Yesterday I was speaking with a friend who said " I can't believe we're already behind on day 3 of Advent!" It got me thinking about the pressure we put on ourselves to do this Mom thing perfectly -- I feel like if I don't get all 24 days of Advent in, make Christmas cookies, volunteer places, and create a truly magical time of traditions for my family, I'm a failure. After all, I scoured Pinterest for hours on end, created projects in lunchbags so they would be ready in advance, made lists of traditions for my kids to look back on with fondness, had big plans to be the most amazing mom ever. But I constantly fight the feeling that I'm a failure -
I had great plans and didn't follow through.
I'm impatient instead of staring in wonderment with my kids at some magical Christmas thing.
I yelled at them when we were trying to make a perfect family memory.
I missed days in my Advent bible reading plan... ...and the list goes on and on. Sometimes it's enough to make me want to throw in the towel! But then I remembered that the Bible calls Satan The Accuser. That's a name for our adversary that I should probably learn this Advent season. The devil not only comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but to accuse. Rev 12:10 says: Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down."
So I think that these feelings of inadequacy aren't God's disappointment in me -- it's the accuser telling me I'm not good enough. I think it also has to do with what my expectations are. When I don't meet them, I am disappointed in all I didn't do, instead of celebrating the memories we made and the things we did get done! So I decided to change my expectations. This is what I decided. During the Christmas season, an amazing mom:
Proactively works at keeping the Christmas season focused on preparing her family's hearts for the coming King.
Tries diligently to stare in wonderment with her kids whenever she can.
Apologizes and shows her children how God desires us to reconcile relationships when she sins in anger by yelling at them.
Misses days of her Advent Bible readings, but models to her children what it looks like to pick back up and not allow a setback to keep her on the sidelines permanently.
...because my little girl is going to be a Mom someday and I want her to know that every time she refocuses her family's hearts on the King who reigns within them, it's a victory.
So if I don't cover all 24 names of Jesus, do every amazing tradition on my gigantic list, make all 24 ornaments for the Truth in Tinsel--if I don't even do half of that, the ones I DID still make my God proud!