Mother Failure?

by Margi Giovannetti

Happy Mother’s Day you “failure” of a mother.

On Mother’s Day, many celebrate, and rightly so, the wonderful mothers in their families. Hugs, kisses, accolades, flowers, cards, presents, breakfast in bed, brunch, lunch, dinner . . . and oh how you deserve it all.

But there are those mothers that will not feel celebratory. Instead, there are unacknowledged and unknown — shed and unshed — tears; a smile that doesn’t reach the eyes when greeted with “Happy Mother’s Day;” and an internal mental debate about the joy of the occasion. I speak to you.

You are a mom that believes she deserves an “F” in motherhood. Things have not worked out as you imagined and dreamed. You torture yourself with questions like: Did I not eat and drink the right things while pregnant? Did I discipline too much or too little? Did I love too much or too little? Did I socialize, prioritize, Ferberize the right way? Did I fail to educate, indoctrinate, incorporate values? Did I pray too little, pray wrong?

You are not the mom with the straight A student — whose kid also played three sports, oh and sat first violin in the orchestra, who cleaned up on debate team, pranced through the musicals, won the state science fair, ran in that touchdown, hit that homer, or cheerleaded to the nationals. You are not the mom whose kid was just accepted to an Ivy league school, or got that medical degree, or is the youngest partner of the law firm, or a founder of that new start up. You are not the heritage-seed-garden growing, all-organic cooking, essential-oil infusing, no-video-game policing mom.  You are a “failure”.

You torture yourself with Facebook posts where you see other moms with happy families, fit bodies, organized schedules, successful children, adorable dogs and adoring husbands and kids, where even the posts of their “failures” are somehow envy-producing, inspiring and cute.

To those mothers who shed tears in the solitude of the shower, the stillness of the night, the solace of a garden . . . you should not be measured by the success of your offspring. Sometimes, what we want just doesn’t come about. What we wish, just doesn’t happen. What we pour our souls and hearts into, and would give our last dying breath for, defies our sacrifice.

I don’t know why. I offer no answers. One day we can ask our Creator. Until then, I w
ant you to know, you “failure” of a mother, that if you tried YOUR best, if you loved YOUR best, if you gave YOUR best  – not what someone else’s definition of “best” is – YOU are to be celebrated and loved this day . . . even if that celebration only happens in your own heart.

Your worth is not measured on a balancing scale where you find yourself wanting because you do not measure up – at least not in your own eyes. Onlookers may see “failure” but God knows and sees your heart, He knows your pain, He knows of your unending efforts, He has heard your prayers and He holds your mother’s heart within His gentle hands.

So, to all the mothers that label themselves “failures” – I wish you a truly Happy Mother’s Day. You are loved.

[sharing is appreciated]

First Mother

brenda2I’m happy to welcome guest blogger today, Brenda Aman. As Lead Director of Operations, Brenda shares the second-highest leadership role at Neighborhood Church with Todd Skinner. She is one of the best leaders I have ever met, with a passion for health in the church. She is also a wise mentor, and just a lot of fun to be around. Brenda shared this devotional with our staff on Thursday, and with her permission, I am excited to share it with you.

First Mother

“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” Genesis 3:20 

There are people all over the world, past and present, who have wanted to be the first at something; first to reach a mountain top or the first man in space. There are many “firsts,” but one first I do not think I would want was to be the first mother. I’m glad Eve had that first for all women. Continue reading

My Wife’s All-Purpose Gasp

gasp.jpeg“Oh look!” she shouted.

My heart skipped a dozen beats, my eyes bulged from their sockets, my mental status leapt to high alert, and my right foot reflexively slammed on the brakes at what was certainly an impending fatal crash. A surge of adrenaline coursing through my veins, I shouted, “What? What?”

“Look at how pretty Josie’s picture is!”

This scenario has been repeated too many times to number. On the road. At home. At church. My delightful wife’s vocal apparatus produces one, and only one, all-purpose gasp. The same gasp that appreciates the beauty of a baby also announces the detonation of a nuclear warhead. Continue reading

Self-Esteem, pt 2

“There’s my beautiful girl!” he said as he lifted her in his arms and drew her near. romance-guy.jpg

She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed close. Her heart swelled with joy. She had waited and waited for his return.

He loved her. She was sure of it.

They held onto each other and knew it was a special love.

Click here for the rest of Margi’s Memo…

Margi’s Memo 4: Self-esteem

Margi’s Memo
From Margi: Wife, Mom, Attorney, Married to a Pastor
To: The Gals in Our Church
Re: Self-Esteem

I remember it well. There I was, all of 18 years of age, walking through the college campus at Cedarville College in Ohio and I heard, “So how’s the weather up there?”

