I’m a Christian mom and I say “no”.
I say no to protect my family.
I say no to foster a relationship with my children.
I say no to instill the beliefs I hold so dear to my heart.
I say no because I am called to.
I say no because I have to make sure I’m doing the right thing.
Women in our society carry an undue pressure to perform. To be all things to everyone. And being a Christian, I could argue we are in more of a pressure cooker than the average gal.
We are under the microscope of religion and today there isn’t a much more ridiculed lifestyle than Christianity. And the ridicule can, unfortunately, even come from the church itself. I wish we could get past the judgement and comparison, but we are a part of this fallen world regardless and even the “best Christian” can’t escape the ugly reality of worth by Sinners’ standards.
It’s a constant battle to not “keep up with the Jones’”, and the pressures to do ALL THE THINGS (have all the things, accomplish all the things, and follow the perfect time line for all the things) are continually on our minds with social media and society’s expectations. We are encouraged to share all the good parts, and portray an image and lifestyle that checks all the boxes. Our image is critical, and our success is based on our measuring up.
But the day I became a mother, I gained power. A strength from God. My own fears and anxieties are still there, but I have a force behind me. An ability to make decisions and use my natural instinct on how to raise my child (I still need advice and ask for it regularly, but for the most part, I’ve come to have confidence in my own choices). It’s been a freeing experience becoming a parent. I feel stronger and more capable. I feel more fully like an adult than ever before. And that’s been empowering.
Adam and I talk regularly about our vision and desires for how our family will operate. The things that are most important to us and the type of life we want to foster for our children. There isn’t much time for us to impress upon our children the values and beliefs we live our lives by. So for us, we are determined to instill from the beginning with each child what we believe, what we cherish, how we love them, and values that are important in life.
Once Banks was physically born and I looked into his precious eyes, I realized I can say NO. Nothing matters more to me than being the mother Christ has called me to be. Nothing can stand in the way of caring for this soul with shear trepidation, care, and focus. This is my HUGE responsibility, this is my one thing that actually does matter 100 years from now. My children, they are my legacy. They are what’s left of who I am and what I did for God when I am gone.
The power to say “no” makes a difference. It’s up to Adam and I to filter our children’s lives in a way that allows them to flourish, grow a love for God, and understand our love for them.
So saying “no” is imperative.
I don’t have to volunteer for everything, go to all the activities, put my kids thru everything expected.
I don’t have to attend all the events that request my presence, my kids’, or our family’s.
We don’t have to follow the norm.
We don’t have to have all the latest gadgets and toys. Filling our house with material objects that don’t add real value, but rather just increase pure aggravation to my OCD brain! (I mean it’s like an episode of hoarders with ALL THE BABY STUFF!)
We don’t have to throw the most lavish birthday parties or Pinterest worthy moments.
We don’t have to sign up for all the sports, or spend time doing activities that don’t align with our bigger dream.
We have the power to say NO and guess what…IT’S A GOD GIVEN POWER.
My children won’t know me or what I believe if my quality moments with them are few and far between. I won’t understand the best way to teach them if I don’t spend time recognizing how they learn. It’s up to me to shepherd my children and support my husband thru the lens of living for Christ. That is foremost, not living up to a standard that isn’t what I should be setting my expectations against. Ultimately, my job is to raise children who fall in love with Christ. That they may grow into adults who chase after the heart of God and share His love with anyone who will listen.
Church is important, as we are all the body of Christ and must work together. Similarly, school and extra curricular activities are inevitable. But we can’t take a backseat to what is best for our families. Don’t be consumed by the endless list of should-do’s. Take a true moment to survey what your children really need (including you and your spouse). Don’t become too wrapped up in all the activities and responsibilities that are expected, but aren’t necessary. Communicate and work together to determine what is adding the right values to your family life.
Life is about balance. Only you know what your days are like…how tired you are, if you’ve had quality time with your kids (your husband), what the weekend has in store, what time you have to get up in the morning, how mentally/physically equipped you are to handle all the things, and what you want to introduce into your family. Relish in your power to say “NO”! Don’t fall into the trap of doing just to be doing. Make conscious choices. The days may seem long, but the years are short. Our children will be out from under our wings far longer than they will be under them.
If you missed the Making Marriage Work Series, check it out here!
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