This week I was able to give another devotional at my MOPS group, one that the Lord has placed on my heart for awhile. There are a few others I have typed up: here, here and here. Honestly, as much as it impacted anyone, the Lord used my thinking through it, meditating on it and evaluating my own motives to impact me. I told the ladies in the room that I was preaching to myself, and they were just there to listen in! I was encouraged to hear that it struck a cord with other ladies there, as well. (Phew!)
The social networks (facebook, twitter, blogs…) are all the rage these days. I got on facebook the year after I graduated college and had NO idea it would take off like it has. All of social media is a mixed bag to me. It can be used for good, but many times is not...the evil is lurking, especially in the area of self-promotion.
Social networking makes it super easy to gain glory for ourselves. There’s even a phenomena known as the “SUPERMOM”. Have you heard of her? Well, anyone can be one.
- keep the home like Martha Stewart, perfect and beautiful
- but don’t spend any time doing it because that time should be spent doing learning activities with your children constantly (so that they are baby geniuses, of course)
- be a dating diva who plans thoughtful dates for your hot hubby
- be the ultimate do-it-yourselfer. As a matter of fact, don’t pay for anything. Make it all (but just make sure it doesn’t look like you made it)
- oh, and you should be looking fabulous while you do all this (?!)
Do you know this woman or are you this woman? The first thing one of them said to me was, "that's you!" I don't doubt that I have tried to be this woman, but I have fallen short or I have given up the most important things if I have succeeded. I tend to DO a lot of things, just like Supermom, but I certainly don't want to be Supermom. I want to be an Abiding Mom. The Abiding Mom IS.
Click for a chart put together by Confessions of a Homeschooler, called Abiding Mom. I laminated this chart and put it on my fridge to remember the truth of abiding in Christ rather than the things that I do.
Our true character is who we are, it’s NOT the things we do, NOT who we appear to be and NOT the way we are perceived by others. Dave Kraft puts it this way, "Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
Here are some truths that we can cling to daily:
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe
- I am known by Him (He searches me, He knows me, He discerns my thoughts, and there is nowhere I can go from His presence).
- I am created with purpose, fulfilling the calling He has given to me
- I am loved and treasured by God
- I am of great worth in God’s eyes
Some may struggle with the other side of the spectrum, not feeling valued and of worth no matter what you have done. Either way, we are failing to rest in the truth of the Word, reminding ourselves of the truth often. Instead, we let the lies of the enemy or the lure of the world drown out His truth. If we have a right view of God, hold fast to scripture and train our minds in truth we will be ready when those temptations come. I am asking God to help us as women to be confident in who we are in Christ, recognizing the amazing grace we have been shown (especially when we fail) and practicing that grace not only with ourselves, but with others (the goal here being to determine your motives, not someone else's, recognizing our own need for a Savior).
In Jesus’ life, he healed many and there is something to be said for the state of those that he healed: they knew their desperate need and they put all their hope in Jesus. The world teaches us all too well how to masquerade as if we have everything under control and aren’t broken, aren’t in need of healing…we pretend to be strong, pretend we don’t need to be redeemed.
Jesus wasn’t just a good teacher who had wise sayings that we can read about every now and then, He wasn’t even just a healer of physical afflictions. He was and is God who came to the earth to redeem us once and for all. God wanted to restore the relationship with us that had been broken by sin because He loves us and wants to commune with us. We separated ourselves by our sin and made that impossible. So, he made a way. It was painful, sacrificial, excruciating... It was the ONLY way. He sent His Son, Jesus to die on the cross on our behalf. Jesus didn’t stay there for long though. After three days, He showed His power over death by rising from the dead and defeating the power of sin in our lives. Those who believe in Him, He says He clothes in robes of righteousness all His own, having nothing to do with us.
Romans 10:9-10 says that all who confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and all who believe in their heart that God raised them from the dead will be saved.
To paraphrase Mike Wilkerson: Imagine your worst moment of guilt and shame. The memory that would haunt you to the grave if you let it. In light of that sin you can’t imagine that God would forgive you. Let me let you in on something. It was at that moment that Christ died for you. At your worst, God gave you His best. If you’ve not done what the scripture says up to this point, don’t delay. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.
2 Cor. 5:17 puts it this way, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old (sinful self) has passed away, behold! The new (pure, spotless, blameless) has come!
If we know Christ in this way, there is no reason not to see ourselves in this light. The new has come! Amen! We don’t have to earn anything to add to who we are. We don’t have to “measure up”. Christ measured up perfectly on our behalf. We don’t have to impress others because we serve Christ (not man, not woman, not supermom). And if we serve Christ, we make it our goal to please Him in our calling (as a wife, as a mom, as whatever else He has called you to), being aware of His amazing grace towards us when we fail (which happens all too often!).
Your self-worth and confidence is based on the righteousness of Christ on your behalf. When God looks upon His children, He doesn’t see supermoms or superchristians, baby Christians or baby mamas, He sees Christ. We forget that and instead try to measure up, hiding our imperfections and finding our worth in the things we do or how we are seen.
Mike Wilkerson has a great analogy in his awesome book, Redemption, he says this:
“Imagine you were to fix a theater spotlight on a stage actor and then point a toy flashlight at a blemish on the actor’s face. What happens? Nothing. Why? Because the spotlight is so bright that the flashlight has no effect. It’s not that the flashlight isn’t shining, it’s just that it doesn’t make any difference. The glory of God in the face of Jesus – his grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing and healing – simply outshines any of the blemishes that haven’t faded yet; but they are fading and in the end, they’ll all be gone.”Who are you in your Father’s eyes? Are you confident in His spotlight (the radiant child who points back to Him) OR are you desperately seeking a flicker or glimmer of your own goodness and deeds to be noticed in order to feel worth?
In one of my favorite books, Loving the Little Years, she mentions fruit-bearing trees and says this regarding them, “God told them to make something, and they do it enthusiastically. They don’t care what happens to the fruit. They do not measure their efforts or fuss when no one appreciates it.”
Oh that we could be like those trees! Confident in our purpose and confident of the results or lack of results, knowing that we are simply doing what God has called us to do. In many ways we have let our cultural admiration for efficiency find its way into our parenting…but there are times when digging in the dirt with our kids and making mud pies (completely throwing our selves into an otherwise useless activity) is the best kind of fruit we can bear in growing our relationship with our children.
There is something freeing about laughing at yourself, knowing that amidst a fallen world, God is calling YOU to live victoriously in all things, including mud pies.
So, how is God calling you to forsake the calling of a supermom and simply be the abiding mom?