Wednesday, February 13, 2013

June cleaver? No thank you!

Look at her!  She is beautiful.  Apron, pearls, make-up and hairspray.  I am imagining it is about 5:20 PM as she scoops dinner into cute little serving dishes, while her children gather around her table in the dining room. Picture it, if you can:

The napkins are linen, the children are scrubbed, steam rises from the green bean casserole, and even the dog listens intently to the conversation.  Hubby gives a kiss hello, and seems to want nothing else than to eat the deliciously prepared meal.  The family comes, un-begged, with smiles, ready to share their tales from a prosperous day.  The children say please, they forgive, and everyone shares only wisdom.  They compliment and grin as they clear their plates and help clean up, without a chore chart.

If June Cleaver makes you cringe, let's try on one a little closer to home:

The napkins, food, decor, dessert, hairstyle and style are all from Pinterest and have made their way into your life.  You have successfully mastered an ability to serve and take care of your whole family, while unashamedly conquering all of those pins that have been calling your name.  You even exercised that day and were showered, fresh and beautiful by the time your hubby walked through that door.  You had the table cleared, the dishwasher running, the kids ready, walking out the door to make your evening activity, ON TIME!

As a mother in this competitive world, I have succumbed at times to the "Mommy War".  Home school or public, Public or private, Pre-school or just wait, gluten free or anything goes, bottle or breast, homemade or boxed, whole wheat or white, new or used, and the list goes on, and on and on and on.  How much TV should my kid be watching?  What if I don't read a devotion to my rammy 3 year old EVERY night?  Pacis?  Bottles?  Blankies? and Nuks?

In this "Mommy War" I speak of, I feel weak.  I feel like no one warned me.  I feel ill-equipped and scared.  I feel annoyed and overwhelmed.  I feel shameful and guilty.  I feel resentful and silly.  I feel lost and alone.  I feel emotional and un-stable.  I am uncertain and wavering.  I feel like I have lost the war before the fight has begun.  Quite the depiction of a warrior, huh?

Could this be, perhaps, because we were never called to fight in this war?  God has not given us His armor to fight this battle.  We ARE ill-equipped.  We aren't called to fight each other.  We are called to fight evil, and evil, my dear sisters, is the "Mommy War".  I feel much more strength and vigor when I am fighting the lies of Satan, then when I am creating one myself.  

The battle that we are to fight comes with promises.  The fight I am called to fight comes with a really strong hero.  The promises include a renewal of strength  a race that will not make us weary, a walk that will not make us faint.  (Isaiah 40:31).

The examples we are to model our skills after can't be found online, on a Pinterest board, on a blog, or anywhere else for that matter.  The examples are witnesses that are described as a great cloud, who by their faith showed us how to live.  Holiness is what we should strive for, even if the carrots are burned to the bottom of the pot, even if the perfectly defined directions are not creating what you have made, even if the kids are talking back and your husband has an attitude.  Holiness comes from a Holy God.  One who endured nails and torture so that we didn't have to.  

Rest - rest assured, ladies, that the battle of the "Mommy War" will not go away.  It will get worse, I promise you that.  But, please, for all things Holy and for your own sanity, STOP FIGHTING!  Fight a fight worth fighting and race worth running.  Run like your hair is on fire, towards things that matter.  Love your God, your husband, and your children with a Love defined by the Master of Love - our father in heaven.  God will give you God sized strength upon seeking it for the things that matter.  He will not, and I speak with conviction of trying, give you strength to bake bread from scratch, create decor from Popsicle sticks and/or keep your table surfaces spotless.  Any of this that is done from vain conceit, with not be pleasing, to anyone!

Fighting the fight worth fighting does not make being a mother or having any other role any easier, it makes it possible.  I can do possible.  I can certainly have hope it the uncertain when I have a God fighting with me.  I can do hard when I know I'm not alone.  I can do war when I have armor on.  I can do anything.

....and when I fail, which I will, there is something for that...Grace!

For me, there is something magnificent about imagining such a huge God handing out Grace to me when I mess up little or really, really BIG!  A God who created the universe, a God who gave us His son as ransom for our sins, a God who loves enough to fight and run right along side of us - no - right in front of us, is willing to let us start over.  These truths make pacifiers, bottle time-lines, breastfeeding, school choices, TV time, sewing, homemade bread, Pinterst, and June Cleaver mentality look like tiny specs in a very unimportant pile of junk drawer garbage.

If you must, keep fighting the "Mommy War".  I will be over here, asking for more Grace, loving my husband, and striving to raise kids who have enough sense to NEVER join the battle.            



  1. You're doing a great job no matter what you're doing! I find that the more grace I give myself, the more grace I'm willing to give others, too. Motherhood doesn't come with a one-size-fits-all manual and what works for one family and one mom doesn't work for others. It is SO hard, though, not to compare or feel like you're messing up or not doing enough. I feel that. every. single. day. Keep at it, my friend. You are a woman of valor!

    1. Thank you Lisa! You keep at it too. You are so right about Grace. I need it every moment, and knowing this helps me give it to others, because I know how much I DON'T deserve it!