Monday, March 21, 2011

A Mother Who Stopped Pretending

Three clean boys in a slightly soap scum bath.

I think if I have to read about the struggle between "caring for" or "caring about" my children one more time on this blog, I might stop reading my own blog. The only comfort I take is that I know I am not alone, even if, just other fellow bloggers [although I'm sure there is more]. 

I'm currently reading Crazy Love, that, in combination with our church conference this past weekend with guest speaker Steve Thompson...has got me thinking a lot about His love. Today I continuously asked the Lord to reveal His love towards me and to help me reveal it to others. "The Others" [not to be confused with LOST, you fellow fans], are in fact most days---"just" my children. Although I see an occasional adult at the park or store, my chatting is usually limited.

It's mind boggling to me how much we struggle against what is important [eternal] and what isn't. Even in mothering, seeing things long term instead of short term. Seeing the quick short response to our child as a means to a quick silence, but forgetting the long term negative ripple effects in their lives and habits effecting even generations after from our unnecessary sharpness. 

I think I'd do my children [not to mention my husband---a whole other post] the best service to specialize in love. That what they remember, know, experience, see, and eventually share is love. Not so much the ability to sweep, or education to read, or recipes to share...but experiences of love. It's a gentle reply, serving before you sever yourself, sharing, or listening.

I want to be known as the mother whose house is kept, or excellent chef, or talented hobbyist, or perfect teacher. At this rate, even at the expense of peace and love. Maybe it's okay if I'm just known for having a slightly grubby house, slightly burnt meals, slightly neglected scrapbooks, and attempted teacher at the reward of being known as a mother who daily walked out love.

I certainly don't think these are exclusive or that you can't have them all [that is the goal], but is it okay to just come out and say: "World, what I value most isn't the temporary, seen, or external, but what I'm invested in is the eternal, unseen, inward---heart."

Would that help you understand why I don't care if there's a mess, or a snotty nose, or a unfinished worksheet? But instead that I held my tongue from cutting and built up instead. Or that I stepped over toys on my way to read to my child. What if I stopped pretending, yes it is, pretending that all this shell somehow protects something precious---when all I've done is destroy the inward to shine the outward? 

Lord, help us to nourish the inward, sometimes even at the expense of leaving a smug on the outward.


  1. AMEN! Wow! Thank you so much for that... I struggle with this daily... what's worse is when the house is a mess, dinner's burnt, the kids are a wreck and I'm still a grouchy dragon... I want to "specialize" in love too! Seriously thank you for this post... i needed to read it!

  2. I remember coming over to visit for a play date and you telling me that the house was a mess...but what I remember most was Grace and Moses playing, Nation being silly, Solomon dancing and a great conversation. Now when people ask me if they can come over I don't think about how my floor should be swept or if there is a pile of dishes...I think, I'll just warn them when they get here and we'll have a good time with each other! :)

  3. We all struggle with what's important.

    Thanks for this.


  4. AWESOME post Candra! You articulated that beautifully! That is something I struggle with/strive for daily. :)

    Love your blog, girl

  5. right. on. sister. :) love it and totally agree

  6. Love this! My one goal in parenting is just to love them unconditionally as He loves us.

  7. wish they had a love button for this post! I so needed to read it this morning!

  8. Great Entry!

    yes, my house is a mess. I'd rather spend these fleeting years enjoying my kids and then I can clean all I want when they are out of the house.

    My youngest isn't good at school type stuff. He never has been. (He's 14)
    But he is very good at loving others. and that is more important than memorized Times Tables or diagramming a sentence.

  9. Wow...I struggle with this daily with 6 kids. My house is always a mess and I live in frustration b/c I strive to "find" what I am doing wrong...why doesn't my house look like so and so's. We often forget that if you take the time for the really important things everything else almost always falls into place! I have found my new favorite quote "What if I stopped pretending, yes it is, pretending that all this shell somehow protects something precious---when all I've done is destroy the inward to shine the outward?"!! Thanks again!

    Sherry Hutchins



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