An elderly woman stopped me in the egg aisle at the grocery store this week in the middle of my toddler’s screaming meltdown. He was in a timeout for throwing the pack of hot dogs at his sister’s face.
To be honest, when she came towards me, I wanted to turn the other way-the last thing I needed was someone giving me parenting advice during this “situation,” or smiling telling me, “it goes so fast,” (because yes, in this moment, I hope it does) or “one day you’ll miss this,” (because I seriously doubt I’ll miss screaming children in the middle of the grocery store), Instead, I took a deep breath and braced myself for whatever snarky comment was coming.
But instead, you know what she told me? “You are a great mom.” She didn’t even know me, and yet, here she was speaking truth into me at the exact moment I needed to hear it. And if I am honest, some days I feel anything but.
Motherhood is a lot of pushing off selfishness and pride, self sacrificing to the brink of a complete breakdown, and daily mental and physical exhaustion. It is also a lot of praying for grace, patience, joy and love. So often I feel unworthy, undeserving, and unqualified for motherhood. I know these are lies that the enemy uses to taunt me, weigh me down, and guilt me. I know these are untruths, but yet, somehow I still allow myself to believe them when I am having a hard day of mothering.
I made an ABC list recently to remind myself who God says I am. When I feel like I cannot do this gig one more minute or feel burdened by lies, I remember the truths of who God says I am. After reciting these, a few deep breaths, and perhaps a sip of coffee or a piece of chocolate, I carry on. So I promise, you can too.
In his sight-perfect
Owned by God
Paid with a price
Saved by sacrifice
Wisdom thru Christ
eXempt from hell
Zero without God
I smiled at the woman, thinking to myself how grateful I was that I didn’t walk away. Tears filled my eyes, “thank you,” I said. She reminded me of a truth I often don’t allow myself to believe or forget amid the chaos of motherhood.
She had no idea how much I needed to hear those words, how it encouraged me all day, or how it snapped me out of my frustration over (another) public toddler meltdown. So to the woman at the grocery store, thank you, you will not soon be forgotten.
I am not sharing this story in anyway to “toot my own horn” or to seek compliments on my mothering. I am certainly “a work in progress” with way too many flaws to list. But I am sharing for moms in this same stage as me, where both the best part and hardest part of motherhood is being needed all.the.time, when you are so exhausted by the weight of motherhood, you just want to curl up in a ball and ugly cry, and where your life, time, and body is not your own-you are a great mom. Don’t believe the lies the enemy puts inside your head or the snarky comments from naysayers. Remember the ABC Truth list of who God says you are. You are not failing, you are enough and your are worthy.
I am also sharing for the moms past this stage in life with grown kids and empty nests, look for the young moms at the store, in a crowd, or at a restaurant. Build her up, encourage her, smile and say, “I understand.” I promise, you will make us cry and our day. ❤️