Through the everyday moments of life, there are two that stand out... the high, proud moments of achievement in my child's life, and the "I cannot believe my child just did/said that!" moments of life. These moments, often defining in my child's life, can somehow turn into a moment that defines me as a mother... as Mom of the Year... or as a failure.
I find myself losing my identity in the behavior, good or bad, of my kids. When they succeed, when they use their manners, when they say something beyond intelligent, when I ask, "Who loves you?" and their first answer is "Jesus!" I glow... usually take a pic, post to instagram and hashtag #proudmama. However, when they make a poor choice, disobey, do something to hurt others, and flat out sin, I start questioning where I went wrong.
Being a Mom is the calling God gave me. And while being a mother IS a part of who I am, and I need to do my best to train up those sweet babies in the Lord, I need to remember that before I am a mom, before I am a wife, before I am a daughter, a friend, a sister, a cousin... Before any of that, I am a Princess. Yes, a princess. Oh, didn't you know? I sure am! You see, my Dad (my Heavenly Father) is the King - not just a king, but THE King of kings. So, that makes me, His daughter, a princess! He will not love me any more or any less based on the behavior of my children.
In fact, just like I make my own choices everyday, so do my kids. I can, and must, train them in the right ways, but I can't force them to do it. I am reminded of this as I potty train my daughter Haley. I can tell her, show her, reward her, beg her, and even do her favorite ("The potty dance") for her, but I cannot make her go on the potty.
I recently had a wonderful talk with one of my best friends (and mentor) in my life. She shared a struggle one of her kids had. It totally hit me that while it's easy for me to say "my kids wouldn't do that," they would... and will. Its not "if" but "when" that days comes. And when it does, I may get upset, frustrated and probably angry... but I will still love that baby with all of me. And just as I love my child like that, I need to remember that my Heavenly Father feels the same way about me.
The more I parent and train up my children, the more I realize that my Heavenly Father is using my little ones to train me up. I am so thankful He is such a loving parent to me!