Embracing Who I Am
Lysa TerKeurst

"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.'" Luke 1:30 (NIV)

Ten years ago I sat in a seminar listening to a very organized mom talking about how she parented her kids. She was an amazing woman; a super mom in my eyes.

I held up my feeble efforts with my three toddlers and determined I stunk as a mother. I thought that maybe if I went home and imitated her, I could enter into the world of super moms.
I mentally listed out what I discerned must be her secret to success and set about to be just like her. But it didn't take me long to become absolutely miserable. I mentally beat myself up for not having what it obviously took to be a great mom. What was wrong with me?

I begged God to make me just like her - that really good mom. And then one day in Bible study I read the story of Mary, the teenage mother of Jesus. My heart beat fast as I realized she didn't meet the standard of super mom I'd set for myself.

Somehow, just as she was, God chose her to be Jesus' mother. And the only qualification that she seemed to have was her willingness.

I made the choice to try and let go of all those expectations I had for myself as a mom. I let go of the comparisons to other moms. I laid down the measuring stick of perfection. And I simply bowed my head and gave God my willingness.

Slowly, I started to see my own unique qualities as a mom instead of always focusing on the places I felt I fell so short.

I may not be the most organized mom, but I'm a fun mom willing to drop my to-do list in the name of spontaneity.

I may not do sit-down devotions with my kids every morning, but I'm good at helping my kids see God working in situations all throughout our days.

I may not sew a lick, but I know where to find an alterationist that is the bomb.

I may not always keep my cool in the everyday aggravations of life, but throw something big at me and somehow I'll be the calmest person in the room.

Sure, I have a lot of room for growth in my mothering. God and I work on things daily. But over the past ten years I've learned how to embrace who I am and the beauty of living fully as me.

And while I still fall short at times, I'm finally learning that being fully me is so much better than an imitation version of someone else.

I have the exact qualities God knew my kids would need in a mother. So, each day I hold up my willingness and ask God to make me the best version of me I can be.

Dear Lord, I admit that I am dependant on You in every area of my life, as a mother, a wife, a co-worker, a daughter, and a friend. Help me to understand the depth of Your love for me. Thank You for being familiar with me in all my ways. Thank You for laying your hand upon me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If you are in the Dallas metro area, you're invited to be in the studio audience for the appearance of Lysa TerKeurst on the LIFE Today show with James & Betty Robison, Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are free, but you must reserve your seat. Call 817-354-3655 or email audience@loi.org. The studios are located at 1801 West Euless Boulevard, Euless, Texas 76040. Lysa would love to see you there.

Visit Lysa’s blog

The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Have you ever struggled with this?

How can you keep yourself from falling into the comparison trap?

How will you begin to embrace the person God created you to be?

Whether it's in the arena of motherhood, or your workplace, or one of the many places we unfairly compare ourselves to others -
- realize your great qualities and be fully you
- realize how much God loves you
- realize He created your inmost being
- realize He has laid His hand upon you
- realize His right hand will hold you fast
- realize His promises never fail

Power Verses:
Joshua 21:43-35, "So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. " (NIV)

© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Karen said...

Thank you so much! Thank you Father for always loving and bringing truth to our situations! This devotional is timely as last night we (my teens and I) had another blow out!

I've made so many mistakes over the years! However, your words, through the Spirit brought peace to my soul!

Thank you so much for your open heart and truthful words!
Bless you in your ministry as mom and iron sharpening iron!

Not Super mom, just me!

Blogger DOakley said...

Thank you so much for posting on this, Lysa. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one (one of the great things I've discovered about connecting with other women--one of the reasons I love Proverbs 31 Ministries and Girlfriends in God).

I certainly feel the same way. I'm a work-at-home mom and the OCD side of me doesn't like the chaos that often comes with managing self-employment for two at-home jobs.

