is very difficult to achieve but the best goal to have. Thank you.

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  8. Amen to that sister!
    I'm a mom to 4 and there are days when I crawl into bed begging God for a "do-over".
    Especially living in a day and time when we are expected to be "perfect" and when we show our humanity people stop and stare. Great post & thanks.... I needed to read this :0)

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  9. Accepting that my home doesn't have to be spotless was a hard one for me. My mother is the perfect housekeeper - and so is my step-kids mom. I finally decided that I would rather spend that cleaning time with my family rather than fussing about them making a mess and we have so much more peace in our home.

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  10. That's for sure- Pinterest is NO one 's reality. I've had so many pinterest fails....and honestly? I share them. And laugh. oNe of our greatest gifts is being able to laugh at ourselves!

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  11. I love this. This is a great reminder for me. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. This is a great post. I have been feeling so drained today with work, trying to clean up the house, prepare for the birthday party tomorrow, make the grocery list...yea the list goes on.

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  13. Thanks so much for posting this, because it is the one thing that I REALLY needed to read today. I forget that I cannot be SuperMom and get so stressed out and tired trying to do so. Bookmarking this post so that I can go back and read it again on those days when I need more encouragement. :)

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  14. Super great post and pep-talk! There are days when I feel like you do! Will save this post when I'm having one of those days!

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  15. I absolutely LOVE this post. Thanks for saying so many things that I needed to hear today and for being a Blessing. I got a few giggles too. :)

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  16. It's comforting to know that in our imperfection we are still perfect in Jesus' eyes. :)

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  17. OMG...you made my day.. this is such a fun post and made my day!!!! I always wanna be the best I can be and always forget that I don't HAVE to be... LOVED IT!!!! Thanks for sharing

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  18. I love this post and I needed to read this these last few weeks have been a constant struggle with my teen and I want her happy but I need her to do what she needs to do for school.. and to graduate.. I am bookmarking this for when I need another pep talk to remind me that its ok to not be the PERFECT mom, wife, or person for that matter... Thank You I am actually sitting here crying as I write this.. because I need this at the perfect moment..

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  19. Today is a bad dad for me! I need a vacation :(

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  20. Great post. I think all of us need to stop and think about the things you talked about. What matters the most is that our families love us and that we love them.

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  21. Great post, I definitely have my share of bad days, but there are always better days after that!

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  22. I want a pinterest house!! great post

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  23. Such a great post. Though these are all points we already know, sometimes we need to hear these things from someone else for them to really sink in!

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  24. I try to live by these points. Only Jesus is perfect :)

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  25. Yes, yes, yes! This was such a hard thing for me to learn when I had my daughter!

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  26. Love this encouragement. I'm not a mother, but I related to many of these points as things I need to work on. Blogs are full of photoshopped photographs and spotless kitchens and professionally made crafts, and it can be hard for the "ordinary" woman to feel like she can compete. The reality is that they are just as ordinary as us, they just choose to show us their life in an augmented state.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Tabby - Glitter In The Quarter
    Christian Lullaby CD Giveaway on my blog - http://www.glitterinthequarter.com/product-review-jammy-jams-once-upon-this-rock/

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