Think Spring, all you moms out there! March 20th is right around the corner! It will soon be time for a little Spring cleaning...what will that look like this year?
The more important question is: what does God want us to focus on this Spring? How can we make sure that we are not nearly as concerned about how things look on the outside as how things are on the inside, specifically where our hearts are concerned.
We, as moms, have a tendency to worry too much about how things appear on the outside. Often, we get wrapped around the axle by comparing ourselves to other mothers...and then feeling inadequate because they appear so put together.
We must understand that our "beautiful messes", the physical kind like laundry piles, scattered toys, stained clothing and messy hair, are not the kind of messes that God wants us worrying about. We can obsess about all the wrong things when there are only so many hours in the day and so much energy in one person. The cobwebs can wait, the dishes will get done, the yoga pants will last another day, another layer of dust will not make a difference...
Our focus needs to be on God at the center of our homes. We need to put Him smack in the middle of our day and listen for His voice as we mother. We need to clean our hearts and be sure our thoughts are healthy, positive and not dragging us down a dark path.
One of the things that I was very guilty of when our children were young, was deciding that I could handle everything on my own. I believed that I could do it all in my own strength and wisdom. Many days started at a run without quiet time, without prayer, without any sense of God's guidance as I mothered the best I knew how. Then of course there were the days when I felt I couldn't do anything right...can you relate? The lack of confidence, the low self-esteem, the self-doubt all danced through my head and made me question my mothering at every turn.
Granted, there is much that you learn through experience and you can flounder your way through the rough waters when you get to them, but God wants us to come to Him, learn from Him, lean on Him...He is the only perfect parent, after all. He can guide us, because He knows us better than anyone.
At this point in the year, when we all look forward to the promise of renewal and the hope of Spring, we can anticipate another chance to do some Spring cleaning. We can get rid of the comparison trap that has us using a measuring stick in our mothering and piling on the guilt when we should be giving ourselves grace. We can get rid of the pride that makes us think we should be able to do it all on our own, without ever needing the power of Christ in our lives, the guidance of God on our journey, or the support of our families and friends in the everyday challenges we will face as parents. We need to humble ourselves and admit that we can't do it all and that's okay...and so are the feelings that come with that admission. On the other hand, we need to trust that God has given us the instincts and abilities to mother well...if we listen to His voice and know that we often don't give ourselves enough credit.
As we Spring clean, let us take inventory of our hearts. Let us acknowledge our need to put Christ first and clear out the bad habits and the old, destructive tapes that tell us otherwise, as we go through our days.
I am going to be speaking for several MOPS groups (Mothers of Preschoolers) in the next few weeks and I'm very excited about it! (See my events page on this blog) The theme for MOPS International this year is "My Beautiful Mess" and every group across the United States has been using this theme for all their gatherings since September. In preparing for my speaking engagement, I was toying with several options. The one I decided on was the idea of Spring cleaning...God's way. Hope to see some of my readers at these speaking engagements. Looking forward to some awesome opportunities to discuss our Spring cleaning this year!
How will your Spring cleaning look like this year? What are the things you hope to clean out as you look at your heart and the awesome gift of motherhood? Please leave a comment and let me know what God has for you to focus on this year...