living today on purpose {and free from mommy-guilt}

By November 14, 2012General

Today’s post is by monthly contributor Lara Williams.

Time is flying past me too quick. I can’t remember the exact day that marks the last time I carried my daughter up the stairs. I just know that she’s too big for my arms.

And I can’t remember the exact day that marks the last time I changed a diaper or filled a bottle or opened a jar of mushy carrots. I just know that time has flown, kids have grown, and days are different.

I was recently thinking about this short breath we call life and felt a great sense of urgency. Because tomorrow will happen. And then a decade will pass. And I want to look back knowing that I lived it purposefully. Not perfectly, but purposefully.

 

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So I pondered motherhood before my God. And a single question came to mind.

What do I want my kids to remember about me as a mom?

 
My answer? I want them to know that I loved them, loved their daddy, and loved my God.

 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35

 

Putting the answer that succinctly burdened me. Because some days I wonder if they truly know my love. Some days I wonder if they may think I love my phone or a clean house or my to-do list more than I love them. Even typing those words makes me nauseous.

Because I know me. I know all my failures and weaknesses. I know all the times I’ve overreacted in anger or crushed little hearts in the hurried of daily living.

But I’m also convinced — convicted — of the character of my God. I praise Him that in spite of me and my imperfect mothering, He woos and transforms and brings about His plan in the lives of my children. Such. grace.

Today’s a new day — the first one of the rest of our life. God will continue to strengthen His love through us as willing vessels, and we will continue to make mistakes, but the challenge is to look at today’s choices through the lens of love. The challenge is to move purposefully under His banner of grace.

 
How do you live purposefully as a mom in our very busy, loud world?
What practical choice can you make today to purposefully love those He has in your life? Click here to share.

 

About Lara
Speaker and writer, Lara Williams lives in central North Carolina with her husband and three young children. Click here to check out her blog.

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20 Comments

  • Avatar Gina says:

    Being a task-oriented person, I know I have struggled in this area as well. Sometimes I forget that having a clean house is NOT what I want my children to remember most when they leave the nest. And yes, technology can scream at us even louder than they can at times. One thing I’ve implemented in our day is what I call “white space”. We unplug. I don’t answer the phone or text messages. The laptop is turned off and put away and I practice presence. Just being here. Without fail, the phone always rings, but by making the decision beforehand that I’m unavailable, I don’t have to choose in that moment between continuing to draw or read with my daughter and answering the phone. It has helped me to lay hold of my priorities in an almost tangible way. Thank you for the post. Great reminder.

    • Avatar Lara says:

      I love that! “White space” I may have to steal the idea. Thanks for sharing, Gina.

      • Avatar Aja says:

        I love this too. My baby is only 16 months, but I struggle with letting go of technology and just bring present, being with him. I don’t want him to grow up thinking of mama as always doing something on her phone or computer.

  • […]   It’s a busy week with guest posts! I’m hanging out with Kat over at Inspired to Action today talking about living on purpose (and free from mommy-guilt). I’d love for you to stop by and join in on the conversation. Click here to be painlessly transported through cyberspace. […]

  • Avatar Jennifer G says:

    This was the perfect post for me today. I am due to have a baby on Monday, which means my son only has a few more days left to be an only child with mom’s undivided attention. I’m trying to come up with ways to let him know that I love him no matter what and to make the next few days special for him, and also trying to think of ways that he can still get some one-on-one time with me after his little brother arrives.

  • Love this! A great reminder of what is REALLY important.

  • Avatar Carrie Long says:

    I try to make some “special occasions” with my daughters atleast once a week. Last night it was taking them to the YMCA to swim in the pool. It’s just our time to ENJOY each other instead of me handing down rules, advice etc. My hope is that they will remember these special moments together and the fun and laughter that we share.

    • We do something similar called “GN” — “Girls Night.” My daughter loves GN and like you I pray it is something that will always remind her of how much I love her. Have a great evening, Carrie!

