Peace and Joy at Home {Day 9}: Leave Guilt Behind

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This is Day 9 in the Peace and Joy at Home series

The following image is not meant to suggest that moms are like bulls, but rather that we often carry a heavy load. Just wanted to make that clear 🙂

Mommy guilt is universal.

Sadly, much of it is self-imposed. Often we pile unnecessary burdens on ourselves.

Constantly comparing our skills to that of another and comparing our kids to perfectly behaved ones (or at least to children we believe are perfectly behaved) is not healthy or beneficial.

Striving to become a better mother is good (yes, we want to improve). However we must remember that we will not be perfect.

It's okay.

God doesn't expect us to be perfect.

I have often struggled to remember that it is God who I am trying to please. A born people-pleaser, I have gone to great lengths to make others happy. Unfortunately, this has not always been good for me or for the other person.

Trying to meet the standards of others, or rather, the imagined standards of others, often leaves us feeling that we are not good enough. Trying to please others usually brings stress.

Stress is not going to make our homes peaceful or joyful.

We have freedom in Christ. And we should take hold of that freedom. We need to care what God thinks over what others think. We need to look at what is best for our family and confidently settle there.

I know this easier said than done. But it's a goal, right?

How do we get there?

I'm not an expert, but here is what I have come with:

  • Keep reading God's word. Know what He says and what He wants for His people.
  • Pray and ask for God to help you live by His standards and not the standard of the world, or even the standards of some Christian “rules” that are often held tightly but not found in scripture.
  • Know your family and watch closely to see the things that work well for them.
  • Brainstorm and write down the vision (or mission statement)  for your family. What do you hope they will become? Evaluate activities and philosophies by this vision.
  • Communicate clearly with your husband and children to find out how they feel. This way you won't assume to feel guilty about things unnecessarily.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

– Matthew 11:29-30

I'd love to hear how you keep guilt at bay. Is it hard for you, too?

This post was inspired by chapter eight of Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson. I'm linking this post to Home with the Boys book club.

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