I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25
I knowingly missed Mason’s Open House at school last week. That day, I had been hard at work, preparing the space for the Prayer Path we were building. I was also scurrying to repair the massive mistake I had made with the layout. By 4 p.m., my tank was completely empty. There was no way, in my washed out, exhausted, and dirty state, I could be at his school from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. that night.
This is the first year they are issuing Chromebooks to every child in Middle School. It is a huge deal, and Mason was over the moon about it. What neither of us realized was that in my missing the Open House, they wouldn’t issue him a Chromebook until a later, scheduled date. Mason was devastated, and rightly so! He had to go to school for days and see kids who had better mothers than him carry around their Chromebooks with big smiles on their faces.
I felt like a failure once again. Despite backing away from my ministries to be more available to my kids, I had gone and skipped something extremely important to my son because I wore myself out volunteering. Really?
To top things off, later that week, we heard a big crash outside as we sat watching TV. When we investigated, we discovered the bowl of my bird bath shattered on the back deck. Some animal must have pushed it over.
I loved that bird bath. It was gorgeous, and it was my Mother’s Day gift this year. As I looked down at the shards of glass, I thought, How perfect! That is exactly how my motherhood feels right now: broken and in shambles.
At dinner a few nights later, we were chatting and catching up on each other’s lives. When the kids asked me about the Prayer Path, I told them the pattern was all set to go, and over thirty volunteers were scheduled to help with the construction of it.
Once again, Mason blew me away with his perspective and maturity. Instead of focusing on how that project had derailed him getting his Chromebook, he said, “Mommy, that is so amazing! All of this was just a dream of yours; and now it’s going to happen. That path is going to lead so many people to God.”
Not only did Mason humble me with his praise and forgiveness, but he taught me with his wisdom. We moms fail all the time, and our kids still forgive us. Our kids fail all the time, and we still forgive them. That is the beautiful exchange of unconditional love.
More importantly, although we love our kids and want them to feel like everything about them matters, if all they ever see is us doing just for them, they begin to think the world revolves around them. They need to see us do for others in order to learn that the world extends beyond them.
Obviously, everything needs to be in moderation. I can’t use this reasoning to back-burner my kids all the time. The resulting therapy bill would bankrupt us.
But now and again, based on the situation, and a lot of discernment, it’s okay for our kids to not come first. As adults we know that life isn’t all about us. If we want our kids to grow into that reality, and become giving and selfless people, showing them that other things need to come first now and again, slowly builds that bridge to get our kids there.
Questions For Reflection:
* Do I always put my kids first, no matter what?
* If so, what are the benefits of that? Are there any detriments?
* Could putting other things first, now and again, help my kids see beyond their own wants and needs?