The Mother Load
Lysa TerKeurst

"One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving." Psalm 62:11-12a (NIV)

We moms should never build the stability of our identity on the fragility of our kid's choices.

Have you ever felt like a failure as a mom because you got a not so great call from the principal's office? Me too. On the flip side, have you ever felt like the greatest mom ever because your child got some special recognition? Me too. So, let me say it again just so this crucial truth can sink in a little deeper. I'm repeating it for no other reason, sweet sister, than the fact I need this message. So, forgive me if this devotion preaches a message only to myself.

We moms should never build the stability of our identity on the fragility of our kid's choices.

I've got five amazing kids. I really do. They are wildly funny, imaginative, moody, opinionated, strong, weak, happy, sad, good and sometimes not so good. In other words they're pretty normal. And while I've done everything in my power to raise them to turn out amazingly awesome - and they very well might turn out amazingly awesome - there aren't any guarantees.

Sometimes bad parents raise terrific kids.

And sometimes terrific parents raise kids that chase bad things their whole life.

So, what's a mama to do?

Embrace the process. Learn from the process. Let God speak to us during the process. And see the process of raising kids as an ongoing opportunity to invest beyond ourselves.

We get to love our kids like crazy. Pray for them faithfully. Talk to them regularly. Listen to them tenderly. Model honesty and integrity. And point them to Jesus at every turn.

We get to do all that.

And tucked within these privileges is the reward. As long as I look for the reward within the process, I won't misplace my expectations. I have to rest in the assurance that God sees everything I invest in these kids.

And He will use every step of this process for good. The process will be good for me. And this process will good for my kids. It will be good. But this process won't always make me feel good or look good.

If I always expect my kids to make me feel good or look good, I am setting us all up for failure. My kids were never meant to carry the weight of a mama's need for validation. I can't let their failures send me to bed. And I can't wear their successes like mommy medals of honor.

Motherhood is tough you know?

It really is.

However, it's also our only opportunity to reach into the generations to come and make a difference. So, an imperfect but wonderful difference I will make.

Dear Lord, help me to embrace the privilege and process of motherhood. I see parenting as an opportunity to invest beyond myself. But I also admit that I really need Your help. Please guide me so that I can model You every day in every way. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa’s blog for a chance to win the ultimate mom gift. You don’t want to miss this!

For more gut honest and wise advice on being the mom you want to be, check out Lysa TerKeurst’s book Am I Messing Up My Kids?

Lysa’s best-selling book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, is helping women know how to better understand and apply the Bible. Every mom should read this!

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl DVD set

Lysa will be speaking in over 40 cities this year and she’d love to meet you! To check for a city near you, click here.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you! ________________________________________

Application Steps:
If we always expect our kids to make us feel good or look good, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Be honest with yourself and think of some ways you may be doing this. Spend some time resting in God's daily assurance. See your parenting as an opportunity to reach into the generations to come. Reflections: Am I consistently pointing my family to Jesus? How am I doing this?

Have I misplaced any of my expectations?

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 1:5, "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (NIV) 
© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Karen said...

Thank you!
This one is truly beautiful! Thank you! Thank you Holy Spirit!

Blogger Unknown said...

This is an awesome devotional, and I was truly blessed by it. So often I get caught up in the rights and wrong of my children, but I need to focus more on the prize of them becoming Godly individuals, and more on leading them down the right path. Thank you!


Blogger Unknown said...

Soooo agree with this devotion.
We love them, model for them, instruct them and hold on!
We are intentional about our parenting but our kids can not be what is the source of our happiness...that must come from our Lord.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this website and have become addicted to the devotions, however, I'm very saddened and deeply offended by this statement:

"However, it's (motherhood)also our only opportunity to reach into the generations to come and make a difference."

I'm not a mother, so I'm missing the ONLY OPPORTUNITY TO REACH INTO THE GENERATIONS TO COME AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE??? That's an extremely powerful statement. I'm currently praying for God to bless me with a husband, and eventually children. I'm shaken by the fact that I just read a devotion that said I cannot reach into the generations to come or make a difference without having children of my own. Ouch.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Annonymous...
My heart aches for you! BUT I know from following this ministry for years that they DO NOT believe for one instant that women cannot reach into the generations to come or make a difference without having children of their own. I completely understand that when you took that one sentence out of the devotion and you focused on that one word "only" was like adding salt to your already hurting heart. I am so sorry that the comment was so hurtful and offensive to you. BUT I firmly believe (and I know every women at Proverbs 31 would agree) that you can reach into the generations to come RIGHT NOW. My youth pastor's wife poured God's love and encouragement into me...all before she had children AND it had nothing to do with the fact she was married. She made a HUGE impact on my life and played a large role in pointing me to Jesus. You can have that same impact on another life whether married, single, parent or not.

What I find so very interesting is how in such a powerful, encouraging devotional for so many women...Satan can still use it (even just one sentence) to stir up more hurt and division.
I will be praying for you annonymous, that you see the wonderful ways God has equipped you to impact the world for him!
I will be praying for Proverbs 31...a protective covering over the devotionals and the leaders.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a mother who has three grown children and five grandchildren, I will tell you that I have lived and breathed on my children's successes or failures. I tried to mold them and manipulate them to an extent, trying and keep them "happy, safe,on track and positive." I worried and lept to fix anything that went wrong. My very astute then teenage daughter reminded me that I was not responsible for her happiness. I was loving, engaged, proud, and controling.
Despite my micromanaging, my children have turned out well. All three are committed to Christ, and are raising my grandchildren in Christian homes.
I have mellowed. Learning that as adults they rarely need my advice unless asked. I can not run to control or fix everything in their lives. God has their plan. Learning to release all of them to God has been a blessing to me. I wish I had done it earlier. And-sometimes I have to fight the urge to fix and intervene.
This was such a good reminder of setting priorities as we raise our children. They are God's gift. But, they are His children.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't agree with that anonymous 10:19AM, but I do share in your addiction to this website...

I'm not a mother and I can never give birth to a child, but I have the Great Opportunity! to reach into the next generation :o) through children of other women. God has been graciuos enough to fill our world with, so don't be sad, or shaken by the fact that you don't have a child now!

Our Lord has a way of equipping the saints with the "OPPORTUNITIES TO REACH INTO THE GENERATIONS TO COME AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE" without even having a child of your own...

Thank you Lord so much for Lysa and the staff of P31...
May the Lord God bless you real good!!

Anonymous Lizzy said...

such good truth--i needed this today!

Blogger Jennifer said...

This one really struck a chord. I forwarded the link to lots of people. Thanks for the gentle but honest reminder!

Blogger Mama Mpira said...

"We moms should never build the stability of our identity on the fragility of our kid's choices."

Brilliant. This has stayed with me all day: we should also never build the stability of our identity on the fragility of our OWN choices, too.

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