As I scroll through my Pinterest feed lately, I see tons of things like “Free & Easy Things to Do With Your Kids This Summer” and “Summer Bucket List” and “Summer Crafts” and “Summer Reading List for Your Super Smart Kid”. Then, on my Facebook feed I see people posting pictures of all the things they have already started doing from those lists and all the books they are planning to read with their kids this summer.
I’ve found myself in the heat of the awesome Pin, saying “Well gosh I better pin that too so my kids can have some cool stuff to do.” The teacher in me even started trying to create my own little lesson plans for the summer. I’m blown away at some the creative and fabulous things that other moms out there can think of. But most of all, I have found myself comparing myself as a mom to others. And I don’t think that is productive. To those moms who can do those things and have the patience, planning, and grace for that, my hat goes off to you.
Today is the last official day of school for my Kindergartner. And I have nothing special planned for when he gets out. No special party, no special outing or prize. I sent him off on his last day without even snapping a picture using one of those cute Last Day of Kindergarten signs. Gasp! I know?!? Will he ever forgive me when he’s a Senior and he doesn’t have a picture of himself holding a little chalkboard sign to compare his Senior picture with? We will find out in 2025.
I am comfortable saying that overall, I am pretty confident in myself as a woman, wife, and most importantly Daughter of the King. But my Achilles heel is my ‘mom skills’. I go to bed feeling guilty on many days wondering if I let Lincoln watch too much TV or didn’t read long enough with Michael. Knox is pretty much just a cave baby right now so he doesn’t count. I’m lucky he’s still in one piece at the end of the day. But with the other two, I am constantly asking myself “Did I engage my older boys enough today? Did I play with them enough? Did I give them enough WOW factor or fun memories in their day?” And where does this come from? Comparison. Comparing by what we see on social media. Comparing by what we discuss with the other mom friends in our life. I’ve heard it said that comparison is the thief of joy! How true!!
In God’s awesomeness, I was reading in my Bible app this morning. I read today’s Verse of the Day, something in John, but then I noticed I still had Deuteronomy 6 still open from yesterday’s Verse of the Day. I went back and read all of chapters 5-7. Wow. So Chapter 5 is the 10 commandments. The last commandment is:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s”.
Sinfully, I have been coveting all these other moms. I’ve been coveting all these moms who make it look like they are so awesome and do such fun things for their kids.
So then Chapter 6 goes on to basically tell us why God commands these things of us. We, the chosen people, were slaves before we were brought out of Egypt. We have been freed of that bondage by Pharaoh. And breaking commandments keeps us in that bondage. Oh thanks, Lord. So you are saying I have been a slave to my coveting heart. All that comparison has kept me from living in the freedom that was paid for me. It has caused me to doubt myself as a mom who was made in the image of God.
Chapter 6 and 7 also mentions the phrase “…and it will go well for you.” God is telling us that there is a sovereign reason for all His commands, one that we may not see right in front of our face. Basically “it will go well for you” is God’s version of”Because I said so.” And I am totally okay with that. Then you get to Ch 7 and He just really brings it home. He talks about us being chosen. If we do as He commanded, he will bless the fruit of our womb, the fruit of our field, our livestock, our wine, etc. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you, it says. So by not comparing and not coveting what all these other moms are doing, he will actually bless me and my children. If we hold fast to His promises, it will go well for us. This is where it really gets good—->
Ch 7, verse 17. I got one of those nice little Holy Spirit gut punches when I read this.
“If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them’ you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.”
Now, I am not wishing hornets, frogs, or death or anything Old Testament on these other moms at all. It was just when I read that, I heard God say to me “Don’t believe the lie that you are inadequate or not fun or not a good mom. You are my precious daughter created in my image. Those boys are not yours but they are MINE. I have created you to love them, serve them, and teach them to glorify me.”
So having said that- my plan for the summer is to love each other, play, and learn more about glorifying our Creator. I’m not sure if I will post it here or on Facebook, but I will let the world know if we decide to anything fun, fabulous, and Pinworthy so that anyone else can do it with us and meet us there. Really I just want to get the kids out and see what happens. I go crazy sitting here with them all day. So I’d love for any other mommas out there in my life to join me for outings and play! God has placed in my heart a strong desire to shepherd other moms/wives out there. Not because I am awesome or that I do things ‘right’, but because ultimately my desire is to glorify and serve Him and also I am often a walking eCard for what NOT to do. I pray that as summer is upon us and days with our children are longer, we learn that by cleaning up more messes and breaking up more arguments, that we would see that it is all for our own sanctification and it would go well for us.