I have always second-guessed myself as a mother, never considering myself to be good enough. I look around and see other moms doing amazing things with their kids and I feel like I don’t stack up. Like I’m letting huge things fall through the cracks of my kids’ psyches. Like they should get along better. Like we should have more game nights or something.
My children are teenagers now and that new-mother self-doubt still lingers in my mind. Am I training them for adulthood thoroughly enough? Are we having deep enough talks? Do we sit down for meals often enough? Do they know they can talk to me about anything and everything? Do they know what’s important and what’s not? Do they see Jesus in me? Do they understand how central their faith should be to the whole of their lives? Do they know how much God loves them? Will they still love God when they leave home?
And then I take a deep breath and I realize that I’m not alone in my parenting, even as a single mother. I take a deep breath and remember that it was grace that saved me and it is grace that will grow my children up and hold them together, no matter what happens. I take a deep breath and I recognize that on my own I will fail, but that God cannot. I take a deep breath and recall that they are a gift from God, that he will not let them stumble, that he won’t fall asleep or slumber while watching over them. I take a deep breath and remember that I messed up a lot as I grew up and though my life is sometimes pretty difficult, I’m doing alright.
I cannot boast in my mothering. But I can boast in the God who allows me to mother, how partners with me in raising them. And I can rest in the knowledge that he loves them even more than I do…and that is more than enough.
Ephesians 2:8-9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.
Copyright © Elisabeth Corcoran. Elisabeth is mom to Sara (15½) and Jack (14). She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing. She is the author of At the Corner of Broken & Love: Where God Meets Us in the Everyday (Westbow), One Girl, Third World: One Woman’s Journey into Social Justice (Kindle, Amazon), He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment (WinePress), In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart (Xulon), and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul (Kregel). All these books can be purchased on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle. Visit her website at www. and her blog. You can follow her on Twitter @ekcorcoran or friend her on Facebook. Watch Elisabeth and her friends spread hope through Africa with Samaritan’s Purse. Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer’s Guild. Reprinted at MyParenTime.com with permission.