Along with so much joy (more than I dreamed to be possible), Jack has brought along with him the weight of responsibility.
And I don’t mean the responsibility of changing his poopy diapers, keeping his tummy full, or making sure his car-seat is clicked in correctly. Though, rest assured, all of the above are priorities on our to-do list as well.
No. Here I’m specifically talking about the responsibility of training a boy to be a man. This responsibility weighs heavy on my heart. It’s overwhelming. And it causes certain elements of fear because I feel like I could so easily mess up. I am, after all, human.
Already at four months old, Jack is watching my every move. He studies my face and imitates my smile. When I talk, he watches my lips move and tries to do the same though his voice comes out in coos & tetradactyl type squeals. He reacts to my tone of voice. He wants my snuggles for comfort. When he drifts off to sleep, he reaches to touch my cheek to know that I’m still there. Already at four months old, Jack looks to me to learn how to live.
Now it’s simpler in the sense that he’s only learning the most basic of things: moving, talking, interacting. But eventually, and not all that far off, he’ll start to look deeper. He’ll start to watch how I talk to Dad, the way I react when I have a bad day, how I spend my money & time, and the list goes on and on.
I pray that he grows to be a man who understands that Jesus died on the cross for his sin & chooses to turn from that sin to have a growing relationship with God. I pray that he pursues something that he loves & is passionate about. I pray that he is sensible & practical about managing his time & money. But also, I pray that he is able to enjoy the freedom of spontaneity & can put aside his work to enjoy life. I pray that he develops a teachable heart and is willing to work hard to become better. I pray that he is generous and cares more about others than himself. Silmultaneously, I pray that he strives to take care of himself so that he can be the best that he can be. I pray that he is willing to step outside his comfort zone when God lays a burden on his heart. I pray that he has a great sense of humor and can laugh at himself, not taking little things too seriously. I pray that he is respectful, polite, forgiving, trustworthy, loyal, kind, and sincere. I pray that he is genuine & transparent. I pray that he is the kind of man that can be a worthy example for someone else. I think that begins to scratch the surface.
(Andrew remarked “Wow, is that all?” after reading that. Yes, babe. That’s all. For now.)
But on the flip side, we live in a fallen world and I can only control so much—if anything at all.
So here I am. Mom. I’m made up of crockpot meals, piles of laundry, too little sleep, and too much dry shampoo. Simply trying to make it through the day without messing things up too much.
I feel…incapable. Insufficient. And severely undertrained.
Now if you were baring your soul to me, right about now I would be telling you that you are supermom! You are exactly what he needs. Your Mom instinct will kick in and you’ll know exactly what to do. You are more than enough.
But the truth that I’ve been realizing is that being Mom isn’t enough. I. I am not enough. I am not equipped. I am not sufficient. I am not capable.
Well, that goes against the whole “empowered-woman” movement. And honestly, it makes me want to go curl up in a hole. Maybe gnaw on some cyanide.
So let’s not stop there.
The truth is. I am not enough. But HE is.
Looking to Jesus.
Not to myself. Not to parenting books. Not to friends with kids. But to Jesus.
You see, the missing ingredient is Mom’s heart.
If my heart is not looking to Jesus—if it’s filled up with anger about that one thing so&so said, an inability to give because of greed, talking to a coworker behind another coworker’s back, a stubbornness that can’t forgive when I’m mad at Dad, or selfishly prioritizing my own desires—if my heart is filled up with those things and my heart is what drives my actions, what can I possibly expect Jack to learn from my example?
No matter how put together I am in all other areas of my life, my heart is always going to show through.
And Jack will be there to see it.
Now I can always fall back on the hope that Jack will thrive in spite of me or learn “what NOT to do” from my life. And in many ways, he probably will. But with all that I have, I will work towards being an encouragement in my son’s life and not a hinderance.
So then, the only way to fix the problem, is to remedy Mom’s heart.
By looking to Jesus. Laying aside those weights and sins that are distracting me. If I can do that. If I can make eye contact with the ugly parts of my heart—ask for God’s help to give them the boot, actively read my Bible, surround myself with people who are growing the same heart, do more of the things that encourage godliness and less of the things that discourage it, ultimately replacing the void with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—THEN Jack will see more of Jesus when Mama’s heart shows through.
That is the best thing that I can do for Jack.
I cannot make him choose the right things.
I cannot control what happens to him.
I cannot shield him from what’s right outside our door.
But I can work on my heart by looking to Jesus and allow him to watch the process up close.
Especially because I won’t get it right every time. And as hard as it will be to admit, it’s important that I tell Jack when Mama is wrong, to apologize, and that I’m actively working on being better.
Because that’s the type of man that I want him to be.
Not all together.
But looking to Jesus.
***Context is so important to truly understanding God’s Word, it’s provides us with the whole picture (the who, what, when, why & where). So I think it’s equally important to share a quick note on the context of Hebrews 12:1-2.
In the book of Hebrews, Paul is writing to a complacent, lukewarm church.
The entirety of the letter revolves around the idea of putting off all the things that would slow us down (sin, taking our salvation for granted, legalism, laziness, lack of urgency, trying to fit in with cultural standards, etc.) to instead passionately “run the race” of life in pursuit of God. Living out what we claim to believe.
THEREFORE causes me to refer to the previous text as it is a conjunctive adverb.
If you were to read the end of chapter 11, you’ll see that Paul lists examples of men and women, martyrs and warriors who lived out their faith without regard for their preservation.
The only thing that truly mattered was faith in God and living a life that gave Him the glory.
THEREFORE, in chapter 12, since we are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses (the aforementioned men and women of the faith…let us live the same. Let us put off the laziness, the sin, the complacency, the man made rules, the easy life.
Let us instead RUN…looking to Jesus.
I find this to be all the more compelling. Even though Paul was writing a specific note to the Hebrews, we can also learn & grow from this text. Applying it to our lives in the same way: don’t conform, don’t settle, don’t get sidetracked, don’t be lazy…LOOK TO CHRIST and RUN. Ultimately, this will affect all areas of your life, including Motherhood. ♥️