My five year old daughter, Kadence, has this mirror we hung in her room a few birthdays ago so she could pretend to have her own dance studio. (It was in her brief ballerina phase.)
I don’t know what it is about that mirror, but she’s always sassier when she stands in front of it. She gets this new sort of confidence.
I have to admit though… there is something about it. Because a few nights ago, I found myself sitting in front of that mirror waiting for my daughter to fall asleep when something crazy happened to me.
It was one of those nights when my daughter was, “ABSOLUTELY NOT TIRED. SHE WAS NOT GOING TO SLEEP. SHE WAS GOING TO GET UP AND PLAY!”
And so I prayed silently, “Lord. Show me what to do. Help me teach her. Help me correct quickly so we can all go to sleep with peace in our hearts.” Okay, that’s the internet version of the prayer. It’s what I meant, but I think I just said, “HELP!” (Praise the Lord that’s always a good enough prayer for the Lord to answer.)
And then… He showed me what to do. He spoke to my heart, and He showed me exactly how to help her calm down, apologize, and make the right decisions.
I had asked Him for help, and He helped.
He answered me, and I listened and did what He said.
This was its own miracle. Praise the Lord for a God who continues to speak to our hearts and lead us!
But then, something else happened. As I sat on the floor of my daughter’s bedroom waiting to make sure she was actually asleep, I looked at myself in that giant mirror in her bedroom and right out loud – Er, in a whisper so as not to wake anyone – I said, “I’m a D@#$ good mom.”
(I’ll leave that for you to fill in as you please – dang, dadgum, darn or… well, the word I might have actually said.)
But sitting there that night with the only light coming from the little pink lamp on my daughter’s dresser, I looked at my tired reflection. I looked exhausted. I looked like I could use a nap… or a hotel room to myself for a weekend. I had literally given all that I had to give – just like every other day.
But when I looked at myself that night, I didn’t see what I usually see at the end of the day. I didn’t pause to worry if I did good enough as I do most days. I didn’t replay all of my less than perfect moments. I didn’t melt into the usual puddle of mom guilt.
I looked in that mirror, and I think I saw what my daughter sees when she looks at herself.
I saw the truth.
I had made hard decisions. I had weighed options and chosen what I thought was best. I had breathed through two year old meltdowns, and seven year old and five year old sibling fights. I had corrected behavior and cheered good behavior.
I had thought about all three of my kids’ emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health, and I had done everything I could to help them grow, learn, develop and become.
I had prayed, and I had listened, and I did it. I did everything that needed to be done even if my “to do” list wasn’t all checked off. I have given it my all.
And that night, when I looked in the mirror, that’s what I saw. I saw how much I had given out, and suddenly that tired frame sitting on the floor of her daughter’s room, poured out like a sacrifice, wasn’t just a mom. She wasn’t even just a good mom. She was a D@#$ good mom.
Because every day she wakes up and tries her very hardest, often putting the needs of her children above her own.
Because every moment that she worries if she messed up is actually PROOF of how much she cares to succeed.
Because the measure of her worth as a woman and a mother doesn’t depend on how good she is or how good her kids are that day, but on how much she recognizes her need (and her children’s need) for a Savior to lead them both.
And if I’m a d@#$ good mom, then you are too.
Look, we spend too much time listening to the lies that point out how much we fail.
When my five year old looks at herself in the mirror, she doesn’t shrink back. She doesn’t point out her flaws or her fears or her insecurities. No one has taught her those terrible lies.
She doesn’t pick or scrutinize or get caught up in what’s wrong.
She puts her hands on her hips and SEES herself.
I know you’re probably exhausted most of the time from how hard you try. I know you give every bit to make sure everyone else is doing okay.
So I’d like to invite you to stand next to me for a moment and share a little glance into this mirror with me and see what I see.
I’d like to hold up this Truth so you can look at it and you can SEE what really is. You aren’t just an okay mom. You aren’t just a “I’ll do better tomorrow praise the Lord for new mercies in the morning” mom. You aren’t even just a good mom.
You are a D@#$ good mom… every blessed day.
And that includes this one. Say it out loud before you pass this on to every other dang good mom you know.
It feels pretty good… especially when you decide to believe it.
(If you still don’t believe me, you can check out my ebook Guilt to Grace: A Mom’s Guide to Crushing Guilt.)