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I honestly had never given that much thought to my height or how I looked until that moment. It was a defining moment for me.

For the rest of Margi’s Memo, please click here.

Margi’s Memo: Some Morons I Met

Margi’s Memo
April 18, 2007
From: 
Margi.  A wife, mom, attorney, professor.  Married to a pastor.
To:
All the Gals in our Church
Re:
Some Morons I Ran Into

As a parting shot, I called out, “You morons!” Then I hustled my daughter to her ballet class.

The morons in question were total strangers. The event was me rushing to get Josie to ballet on time. The occasion was them stealing my parking spot. The bottom line was how well I represented Jesus Christ. Not very well, I’m afraid.

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Downtown Redding is confusing. Josie’s ballet school is downtown. One thing you should know about me is that I am extremely time conscious, or at least I was until I had children. I now understand why people are late.

Click here for the rest of this entry.

Birds and Bees, Round 2

The bedtime story of the Virgin Mary giving birth to the baby Jesus (from a children’s Bible) gave rise to this exchange last night with our kids:

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Josie (kindergarten): What does it feel like to have a baby?

 

Dad (who knows these things): It feels all exciting and crazy and fun.

 

Continue reading

Margi’s Memo

April 11, 1007

Margi’s Memo
From Margi: Wife, Mom, Attorney, Professor, Married to a Pastor
To: The Women Who Feel Guilty Looking at the Size 4 Next Door
Re: Capacity

She bit her lip to keep from biting his head off. It took every ounce of will power to fight back the tears. How could the man she loved so much say that to her? How could he not get it? She knew he said it innocently; but she had hoped he would have gotten it by now.

“You don’t work,” he’d said. “So you should get up with the baby at night.” momkissingchild.jpeg

To read the rest of Margi’s Memo, click here.

New Blogging Friends

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I recently attended the Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference. What an incredible weekend at a gorgeous facility. It was overwhelming to meet so many published authors and devoted followers of Jesus. Everybody wanted to make a difference for the kingdom. I learned a lot about writing. It’s waaaaayyy harder than I ever realized. I also learned a lot about publishing… it’s way harder too. The best part was meeting a lot of excellent people. I’ll keep you posted if anything develops on the writing front. Pray for wisdom and excellence for me as I try to write about Bringing Peace to Your Inner Mess.

We had a meeting of fellow bloggers. Here’s the list. I learned so much from these guys. It’s really humbling to be around people who are doing so much cool stuff to teach and encourage others on the internet. Check out these blogs:

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  • Actual Unretouched Photo (daily life of a busy mom) and The Amazing Shrinking Mom (same mom, talks about dieting naked–going public with your intentions to lose weight–funny, honest stuff)- Melodee Helms
  • MommyLife (a mother of TWELVE, and a top 100 mommy blog in the country.  Barbara helped me a lot at Mt Hermon)- Barbara Curtis
  • Relevant Blog (with a new book about parenting in postmodern culture, Mary blogs about the life and spirit of mom/writer)- Mary DeMuth
  • maxgrace.com (my blog about a perfect pastor and his flawless family)- Bill Giovannetti
  • Christian Work at Home Moms (a place for work at home moms to promote their business, and to receive spiritual encouragement)- Jill Hart
  • Larry’s Bible Blog (comments on Scripture and life from a published author and editor)- Larry Wilson
  • Spaghetti Pie (thoughts and reflects on daily life from a busy wife/mom/author)- Tina Howard
  • Parenting Solo Devotionals (daily devotionals especially written for single parents) and
  • Rebuilding Hackberry (about helping rebuild a town in Louisiana)- Doug Mead
  • Moral Movies (movie picks and reviews from a Christian perspective)- Dean Anderson
  • Exploring Adoption (resources and info for exploring adoption)- Laura Christianson
  • Writebrained (author, editor, and humorist blogs about life and her upcoming wedding)- BJ Hamrick
  • Why didn’t you warn me? (resources and help for small group leaders) and Sometimes I feel like a piece of bologna (the sandwich generation; taking care of our parents as they get older and our kids while they’re still at home. Resources. Reflections)- Pat Sikora
  • Happy Feet (everything about taking good care of your aching feet–more about callouses and fungi than you ever hoped of knowing)- Jon VonHof
  • Goddess Worship (a Christian investigation of goddess worship–stuff about Mary Magdalene & the daVinci Code myth)- Susy Fiory

Thanks to Jill at Christian Work at Home Moms for helping to organize this list.

Pour a cup of coffee, stretch out in the recliner, put a pillow on your lap, and your laptop on the pillow, and check out these blogs!