Sometimes my kids see a mom who is impatient and weary. Sometimes they witness a good cry. Sometimes my kids see a woman who's distracted by thoughts they don't quite understand. Sometimes they catch a glimpse of how grown ups experience hurts too. Sometimes my kids watch as I fret and worry over things I cannot change. Sometimes they observe their parents wrestle with the questions and the answers too.
And so often we think our kids need us to be brave only. Be consistent invariably. Be right absolutely. Be faithful faultlessly. Be wise undoubtedly. Be happy seamlessly.
We can try to be all those things at all times, but because we simply can't in our fallenness, to do so may simply be to inspire superficially.
And there's really nothing more worthless to me than to encourage my kids with hope that is merely skin-deep.
But to go further than skin-deep is to cut through the fleshy, the marrow, the lifeline; it's to bleed the Truth, pretty or otherwise.
So I'm learning this day by day: All my kids really need from me today is for me to look to the Cross. For me to point my life Christ-ward. To fix my gaze upon the beauty of the Redeemer.
"What is she looking at?" they will ask. "What is so pre-occupying, so mesmerizing, so wonderful?"
And they will take their eyes off themselves, their immediate desires and disappointments, and crane forward to get a better view of what it is that captures my mind, my heart, my longings.
We become what we behold:
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
So I set aside, for now, all the how-to books, the organizational tools, the portraits of beauty and wisdom, the biographies of the faithful...they are all worthy of my time and consideration. But today, I set aside all that I want to BE and BECOME, and simply start by determining who will set my course:
"But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame." (Isaiah 50:7)
If your adversary is condemnation, disappointment, and shame...if it is the hopelessness of dreams unfulfilled and fear realized...if it is the discouragement of attempting to live in grace by your own strength...
...then your RESCUER is the Lord God. We need not look elsewhere for hope, help, or holiness.
For all of us mamas who are trying so hard to be what our kids need us to be: Behold HIM, and become like him. Behold HIM, and point your kids to him: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
That's what they really need from you and from me today.
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