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Lose The Guilt Trip

We were invited away last evening for snacks and visiting.  There were four different families there, most at different stages of life.  The one family, being by far the busiest, with four small children under the age of seven, inspired me to remember with a clarity that surprised even myself.

I think it was the way she admitted defeat and tiredness. She did it with a smile on her face.  Maybe she wanted to cry inside but she seemed at peace with her defeat and tiredness, a place I never achieved well.  She stated her plans of the next two weeks, husband away on a job, the morning carpool trek to school, and the baby in her 3rd bout of ear infection. She wasn't whining. She was just saying what the next days held for her, with a calm demeanor.

We talked about the chronic tiredness of motherhood, the up all nights some nights, the walking the baby till she falls off to sleep and when carefully putting her back in bed, the jerking back to wakefulness and sometimes more screaming.

We talked about the things that make you a good mom.  Actually, we never really talked about that definite thing, just the things that reminded me of it.  I remember feeling guilty if I didn't go to MOPS like other moms my age were doing, if I didn't enroll them in some kind of ballet or go to the library for story hour. Trying to squeeze in a devotional book or a Bible reading moment became a burden instead of a desire.  I finally took to leaving a Bible on the back of the toilet, praying God would still love me if I only read one verse every other day. The "devotional books for young mothers", left me with feelings of guilt and frustration like no other.  They recommended time away to spend alone with God and if you must read anything, don't waste it on a novel.  They said, "Always read your Bible first."

I'm sure it was all good advice, but my question was, "Can we please leave the guilt?"  If I was able to take care of the basic needs of my family and enjoy them in the meantime, wasn't that good enough?  Why listen to all those voices?  If I was walking with the Lord on a snails pace, could we just rejoice in that?

The blogs and Instagram moments and daily updates on facebook  are no different than the books, movies, and phone calls of my era.  Lose the guilt about them.  Enjoy the children God gave you.  Plaster them on your blogs.  Take photos of them and share the mud on their toes and the cake in their hair.  It is all worthy.  Let God be the judge about how much time you spend doing those things, not someones pious post about how we are ignoring our babies because we are sitting on the internet.  If you must feel crummy and guilty, let it be from a lack of sleep because you were up all night crushing on your baby, or from getting alone with God in that rare moment and letting Him define whether your guilt is from Him.


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