  • Avatar Brada says:

    Wow! This was what I needed. When I read your question “What do I want my kids to remember about me as a mom?” I cried. Because what I want them to remember and what I am giving them to remember are two of the most opposite things. My day is filled with chores and busyness, and tasks and what extra time I do have I waste on my phone, or computer. I have been really quick to anger when they don’t listen lately, and all they hear is my angry voice. Just this morning as we were getting ready for school I wasted time on the computer and didn’t get them to get ready until the last minute and they then stalled, which is nothing new, and we were then rushed and ended up being late, and to make matters worse I ‘discussed’ it with them almost all the way to school, basically saying it was their fault, but really it was mine. Nothing happened that I didn’t already know could especially when we have even less time than we did. I feel like I am failing lately as a mom, wife and follower of Jesus. The later in a big way. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to actually read the Bible and pray, I know deep down that if I spent more time with God, my life would be a lot more peaceful. But when I think about where to start, I feel lost. I don’t know where to start and work on a closer relationship with God. And I also feel like I have no time for myself to sit in the quiet of God. I know God has been giving me quiet and patience nudges to come sit with Him for a very long time now, I just need to start. Please pray for guidance for where to start for me. Thank you so much for your posts, God has definately been using them to draw me closer to Him. Thanks Kat, Lara and all the amazing women involved here.

    • Bless you, Brada, for your bold honesty. It is so easy to get distracted in our VERY loud world. I know God is going to honor those desires to reassess. He always (graciously!) blesses when I realize and confess that my own priorities have become cloudy.

    • Avatar Deborah says:

      Brada, I could have written your post as if it were one of my days! Thank you for pouring out your honesty and having the vulnerability to do it. You leave your heart open by doing so, which allows God to come on in. I, too, struggle to try and be a perfect mom, have the cleanest house, and look like a lady who has it all together but most of the time I’m falling apart and trying not to let anyone know it. I sure don’t want my children to see me falling apart or to have lost memories because mom was too busy cleaning, on the phone/computer, or getting frustrated with the little things that one should just.let.go.
      I want them to know God. I want them to know what it feels like to be loved unconditionally. Thank you for this post, thank you for sharing, and I pray that God continues to help,us find refuge in Him.

  • Avatar Kat Lee says:

    I love this! …so honored you share your wisdom and words here, Lara.

  • Avatar Beth says:

    I’m so comforted to know I’m not the only mom who struggles with the anxiety of not missing a moment and yet staying sane and productive. We recently moved and I feel like I need to suddenly provide a full life for my daughter in our new location. It is enough to make me want to skip through the day on fast forward so that I don’t have to see all the holes in what I can provide for her right now. Thank you so much for this message.

  • Avatar J S says:

    I could say almost the same thing that Brada said above!

    I have thought about this in the past and what I want my kids to remember from their childhood is: love, laughter, limits

    i want them to know they are loved, i want them to remember always laughing together and i want them to know that they had clear limits on what’s acceptable.

    i’m still striving for this daily but don’t have a solution yet!

    Thanks for the reminders!

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    I have been thinking some of these very same thoughts over the past weeks. I am a new SAHM / Homeschooler and have scheduled my girls days as best I can with a 4 year old and 2 year old – but it occured to me that my days were not that scheduled (I should add I am a very schedule-driven person). Since then I have begun to map out my days – from when I will be on the computer, when i will read and when i will spend time with my God and my husband. It is in it’s baby stages…but it is getting there….

  • Avatar Tehila says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post! Besides the great points that you, and those who have commented, shared, I really want my children to remember that I was “present.” The last thing I’d want them to one day say is something like, “whenever we wanted to talk to mommy, or we needed her help, she wasn’t available – she was on the computer, or phone, or out of home.”

    I would love to leave a legacy, among others, of have being THERE for them, available to them…

    – spiritually (available to carry their burdens in prayer)
    – emotionally (available to listen and encourage)
    – physically (available to play with and interact)

    On every level…

    God bless you!

  • […] I wrote the other day about how I deeply desire to live purposefully. Not perfectly, but purposefully. And with the Christmas season coming on us so quickly, I’ve been praying about how that purposeful living will play out with the waves of the yuletide. […]

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