Sometimes I might think a "blessed" or "happy" mom is one who is financially comfortable, beautiful and fit with flawless skin, artful makeup and a cute figure, clothed in the latest fashion and surrounded by plenty of the latest possessions of the "right" brand. She keeps her house spotlessly, serves on high-visibility positions at her church, perhaps even homeschools her children. This super woman, with just the "right" number of children (neither too many or too few) who are always well behaved and sleep well, also finds time to maintain plenty of deep and meaningful friendships with the "right" kind of people.
Don't know about you, but I measure myself against that standard and come up short in myriad ways!
But is that God's standard for moms?
God's kingdom values are the same for people in all walks of life, from moms to single women to dads and bachelors, elderly widows and teenagers.
Looking at Jesus' words in the Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount, in God's economy or kingdom, the first quality of "blessed" or "happy" mom is poverty of spirit. In other words, the one who realizes she doesn't measure up, doesn't have it all together according to the world's standards OR God's standards. She knows God's grace is her only hope. The kingdom of heaven belongs to those kind of moms.
Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend in their book "How People Grow," discuss the Beatitudes as a path or blueprint for growth toward our true selves and a better relationship with God. Celebrate Recovery uses the Beatitudes similarly as the underpinnings of their 8 Principles of Recovery.
The first principle of Celebrate Recovery (CR) is based on this poor in spirit Beatitude:
Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.When I went up and accepted my Surrender Chip at CR on September 8, 2012, it was because of my recognition I fall short and am in desperate need of of help no matter what standard I use to measure success. My anxiety and depression were out of control and hurting me and my family.
At that moment of surrender, I was truly blessed. Nothing about my circumstances had changed, but my humility and step out of denial invited God's power in. That to me is the meaning of the verse in the Bible about God's strength in our weakness. I live it out again and again in my daily life. Whenever I recognize that I'm having a hard time or failing to measure up and turn again to God, I am blessed. Whenever I lose my cool as a mom or wife and then apologize to C or DH, I am living out this first principle of recovery, and I am blessed and bless my family at the same time. Living out this principle turns poverty and failure in to wealth and success in the ways that really matter: spiritual growth and harmony in relationships.
In short, I am a "good mom" when I have the humility to recognize and admit all the ways I don't measure up!