“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10
Monday night – Chicken nuggets with mac n cheese.
Tuesday night – McDonald’s happy meal.
Wednesday night – Spaghetti O’s.
Thursday night – Cereal.
Friday night – Frozen, greasy pizza.
Yes, this is what the dinner menu at my house looks like once in a while. And not only that, many times I babysit the kids with Thomas the Tank Engine while I’m preparing those gourmet meals (something I always said I would never do… before I had kids). Okay, so I’m probably not going to win any Mom of the Year awards.
Sometimes I worry that I’m going to screw up my kids. Not necessarily because there are not any meals listed above that contain a vegetable, but because there just seems to be so many ways that they could be screwed up being boys raised by a single mother.
They don’t have a dad nearby to do boyish things with them. My oldest goes to public school and my youngest goes to daycare…gasp! I work full time outside the home… [collective sigh]! In the past 10 years I’ve moved 6 times. The list could go on forever. Sometimes I wonder, “What was God thinking when he gave me- a girl- two boys to raise on my own?”
Just recently I was reading about how when a child is in the womb, he/she takes on the emotions of the mother when she was pregnant and that follows them into life. Oh my goodness!
I was horribly stressed out during both of my pregnancies due to different circumstances. Then I look at my son who is afraid of almost everything and I think… “Oh my goodness! I did that to him!” And I can’t go back and undo any of it. I didn’t even know at the time that I was doing that to him.
It’s too late. I have screwed up my kids!
But you know what? Maybe it’s okay that my kids have struggles and that I haven’t done everything perfectly in the past, nor will I in the future. Jesus didn’t come to seek and save those who had done everything just right. He came to seek and save what was lost. If I am able to do everything perfectly, my kids may never come to realize their need for salvation. We all have to start somewhere.
The Lord has provided for us in so many ways… spiritually, financially, emotionally in the past few years since we’ve been on our own. I have grown so much personally and I believe God has used that growth to equip me for this job as a mother. He hasn’t abandoned us and he has a special place in his heart for moms like me and kids like mine.
So instead of worrying that I am screwing up my kids… because I will in some way or another, whether I realize it or not… instead I am going to commit my way to the Lord. I am going to trust also in Him and know that He will bring it to pass. After all, if the Lord is able to do a great work in me- another screw up- why wouldn’t He do the same for my babies? He loves them even more than I do. He knit them together in that same womb that was full of stress and fear.
Lord, I am inevitably going to worry that I am screwing up my kids from time to time. I pray that in every instance You would remind me of your love for them. I pray that You would help me see that You are the one who will save them and not me. I relinquish that role to You, Lord. I may have to let go every day, but every day that is what I will do.
Do you worry about “screwing up” your kids? Please share!
Jenny Vanderpool is a single mom of two boys, Garren (7) and Evan (4). Garren was born with a chromosome disorder called DiGeorge Syndrome, an experience that has taught her to not take anything for granted. She especially loves the special bond between her boys. She works full time as an administrative assistant for a Fortune 500 company and loves to read, write and spend time doing things outside. You can find her at her blog Living Malachi 3:3.
P.S. (Two Things)
1. Yikes, we’ve been having a hard time getting our first book club started. Thanks for grace! We think we’re finally figuring out how things work in our forums, and hope to have week three of Raising Real Men up this Friday in that space. Until then, you can go back and interact with the info from week’s one and two! See you Friday!
2. Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the very first collaborative work from the MOB Society Writers! From Mom’s Failure to God’s Grace is available now, and your purchase today helps end Bible poverty for the people of the DRC, ravaged by civil war and in need of the hope of the Gospel. Just $2.99 for your Kindle or as a immediate PDF download.
Are you a weary mom? Check out this comforting book co-written by our very own Brooke McGlothlin. It will be a balm to your weary mommy soul, we promise.