If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
There were Student Council elections in Mason’s fourth grade class a few weeks ago. I was thrilled when he said he wanted to run.
Although Mason is an excellent writer, he was struggling to write his speech. Soon after stepping in to help, I started to wonder if he knew what a Student Council Representative does. When I asked him, he admitted he didn’t have a clue. So I did my best to explain what a Representative does.
I’ve been scratching my head ever since, wondering why he would take on something he knew absolutely nothing about. There were Representatives in his class last year. Maybe they made it look easy and fun. Or maybe he thought making a poster and giving a speech would be exciting: he’d feel important having all that attention. Whatever it was, he was drawn to it and decided to give it a try.
In my judgmental way, I thought, Only a child would take on something he knows absolutely nothing about. A heartbeat later, I realized, I am in no position to judge: I took on motherhood.
I’m one of seven kids, and the last to have children. I spent years watching my siblings and friends raise their kids. They made it look easy and fun. Consequently, I thought motherhood would be exciting, that it would make me feel important to matter so much to these little beings. The real truth is, I didn’t have a clue.
I had no idea that I would go for years without a solid night’s sleep, or that I would hear “Mommy” so often that it rang in my head even when I was miles away, or that from 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday, I would be so busy helping with homework, prepping lunches, cooking dinner and picking up from sports and after school activities that I’d fall into bed at night with my head spinning.
We can take parenting classes and read mommy blogs and books. Other moms can share their experiences with us. But until we become a parent, we just don’t get it.
Wisdom is an earned thing: it comes at the cost of making mistakes, getting in over our heads, and drowning in the chaos until we realize we can’t do it alone. Finally admitting this is when wisdom comes in and points us to God: God who’s been on standby to help the entire time, just waiting for us to ask, waiting to “give generously.”
When we finally do ask, and then open ourselves up to His assistance, everything smooths out. Things don’t necessarily smooth out on the outside (we still have to help with homework, cook dinner and shuttle our kids here,there and everywhere), but things smooth out immensely on the inside, where it matters most.
That is what wisdom looks like: the calm mom in the midst of the chaos. She’s the one we’re drawn to; she’s the mom we want to be. The incredible thing is, we can be her if we just let God into it all.
Unfortunately Mason did not win the election. The other two students had better speeches and promised more perks for the class. But I was very impressed by Mason’s reaction. Instead of getting upset, he said, “Next year, when I run, I’ll know better.”
Although Mason lost the election, he learned and earned wisdom. Even though I lose my mind just about every evening around 7 p.m., each time I remember to turn to God for help, I get one step closer to becoming the wise and calm mom He is calling me to be.
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