I mentioned in my Daybook post this week that I've been pondering *the mom I am* versus *the mom I want to be* and, more importantly, *the mom God wants me to be*. I'm not sure how it started...the thoughts have been germinating for a while. I think part of it started with a friend's daughter graduating from high school, and realizing how fast that time has flown by...and how quickly my children will be there, too. Part of it has been Peter being *ten-and-a-half*...and part of it, I'm sure, is Ammah Grace suddenly not being in the nursery anymore, and being ready for K-4....it seems like overnight, I went from being a mom of *little kids*...4 6-and-under at one point...to a mom of *big kids*.

Then there was the conversation a couple of weeks ago with a friend about the necessity of our children respecting our authority...not just being a *friend figure* to them, as some parents seem to want to be, but being the God-given authority figure He designed us to be. We've been working on some respect and obedience issues at our house lately, which have had me giving much thought to that subject. I don't want to be an iron-fisted dictator, but I definitely want my children to know that I am the parental authority, and they are the children, responsible to respect and obey that authority.

Then there was the comment I heard just recently about a mom who "just sucks all the joy out of life," and a family that noticeably *deflates* when mom enters the room. *That* stopped me in my tracks. I have a tendency to be that type of mom...the joy-sucking type. Most of it is for good reason and with good intentions...but I had been working, even before hearing that comment, to ease up a bit and be more of a *joy-giver* than a *joy sucker*. It's a hard transition, but we are slowly making progress. I don't want my children or my husband to *deflate* when I walk into a room, nor do I ever want to be described as "one of those people who just suck all the joy out of life." There was a time when I would never have thought I would be in danger of that...but the past few years, I think I've fallen into that category more than I really want to think about.

At camp last week, Bro. Kent talked about the fact that the number 1 thing God wants from us is our *affection*. (Mark 12:30) As Christians, we should not be obeying God out of guilt, we should be obeying just because we love Him. We should not be reading His Word and spending time with Him in prayer and worshipping together at church and serving Him in ministry because we have to, but because we *want* to, because we love Him, in response to His great love for us. However, we do have to *choose* to love. There are going to be times when it *isn't* easy...but we choose to do it anyway, not out of guilt, but out of a choice to "love Him, because He first loved us."

In thinking about how this applies to *the mom God wants me to be*, I realize that part of my being *the mom He wants me to be* is choosing to obey Him out of love. Choosing to stand firm when needed, to train and discipline, even when it is hard, to be the authority that I need to be. Choosing to be a *joy giver*, rather than a *joy sucker*, to ease up a bit in certain areas, to *choose* to give my family fun, happy memories, etc. The flip side of that is that if I *am* the mom God wants me to be, my children will eventually transition from obeying me because they have to, to obeying me because they want to, out of love.

After all that, I came home and ran into a verse I had never noticed before: Proverbs 31:25. As I mentioned yesterday, I can't imagine there being a part of Proverbs 31 that I hadn't *noticed* before, but there was. And I loved the thought immediately...the thought of "laughing at the days to come." Imagine my further surprise when I began to study this verse more in-depth and discovered that it led me right back to my ponderings about motherhood. Isn't it funny how God does that? :)

I'll post more on my study of the verse later, but here's a taste: John Wesley uses the word "magnanimity" in describing the "strength" the Proverbs 31 Woman is clothed with. When I looked up "magnanimity", part of the definition I discovered was "generosity of spirit." Wow. That is exactly what I have begun to hunger to be to those around me...my family and my friends...generous of spirit. The very opposite of a *joy sucker*. :) Generosity of spirit would *not* be something I've been characterized by in recent years, but I *so* want that to be something I am characterized by from now on.

I have more thoughts on Prov. 31:25, the topic of generosity of spirit, and the road from being a *joy sucker* to a *generous spirit*(it won't be immediate or easy, but as Bro. Kent says, "It's not perfection, it's direction", and that is the direction I want to be headed), but they will have to wait till another post. This one has turned into a book already!

I never got baby pictures posted yesterday...I promise I am going to get them posted today! (After a bit more sleep...I've been up since 4 a.m., and it is time for a nap! ;-))

1 comment:

Joyful Days said...

I needed to read this today. Boo and I had a crisis in the car today and I did not behave as the "mom I want to be" and certainly not as the "mom God wants me to be." I've apologized since, but it can't undo my words.

Thank you for sharing your heart & ministering to mine.