Each month I write an article for a local magazine, Up In Cumming, and I enjoy sharing those articles with you guys, too. This month’s theme: Mother’s Day, of course. I wrote (most of ) this article a year ago, but I couldn’t resist updating it for this month’s issue. If you are a mom, I hope you laugh….and relate.
Over the Christmas break, my family spent a few days in Gatlinburg, TN with my sister-in-law and her family. We walked the strip, ate apple butter att The Apple Barn, and got car sick driving the windy roads of the Smokies. All of the kids goofed off and laughed, we swapped Christmas presents, and spent way too much time in Fannie Farkles Arcade (It’s the South; don’t judge our stupid names.)
As we were leaving a restaurant one afternoon, I shoved my hands in my coat pockets to find my gloves (yep, the Smokies were covered in snow), but I had to sift through all the other stuff I had crammed in there first. I literally had to stop walking so I could carefully pull out my gloves without spilling the items in my pocket. That’s when I said it:
“You know you’re a mom when you carry a bottle of children’s ibuprofen and a measuring cup in your pocket just in case someone get sick.”
My sister-in-law snickered and admitted she, too, had a few oddities in her possession:
“You know you’re a mom when you have toilet seat covers in your purse.”
I had to one-up her:
“You know you’re a mom when you keep trash bags in the glove compartment of your car in case someone throws up.”
We enjoyed our little game. Then we walked into a crowded skating rink and found ourselves counting heads every five minutes to make sure we had not lost one of our kids. Yet another sign of motherhood.
Oh, but the game didn’t end there for me. Late one night after we returned home, my whole family was tucked neatly in their own beds sound asleep when I thought I heard a noise in the night. I raised up off my pillow to listen more closely and heard nothing else, so I chuckled to myself as I rolled over and thought, “You know you’re a mom when you hear a noise in the night and your first fear is not an intruder but a sick child, instead.”
But, the laugh was on me. Indeed, a child was sick, and I spent the next few hours awake with her.
I’m a mom. It’s what I do.
Yet, my kids need so much more from me than what I can fit in my pockets or the medicines I can offer in the middle of the night. They need my counsel after a fight with a friend. They need my wisdom to shape their perspective on life. They need the protective boundaries I put in place to save them from unwise choices. And, they need to see a real-life example of how to live this life with grace and dignity.
I can handle Ibuprofen and fevers. It’s the big stuff like shaping their world view and raising God-honoring people that leaves me shaking in my boots. I can’t fit anything in my pockets for those issues. But, I can put something in my heart.
The Bible is full of wisdom for dealing with relationships, resolving conflict, and living an honorable life. If I know those Truths, I can teach them to my kids. So can you.
So while we’re busy stuffing our purses and pockets with goldfish crackers and trash bags, let’s stuff our hearts with encouragement from God’s Word. Only then will we be truly equipped for the job.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”