Mother of the Year
By Micca Monda Campbell

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28 (NIV)

I long to be a godly wife and mother, but my efforts to become this "ideal" woman stated in Proverbs can leave me grieved and depressed.

I felt especially defeated the year my youngest son started kindergarten. In Tennessee, kindergarteners follow a scattered schedule the first two weeks of school where half of the class attends one day and the rest comes the following day. It helps them adjust. For me it brought confusion.

On Tuesday, I took my son to school, kissed him good-bye, and headed home to work.

I was busy at the computer when the telephone interrupted my pace. "Hello?" "Mrs. Campbell, this is Parker's teacher. I was wondering who would be picking him up from school today."

Stunned that I had forgotten my child, I jumped in the car and raced to the school. He stood on the sidewalk holding his teacher's hand with tears in his eyes and REJECTION stamped across his heart. I took him home, apologized profusely, and made his favorite meal for dinner. I felt like the worst mother ever.

Thursday, we returned to school. All was going well until I was, once again, interrupted by the phone. I had forgotten to pick up my child not once, but twice in the same week!

I sped to school on two wheels. This time he was standing with the room mother, who was obviously a true Proverbs 31 Woman. As she helped him buckle his seatbelt, I tried explaining myself.

"You're not going to believe this, but I did the same thing earlier this week."

"Yeah, I know." She replied bluntly.

I felt I’d been labeled a "bad mother," and I felt like a complete failure.

Later that same year, God encouraged me as a mother when ParentLife magazine named me one of eight "Mothers of the Year!" Parker's reaction to this surprising news was, "If they lived with us for a while, they'd probably reconsider."

Those were my thoughts exactly. In fact, I asked my husband how I could be given such a great and undeserving honor. With wisdom, he shared that maybe it was God's way of saying I'm doing better than I think.

His wisdom helped me put things into perspective. God never said I had to be perfect. That was my expectation. He never said that I wouldn't make mistakes or a wrong decision every now and then. Again, that was my hope. I had assumed that the Proverbs 31 lady did everything right and I was suppose to as well. The problem was, with all her great accomplishments, I never considered her "not so good" side.

Sometimes I let the bad out weigh the good. Perhaps the "Mother of the Year" award was God's way of saying, "Hang in there. You're doing better than you think, and I'm not the only one who notices."

Despite my many mistakes, perhaps my children will some day arise and call me blessed. The next time you need encouragement, let God whisper to your heart: "I hear when you pray for your children, and I'm there when you teach them about who I am. I watch you love, care, and sacrifice for them. You’re not perfect, but hang in there. You're doing better than you think."

Dear Lord, help me to be the mother my children deserve. Encourage my heart when I feel like a failure. Erase my errors from the hearts and minds of my children. Instead, help them to see Jesus in me, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

Visit Micca Campbell’s blog

This devotion was excerpted from God’s Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen

Authentic Parenting by Mary E. DeMuth

Application Steps:
Start a support group for moms in your neighborhood, school, or church.

Do something today to that will “recharge your batteries.”

Reflections:
Get rid of “mommy” guilt. Let the good you do override the bad.

Is there something you need to ask your child’s forgiveness for? This goes a long way in regaining your title.

Where do you find encouragement when you’re overwhelmed as a mom?

Power Verses:
Deuteronomy 11: 18-21, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” (NIV)


6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the Lord tells us in James that NO man can control the tongue, He was obviously referring to me. It is the stupid and hurtful things that I blurt out in anger that I feel, undue all of the laughing and loving and tickling and good meals and bedtime prayers and cuddles. Words are so powerful. Shamefully, self control is a fruit of the spirit that I just can't seem to grasp on some occasions. I so long to be like the Jesus that I daily speak of to my child. I certainly don’t want him to marry a woman with the ‘gift for grievous words’ that his mother possesses. “The law of kindness is on her tongue” I repeat it over and over again like a mantra hoping the God will intervene yet a few times a year, my tone rises and my words are sharp. I truly pray that the good will outweigh the bad in the end.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning as I received this devotion I can honestly say that I didn't want to read it after I saw the title. Not because of the author or the content but because of my own sense of failure as "mother of the year". I kind of chuckled and sighed under my breath... I won't be getting that reward this year!

Then tonight I decided that it wouldn't hurt reading about some other mother of the year and was excited to hear her be praised. But to my surprise, I was comforted to know that I am not alone. There are other women that make mistakes as they are trying to become that Proverbs 31 woman. It is hard for me to accept that my works is good enough and I guess that satan works hard to easily deceive us to be who God created us to be.
Ladies, let us rejoice with those that are rejoicing and weep with those that are weeping and be a friend to someone that really needs one!

Anonymous Julie Anne said...

Thank you for these wonderful words of encouragement!!! they came at just the right time. I will be copying this prayer to say every day!!

I love my kids more than words can say, but it doesn't make me perfect, or stop me from being selfish.

Blogger Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks so much for listing Authentic Parenting as a resource!

Warmly,
Mary DeMuth

Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28 (NIV)
I was thinking about this verse yesterday...Mom's day. There are those of us who are moms whose children don't always "arise and call us blessed"....for us, Mom's day can be painful. Our children are often thoughtless and selfish and don't realize the amount of energy and care and deep love we serve them with. And although we should not serve them so as to be repaid, yet we want to see them growing into thankful, thoughtful adults....yet there are seasons of what appears as no growth in this area in their lives. And, to be perfectly honest...it's just nice to be appreciated to be thought of sacrificially one day a year...(does that make sense?)

It can make one feel like a failure as a mother. Yesterday was one of those days...I wondered what I had done wrong in raising such thankless, thoughtless children. Perhaps it is my own character reflected in them? (although I remember wanting to bless my own mom...it was fun.) Whatever happened, it makes me feel like a total failure. There are so many areas of their lives that I feel I have missed in training them up in Godliness. And I can truly only count on God's grace to get them to where they need to be.

Mother of the Year? I would be thankful to have my kids give me a card with heartfelt words on it...or honor me by their obedience...but I wait for the day they rise and call me blessed.

Thanks for the prayer....amen...

OpenID ShonaSemone said...

I'm not a mom, but a few words I've read seem to be just for me.
"You’re not perfect, but hang in there. You're doing better than you think."
That's encouraging when sometimes I'm tempted to feel like I'm failing as a student, as a friend, and as a christian. I'm not perfect, far from it in fact, but I praise the Lord that He knows my heart. Amen

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