Guest Post by Jessica Thompson, co-author of Give Them Grace
So… it’s almost Mother’s Day. In a recent survey, a majority of mothers confessed that they felt burdened in their parenting. Many felt that no matter how they tried they weren’t making the grade. They felt like failures. I know in my own life I often give in to feelings of inadequacy, feeling like I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, feeling like the majority of what I do with my kids is detrimental.
Is it the same for you? How can we fight this? How can I get up in the morning and try again? How can I have peace when my children are disobedient and disrespectful? How can I have joy in the middle of my selfishness, especially when my desire for undisturbed quiet is never met? How do I smile at the future when my daughter informs me that she doesn’t ever need to brush her teeth again because she “has mints”?
We desire joy. We long for lasting happiness, and we are searching constantly for it. The good news is that one day we will have a joy that will never fade. In John 16:22, Jesus is telling his disciples about the ordeal that awaits him. He is explaining the plan for their redemption when he said, “…[y]ou have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take that joy from you.” Hear the words of your Savior: the joy that you look for in motherhood is found in Him. That is a joy no one can take from you. Does your heart yearn for a ceaseless joy?
Again, here’s some Mother’s Day good news. We can get up every morning and remind ourselves that our joy is eternal. We remind ourselves that our joy is not found in our performance. We remind ourselves that our happiness is not grounded in our children’s love for us. We remind ourselves that all of our joy comes from knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us as he loves his Son. That unchanging love is what brings us joy.
We are fighting to make that joy a reality now, but we can be confident that a day will come when that joy will be complete. All the pains of motherhood, all of our sin against our children, and their sin against us, will be done, gone. And we will see our Savior, the lover of our souls, and we will have an eternal joy; the joy of being loved completely and loving completely.
Jessica Thompson is co-author of Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus. She is a member of an Acts 29 church and has been homeschooling for the past two years. She is married and has three children.