Because My Kids Deserve Better (And So Do Yours)

By: Erin Davis

IMG_6907After losing my temper again with my children, I uttered a desperate prayer, “Lord, please deliver me from my anger, irritability, and lack of self control.”

It’s not a new prayer. I’d prayed it plenty before and know most other mommas have too. But it never seemed to stop the cycle of frustration and shame that had become a daily part of my job as a mom.

That’s because God doesn’t have a magic wand.

When I asked Him to deliver me from my anger toward my children, I expected Him to zap some nasty part of my heart and magically turn sighs into singing, barking orders into patient instruction, a short fuse into longsuffering. Instead, He handed me a pair of work gloves and told me to roll up my sleeves. There was mining to be done in my heart and if I was serious about changing, I was going to have to get my hands dirty. No sweep of the magic wand would do.

Because I love my children so much that it feels my heart might burst from it, and because I love God even more and desperately desire to please Him, I accepted His invitation to get to work. Yes, I would have preferred the instant gratification method, but this was about freedom—and as we all know, freedom is never free.

So, I put on a hospital gown and rolled myself into surgery. I asked the Lord to slice away at whatever was making me an angry momma.

Do you know what got left on the operating room floor? This blog. And a thousand other projects that seem really, really important…that seem disconnected from my anger, but ultimately are not.

Because I’m too tired, my bandwidth is nil. I’ve been so busy writing about motherhood that there’s no time left to be a momma who has time to tend to the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). I’m angry because I’m stretched too thin. I’m impatient because I’m limping by without rest or regular time in the Word. I lose my cool because if my life is a measuring cup that can hold one cup, I’m trying to fill it with ten gallons of junk to do every single day.

Because my boys deserve a patient momma, some stuff that I love very much, simply has to go.

I deleted Twitter and email from my phone (talk about time stealers!). (Because this is a chronic problem for me, Facebook and I broke up years ago) I made myself go to bed early instead of forcing my eyelids to stay open through a movie or sitcom. I put some parameters on how many speaking engagements I could accept. I rehearsed these lines in the mirror…”No.” “No, thank you.” “No, I’m sorry my schedule is full.”

I forced myself to face this painful truth: I may be able to do it all, but I cannot do it all well.

In an era where likes, and comments, and followers are the measure of a mom, none of this makes any sense. This website is growing. Our traffic numbers are up. Moms are being reached. Surely, that is the ultimate good, right?

Wrong.

Because motherhood is not a spectator sport. What matters most is not the pictures we post on Facebook, or the posts we write about the job, or even what other people think about our families. The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is our children’s hearts.

The measure of a mom is not what the watching world thinks. Her report card comes from the Lord.

I realize a patient, still coming out of anesthesia isn’t the best choice to give surgery lessons, but would you mind if I took one last opportunity to teach? If you’re an angry mom, a stressed out mom, an impatient mom, or a mom who does not control her temper there are likely some things that need to go. They probably aren’t big, ugly things either. They are good things that simply rob your children of the best mom possible. Perhaps it’s Facebook, or Twitter or Pinterest. Maybe it’s a blog of your own or a way you volunteer your time, or your determination to have spotless floors…

They say these years are gone in a blink. I can only assume that is true. There will be time again for us to invest ourselves more outside of our homes. But for now, our children are our mission field. We need to be diligent about guarding the time required to run this race well.

Will you join me inviting the Lord to cut away at whatever is withering the Fruit of the Holy Sprit in your life? I’ll warn you, some good stuff will likely get cut. But your kids deserve a joyful mom, a patient mom, a mom who refuses to spend these years in perpetual survival mode. They’re worth the sacrifice. And God is a kind and capable Surgeon.

While you let that marinate, it’s time for me to pull the plug. Thank you for reading this blog. Thanks for your comments. They have meant the world to me. But for now, I must say “good bye.” I may hop back on here from time to time, as the Lord teaches me new lessons and my children take extra long naps, but for the most part I am retreating from writing about motherhood in order to be a better mother.

Press in to Jesus. Press on, mommas!

Note: to keep up with Erin, her thoughts, and projects follow her on Twitter: @eringraffiti

erindavis smallA popular speaker, author and blogger, ERIN DAVIS has addressed women of all ages nationwide and is passionately committed to sharing God’s Truth with others. She is the author of several books including Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves, True Princess: Embracing Humility in an All About Me World, The Bare Facts with Josh McDowell and the Beyond Bath Time: Embracing Motherhood As a Sacred Role. When she’s not writing books, you can find Erin chasing down chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

 

6 thoughts on “Because My Kids Deserve Better (And So Do Yours)

  1. I’m sure it’s not an easy decision, but it’s a very wise decision you made, Erin. Your bio states you are a, “popular speaker, author and blogger”, but if you’re not “popular” with your own children there is no going back. May your tribe increase. Bless you!

  2. Yes…there are some things that definitely need to be cut from my life as well.
    Thank you, Erin. It was a great blessing reading you these lasts months.
    Let´s us all turn to God who is the only one who can ultimately make us better mommas. :) God bless.

  3. Bless you, Erin! I check the blog religiously so I’m a little sad :( I do, however, admire and respect you for making this decision. I know you will be blessed for it as well as your children and husband. I’ve been in the “operating room” myself lately and I’m discovering that not everyone agrees with the things I’m cutting out of my life (shocker!), but ya gotta do what ya gotta do! Motherhood is just that important. Thank you for this post.

  4. Oh Erin. Wow. As I rocked my precious lamb to sleep tonight I asked God if I needed to cut ties with anything. . .I dreaded hearing my blog. I love to write. I love to edit pictures. I love to be liked. But I do know it can be a huge distraction from my sweet baby. I don’t want to give to others and fill my fun tank at the expense of my family.
    Thank you so much for this timely post.
    Lots of love from one mom to another.

  5. Lauren,

    Sorry for my SLOW response. Can I just encourage you that if the Lord is asking you to give up your blog, that is the very best choice you could make. My obedience to Him in this area had immediate and life changing results for me and for our family.

    I do hope that someday I will be able to pick it back up, but I just had to get real about how thin I was stretched. Taking care of my kiddos well was not something I could push down on the to do list any more.

    I have prayed for you this morning, that God would make His will crystal clear and help you to be a brave momma who mothers with Kingdom priorities.

    Grace and Peace!

    Erin Davis

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