"You are the best Mom a girl cood have."
"You are a good Mom."
"There's not one mom that does a better job being a mom than you."
"I'm the luckiest kid in the world to have you for a mom."
I read these words this morning, like millions of moms across this country reading the same words I'm sure, smiling and hugging and thanking and reading. There were flowers and breakfast made, the Celebrate plate found its way to my spot, there were presents, kisses, and lots and lots of appreciation. After church and Sunday school, we had dinner out, I was given a pass to enjoy an afternoon nap, and then an leisurely trip to the pool. My day was perfect. I was surrounded by the wonderful children God has blessed me with and the man I couldn't imagine living without.
As the house grew quiet as little bodies took baths and crawled into bed, I was picking up from the day's festivities and I came across my four homemade cards. As I held them in my hand in the quiet, I sat down to read them once again. They seemed different now in the dim light of dusk and the quiet that is so very rare in my days. I read each one, studying the pictures they each drew and really took a minute to take in the things they wrote. As happy and as appreciated as their words made me feel this morning~ convicted and challenged was how I felt tonight reading them. Their words came from their hearts, that I was sure. They were writing about the things their young eyes see and the overall picture of what their little minds remember. But to me, sitting here, they opened my heart to the things that sometimes challenge me; the things they don't see.
They don't see the struggles I have when I am so very tired and I don't want to get up and unload a dishwasher, fix breakfast, work through a sibling argument, or make my bed. They don't see my rolled eyes at yet another dirty pile of clothes in the laundry room, the ironing that grows in the basket, or the bathroom that needs to be cleaned. They don't see my heart when I am feeling unappreciated or hurt from a thankless task completed. They don't see the jealousy sometimes that creeps when I have homeschooling work to do as other mothers have their days. Thankfully they don't see the grumblings and complainings as I work on lesson plans or grade papers or pick up after a messy school day. They don't see the days I struggle to be patient when milk spills, dirty shoes skip across my floors, or chores go unnoticed.
As I read their words tonight, I couldn't stop the tears. They didn't come because I think I am a bad mom, but because I know my shortcomings in doing this job God has called me to do. I know where I fall short, I know where I fail, and I know my struggles. Their cards challenged me to want to be better, to want be the kind mother they see, to want to be more content, to be so focused on serving my Jesus that His appreciation is enough. What they don't see, I know He sees and He is strong enough to walk me through those times, those moments, and those days and cause those stumbles and those falls on my journey as a Mom to grow fewer and farther between. I am thankful for the things they don't see. I am thankful for who they still think I am. I am thankful that their love is so forgiving. I am thankful for who they see when they look at me. I can only pray that God allows me to get a little closer each day to be the Mom who they see.