Mom Map to Success: Guest Post by Andrea Ryall

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In order to have time to sit and process these thoughts my kids are watching TV and eating popsicles. It’s 9:23am. I am already running out of ideas for fun things to do today and it’s 9:23am. Yep, mom of toddlers right here.

Remember that moment when you found out you were pregnant and someone handed you a map? You know, the “Mom Map to Success”. It’s the one with crazy forks in the road. Stay at home or back to work? Cheap prenatal or the crazy expensive ones? Immunizations or anti-vaxxer? Co-sleep or in the crib? Organic or non-organic? Pre-school or home school? Designer kids clothing or thrift store? See, you DO know the map I’m talking about! When navigating unknown terrain you are only as good as the map you are holding.

We are a clan of mothers very different from generations of the past; Individualistic and mostly without mentors. We are a generation of hard working women building our little empires all on our own. One of the central issues to our many issues is that our maps are inadequate. They were not forged by wisdom from women and mothers of the past but instead they are brand new creations created by looking around at the other lost mothers and “experts” around us.

This “Mom Map to Success” leads only one place, self righteousness and guilt. Mom guilt. It’s thick and heavy and a spreads like infection beyond mothering and into friendships, marriages and even our relationship with God. When you lay your over-tired head down at night what do you replay from the day? Your failures, your weakness’s and the impact they will have on your kids in the long run? This thinking gives way to a morning commitment to be different today. No matter how honorable the desire if this commitment is made without an invitation from you to Jesus to change your heart I promise you, 100% of the time, you will not succeed.  If your pillow guilt session do not include repentance, taking captive each thought and submitting it to Christ I promise, 100% of the time, you will have missed the point of that day. You will have missed the beautiful things you did that your kids think of when they fall asleep. All the love you shared, the way you made simple things exciting and fun, the way you show them that even in their failures they are still loved unconditionally. You will miss the way your creator looks at you and your accomplishments that day. You will allow the enemy and the world to tell you how you did instead of seeing an accurate reflection.

 

Now the problem is that all these forks in the road are real and we have to choose which way to go. If we lay down our just-printed brand new maps and instead open the Word we find the map we have been craving all along. That yearning in us all of a path well lit and well traveled; that yearning for a map filled with Grace. This old worn map may be splattered with blood and brokenness but it knows the way. Not our way but His way.

Now I may be out of fun ideas for the day already but I do know that today, in this house, in our pajamas while eating popsicles for breakfast we will serve the Lord. My kids will likely watch me cry and apologize for the way I behaved that was not right. Instead of letting the enemy tell me that those moments define me as a mom and define their childhood I will use my failures as a weapon to show my kids that I know how to ask for forgiveness from Jesus and from them. I give them permission to do the same in their failures too. I pray that they will see a worn-down mommy open a worn-out map and one day when they are looking for a well lit, well traveled path, they will know where to find it. They will find the freshly printed maps less appealing and will find it easier to repent and ask for forgiveness because it’s something they have been watching and doing since forever. I pray they know the peace that comes from laying at all down for the one who laid it all down for them, for me, for you. It is my prayer that today, in your walk through motherhood, that you take captive thoughts that produce guilt from following a faulty map. That you turn from those expectations and instead open the worn out map and wear it down a little more for the next generation.

Scripture that flooded my mind as I wrote (the more I read the Word the more this happened during every day moments):

2 Corinthians 10:5New Living Translation (NLT)

5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. Know the plans I have for you

Psalm 119:105New Living Translation (NLT)

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

Romans 2:14-15New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

Galatians 6:4New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.

 No moment in truth is ever complete for me without a song. So, if you need to hear from God right now I encourage you to click here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0GQp-vTqOw

So much LOVE LOVE LOVE,

Andrea Ryall