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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Guest mom: On faith and parenting

Posted June 22, 2010 9:54 p.m. EDT

When I was pregnant with my son, I prayed a lot. I read my Bible and my daily devotional and thought about the kind of mother I wanted to be: The kind of mother that I have. Faithful, honest, real, giving.

I was extremely fortunate to have been raised by such a woman and I wanted to be just like her. I was anxious in a world of unknowns that lasted for me, 39 weeks. And during that time, I needed my faith. I needed to know that even though I didn't have a measure of control over this life inside me, someone somewhere did. My faith in God was my guidepost through those months even when I didn't realize it. And then as a new mother, basking in the afterglow of my newborn son, I was overcome with love for my family, my husband and our child, and felt a renewed devotion and love for my Creator.

And then reality set in.

I sooo wanted to be that woman. You know her, I'm sure: That perfect faithful woman who is patient, kind and slow to anger. A woman projecting the picture of love as written in 1 Corinthians 13. And in my mind, this storybook fantasy mom persona was attainable. That is, of course until I actually became a mom and I realized that I am not perfect, nor could I ever hope to be. Some days that notion is freeing, while on many others it feels like a half-ton brick weighing me down. All this work. All this hard work will never amount to perfection!

How discouraging!

And that is where faith comes in. I need a daily check-in to remind myself that each and every non-perfect task in my daily routine is important. My household is my workplace for now, and I have the job of forming the earliest memories of my son's life. I realized that not even the Proverbs 31 woman was perfect. She did her part, and she did her best. That is what I want to do. And that is what I want to teach my children. That faith in God isn't about perfection. It never was. It's about trusting Him to fill in the gaps of my heart, not my actions.

Motherhood has changed me as a person, but in terms of faith, it has revolutionized the way I see the world and myself in it. Sometimes I still struggle with wanting that perfect mom image. And I just have to take a deep breath and remember that perfection isn't what I remember when I think of my childhood. I remember a mother who was and still is faithful, honest, real and giving. Those are the qualities I am striving for as a mother. My journey of faith in God is a constant reminder to stay true to those values.

And that, I think, is just perfect.

Andrea, a Raleigh mom, is always looking for new sources of encouragement. She can be found at her blog Lil-Kid-Things, on Facebook or on Twitter.