The Mom I Want to Be vs. the Mom I Am

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Different months serve different purposes in producing fruit. Judge a tree during winter, you might decide it’s dead and chop it down. So it is with our spiritual lives. We need to remember to wait for spring for our fruit to sprout.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

There’s a big difference between the mom I want to be and the mom I am. Over my 15 years as a mother, I’ve realized if I tie my value to specific expectations — either for my own behavior or my children’s — I’m setting us all up for failure.

The “Mom I Want to Be” always wakes refreshed, spends time with God, takes an early walk outside, and greets my husband and three kids with a big hug and the Bible verse of the week.

But … “The Mom I Am” often wakes late, grumbles while I grab my phone to “count my steps” as I rush to the bathroom, runs downstairs to eat a bowl of cereal, and throws on a video for the kids while I grab something to wear.

It’s easy to grow frustrated because I haven’t yet become the mom I truly want to be.

Determined to find grace for this parenting journey, I searched the Bible to find an image that brought me freedom: the fruits of the Spirit. This is found in today’s key verse, Galatians 5:22-23, which says: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

I’ve seen that each day, I can make choices that move me toward or away from these fruits of character in my life:

Love or Hate.
Joy or Sadness.
Peace or Worry.
Patience or Frustration.
Kindness or Rudeness.
Goodness or Meanness.
Faithfulness or Indifference.
Gentleness or Harshness.
Self-control or Self-indulgence.

Keep in mind this isn’t a divine scorecard or a new way to measure ourselves. Striving backfires when it comes to accomplishing God’s work in our lives. But when we find ourselves operating out of the fruits’ opposites, demonstrating things like hate, sadness and worry, our emotions serve as a signal. They show us whether or not we’re headed in the right direction. It no longer matters how full our to-do list is or how much we’ve accomplished; what matters is our heart.

We see a similar pattern in nature. In a four-season climate, different months serve different purposes when it comes to producing fruit. If we judged a tree during winter, its seemingly unproductive time of year, we might decide it’s dead. We might deem it a failure because it stopped bearing fruit, and make the mistake of cutting it down. If only we’d waited! Winter would end, spring would arrive, and buds would appear — just a preview of the tree’s coming attractions.

It’s the same with our spiritual lives. Sometimes, we need to remember to wait for the fruit to sprout. It’s important that we make time to honor our personal life seasons, trusting God to bring up the fruit, to eventually bring the harvest He has planned, according to His perfect timeline. Let’s rest in Him, confident that — thanks to His grace, and in spite of our struggles — we are exactly the mothers our kids need, even if we sill have some growing to do.

Dear God, help me notice today when I begin to operate from my own strength instead of Your Spirit. May I use those moments as a reminder to slow down, trusting in the fruit You’re growing both in my life and in the lives of my children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (NLT)

2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Jamie C. Martin’s new book, Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy, is all about releasing false ideas about the mom you thought you should be, and accepting the mom you already are. Your steady strength is exactly what your family needs in this chaotic world. And when you understand and accept your God-given personality, you'll discover a freedom you may never have experienced before.

Order yours now, and sign up for her Introverted Moms’ Summer Book Club, which includes a book club for you and one for your children! It’s the perfect way to keep you and your kids engaged and learning this summer, and it kicks off soon!

CONNECT:
Follow Jamie’s journey as an introverted mother on Instagram or check out her blog, Simple Homeschool.

Enter to WIN a copy of Introverted Mom by Jamie C. Martin. To celebrate this book, Jamie’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and notify each one in the comments section by Monday, June 10, 2019.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s one thing you can remove from your to-do list today in order to operate more freely out of the fruits of the Spirit?

© 2019 by Jamie C. Martin. All rights reserved.

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