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I love the Fall season, don’t you? The color of blushing leaves, the caress of cool, crisp winds, the warm, sweet taste and smell of pumpkin spice lattes, the fun family get-togethers for Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc., I could go on and on.
Thinking about Fall brings me back to one particular October evening. It was the week before Halloween, and I could hear my then three-year-old son, Caleb, playing in the living room of our small apartment. He was wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume, which had been given to him as a birthday present earlier that year, and he was planning on wearing it to go “trick or treating” later in the week.
I could hear him excitedly run around the room, making “Zoom!” and “Bee-eep! Bee-eep!” sound effects. “To ‘imfimity’ and beyond!” he shouted.
I walked into the room to watch his antics. He played some more and then asked me after a while, “What are you wearing for Halloween, Mommy?” I froze in thought. I hadn’t really planned on dressing up that year. My mind raced for last-minute costume ideas, and then I told him, “One minute— I’ll be right back.”
I rushed around the apartment looking for inspiration. After a few minutes of searching, I ended up grabbing one of Caleb’s red superhero eye masks, some bright purple cleaning gloves (you know, the disposable kind we use to scrub toilets), and I draped a toddler-sized bed sheet around my neck and shoulders.
I jumped out into the living room, decked out in my new wardrobe, and exclaimed, “Ta-da!”
Caleb looked up at me with a perplexed and bewildered look on his face, his little nose scrunched up in confusion. “What are you?” he asked. “I’m SUPER MOM!” I proudly proclaimed.
Not long after I uttered those words, I had my own look of perplexity and bewilderment, only I was looking inward at myself. Am I a Super Mom? Am I a good enough mom for my son?
We parents place a lot of guilt and pressure on ourselves. We always wonder if we’re playing with our children enough, if we’re providing enough healthy meal choices for them, if we’re teaching and preparing them enough, if we’re positively leading them by example, etc.
In addition to being a parent, we also carry other hats and roles with which we pressure ourselves. We’re spouses and homemakers. We’re employees, business leaders, church members, and community volunteers. We carry a lot of responsibilities, and sometimes it becomes exhausting, especially when we take on the world’s expectations and demands instead of God’s grace.
We get wrapped up in all the tiny details and society’s pressures of trying to be super moms and dads or super (fill in the blank) that we sometimes forget to enjoy the sweet, precious moments of our day-to-day interactions with our kids and loved ones. We focus so much on “perfecting” that we often miss out on “connecting.”
But you don’t have to strive for perfection. Sure, there’s always room for self-improvement, but God’s perfection is enough. He created us beautifully and wonderfully, and He wants us to accept ourselves and love ourselves as we are, flaws and all. God designed you to be your child’s parent. He designed you to be your spouse’s mate. And His design is always perfect.
If doubt, guilt, and anxiety are your kryptonite, fling them far, far away. Soak in the strength of the sun— and the Son. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)
God will help you soar through your journey of parenthood and all the other roles and “hoods” of your life. He will give you grace, wisdom, peace, perseverance, and above all, JOY. There is no other greater “super power” than having God in your corner!
So, to all the parents and spouses out there, go ahead and take off your super masks. God’s got all the super power you’ll ever need, and His power is “to infinity and beyond!”
Your friend and sister in Christ,