I take dust bunnies as a constant mocking and reminder of something I haven't been able to finish, yet--especially when I notice that where there was just one dust bunny, there are two!--on each step (darn hardwood floors!)

I, too, try hard to be supermom. I have had to define what that term means to me because I know I can't be like everyone else.

Anyway...thank you so much for this devotional, Lysa!

Blogger jena98 said...

Thank you so much for the posting today. I have been going through many difficult things lately. My father has cancer, my daughter has been sick, and my husband is talking about a divorce. It was nice to open this up this morning and have that reminder that God does love each of us how we are and lays his hand upon us whenever we need him.

Thanks again for all you do, Bless you!!!

Anonymous Suzanne said...

Lysa, your devotional today is right on target!! I am in many ways that "work-in-progress" when it comes to accepting that I am NOT super mom.

I am currently reading your book, "My Bathtub is overflowing, but I feel Drained". What an inspiration!!! I just finished the chapter with your poem in it. What beautiful words....and yes, I want to be that person too! God is definitely showing me that I don't have to be perfect...I just have to let him work through me.

Thank you for your encouraging words!! You are so blessed and I really appreciate your ministry to help all of us (MOMS) to see that God didn't call us to be perfect, just willing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Paising God for you and this devotional. My husband and I recently adopted a baby girl (back in October 2008) and she is now seven months old. I could not have children naturally, and I knew for most of my life that it was God's plan for me to adopt.

Anyway, I have been beating myself up lately because with my husband being laid off, I have to work. My job keeps me away from the house for 13 hours a day. So, what about time with Father, and what about getting excercise? And, then there is Life Group. Last night, I had a melt down of monumental proporition. I left the house at 0700 AM and did not get home until after 930pm going straight from work to Life Group.

When I got home my sweet and precious little princess was vast asleep. My husband does such a great job with her. But, as I stood there looking at her my heart just melted. I had waited so long (I am 46 years old) for her in my life. Of course, I know in my mind that this is just a season in my life, and God has a plan; otherwise, He would not have brought Olivia into our lives.

I just lost it and then all the things that need to be done that haven't been getting done (because when I do get a spare minute it is completely and totally dedicated to Olivia) came to a head.

That you for sharing this devotion. I need this today. I thank you for you ministry. You are a blessing.
Tina Marie

Blogger alexii said...

Thank you so much! I was filled again by words, testimonies and most of all HIS promises.

I really appreicate this new community that I found!

Blogger Robin said...

Thank you so much for the comment "I have the exact qualities God knew my kids would need in a mother. So, each day I hold up my willingness and ask God to make me the best version of me I can be." That is something I really needed to hear. I feel like such a failure at times, especially when I see my negative traits coming out of my girls.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! As I read this, I realized my oldest son just finished taking his last final exam for high school. This is the son who I beat myself up over day after day, because he is not the person I had hoped to raise. Don't take me wrong-he is a great kid! He & I have just always had authority issues, and he always knew how to "push my buttons"....this makes me realize that God chose me to be his mom for those very reasons, and he may not be who I wanted him to be, but he will be who God needs him to be despite or because of me (and his dad-have to give Dad credit too).

Praise God! He is awesome!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I am amazed at how God works and has been speaking these same truths to my life...being the best me that He wants me to be. Thank-you for putting into words what has been pounding in my heart for a few days now. I just needed to have someone speak it out for me. Being a stay at home mom you get sooo many critiques on how you should parent, do this and don't do that... Some people just make you feel like you're a monster mom. This world has sooo many new age philosophies on how you should deal with YOUR kiddos. Being a great deal perfectionist it's hard NOT to attempt to be that SuperMom. Thank-you soooooo very much for putting into plain English what I needed to hear today!

In the Love of Jesus,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a great devotional, Lysa. I feel that I am constantly comparing myself to everyone else. I really need to stop doing that. I am so thankful to God for my wonderful children. When I spend time trying to do what other people do, I can't put all of my effort into being the best mom I can be.

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