Good Mom, Bad Mom, Good Mom
Lysa TerKeurst

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26 (NIV)

Good Mom?

Bad Mom?

Good Mom?

Bad Mom?

Do you ever feel as though you are the ping-pong ball in a heated match bouncing constantly between feeling like a good mom to a bad mom?

One minute I have a great discussion where my child finally gets it... GOOD MOM!

The next I get an e-mail from a teacher that lists the three parents who have yet to turn in that permission slip and I am on the list for all the world to see... BAD MOM!

I calmly handle the stresses of the morning routine... GOOD MOM!

But then during the afternoon homework session, my child's irresponsibility over a last minute project just about sends me over the edge. I find my neck muscles tensing and my voice rising... BAD MOM!

I make sure they pack something healthy for lunch... GOOD MOM!

The schedule falls apart in the late afternoon and I wind up feeding them sugar cereal for dinner... BAD MOM!

Sometimes I feel like that ping-pong ball mom bouncing from feeling good to bad. Yesterday morning I sat down at the kitchen table after getting everyone where they needed to be and cried. Sometimes having kids is the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. Other days I feel like the task of parenting little people is driving me to the brink of craziness.

Just the other day I was processing some recent family things with my friend, Renee, over the phone. Suddenly a strange theme seemed to arise. I just started laughing. I told Renee that so many of my days seemed to tell the same kind of story... I was on the verge of a breakdown and then I spent time with Jesus and He made things better.

Renee quipped back to me, "Well, isn't that where most of us live every day?"

Not that we are on the edge of a breakdown, but we live in a place of utter dependence on God. I know as a mom, I live in constant need of His love, encouragement, wisdom, perspective, strength, patience, and grace.

Anything I do right as a mom is because of my constant dialogs with God.

Anything I do wrong as a mom is because of trying to do things in my own strength and slap wearing myself out.

That's where grace steps in. And I need lots of grace. God's grace steps in and says, “Lysa, you are doing better than you think. Stop bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad. In the good times, rejoice and thank me. In the not so good times, call out to me quickly."

And suddenly it occurred to me; with God I'm never a bad mom. I might be having a bad moment... or two... or seventeen. But a few bad moments do not define me as a bad mom.

God's grace is there to cover me. Teach me. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt me, redirect me, and change me.

Forgiveness is there.

Love is there.

A second chance is there.

You are a good mom my friend even if, like me, you’ve had a few bad moments... you are the exact mom God knew your children needed. Let's live in that truth today.

Dear Lord, being a mom is a great privilege but one that can be so challenging at times. Teach me how to lean on You with every action and every reaction. And when I mess up, please help me to not define myself by my mommy failures. Help me to only be defined by Your love that assures me and Your grace that covers me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog for a list of Scriptures every mom should have.

Love Notes in Lunchboxes and Other Ideas to Color Your Child’s Day by Linda Gilden

The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Find a verse today that could help redirect an angry or frustrated response with your kids. There are some good ones listed below in the power verses. Or you can search out one that specifically applies to your unique struggles. When you feel your temper about to flare, have this verse handy and quote it out loud. In that moment ask God to give you a wiser response than your natural feelings.

Do you ever struggle with being defined by your mistakes rather than by the truth of God? Spend some time in prayer today asking God to give you His loving perspective of how He sees you. Rest in his lavish love. If you need to ask for forgiveness for some of your actions, do this and then let these things go.

Power Verses:
Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (NIV)

James 1:5-6, “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. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (NIV- emphasis mine)

© 2008 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How encouraging and comforting! Plus it is so adaptable. If you aren't a mom, you can just substitute the word person everywhere it says mom and make it meaningful. Praising God for His love, grace, and forgiveness. How great it is to have a relationship with Him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This word is exactly what I needed today. Thanks!

Blogger Thrifty Urban Mom said...

Thank you for this devotional. It is much needed. God Bless you for sharing it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!!! You don't know how much I needed this devotional.

Blogger Sara said...

Like others, I really needed to hear this today... I think I'll print it out so I can read it often.
Thank you and God bless!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was fantastic to hear today - I bounced from Good Mom to Bad Mom so much yesterday that I was beating myself up over it this morning. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotion. I needed to hear this today. Thank you you Lord answering my questions so swiftly?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Someone's been spying on me.

It's so good to know we're not alone in this.

Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this spoke volumes to me today. Yeaterday was a rough day all around for many reasons. Unfortunately my three daughters were around to hear their mother actually yelling on the phone at their father. Through the heated argument it never ocurred to me that my daughters were in ear shot. After the "conversation" each child came to me, the look on each of their faces was heartbreaking and I was so convicted! After reassurances to my children, I went to God's word. Ephesians to be exact, and God spoke volumes to me about how I must be guided by love and be set apart by Him--just what I needed to hear. Well today I have already apolized to my children for my behavior yesterday. And as children do they accept. understand and give smiles and hugs. Oh if we could all be like children

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I was just so tired for going late to bed last night(I was praying with a friend that needed a word of encouragement and I could not say no when she called me for prayer and advise). I woke up late and could not make breakfast for the children and sending then to eat at school. I was crying asking God to forgive me for not being the mom He wanted me to be and not making more effort of waking up earlier no matter what... I was a "bad mom" I even felt worse when I found out that when my husband was taking the children to school, the car overheated and he could not drop my children off on time to eat breakfast... I felt I won the title of the "worst of the worse mom ever"... Is there any mercy for me? God told me there is with this message. Thank you Lord for hearing the cry of your children and coming to the rescue, You never fail...May the God of Israel bless your ministry mightily. With Love in Christ...Maria

Blogger Sandy said...

I read your site each day and love it!God spoke to me the morning of Good Mom, Bad Mom, Good Mom ... i was truly in need of being reassured that it is not always possible to hold it together and he he always their to guide you.
Thank you

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotion touched my heart and has reminded me that God's grace is sufficient in all areas of life, including motherhood. It is so very easy to define ourselves based on our failures and not based on how God sees us. Thank you for the timely reminder. What an encouragement!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have inspired me to start a christ centered blog from my journal entries- where do I begin?

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