Mother’s Day 2013…

I really thought that this day would be somewhat normal, if not a little bit special, but God had a different plan for me. Starting at 7:30, my normal morning self could not find the energy in three cups of coffee to get going. Falling back in bed, I wanted nothing more than to just close my eyes and let sleep claim me for 10 more hours. But, that’s not what moms do.

The day spiraled down from there. My three and a half year old son made it his mission that day to make my life a living hell, and his 22 month old sister willingly followed suit. Their disobedience quickly turned to arrogant insolence as they downright dared me and my husband to make them obey.

It felt as if I might not even exist since the words coming out of my mouth seemed to travel through the black holes in our universe, never to be heard and certainly never to be obeyed.

And then, it all culminated in me blowing my lid off – almost literally. At the nine millionth ignored directive to my young offspring, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “I MUST NOT EVEN EXIST!” I was done. I wanted nothing more than to crawl up in a ball and bury myself in shame. Tears started to roll down my son’s face in heartbreak and disbelief. My husband’s face registered shock. My daughter – well, honestly, I’m not sure she cared. But she did look at me weird.

I started to cry. I begged forgiveness. My son said, “It’s okay mama,” and we moved on. However, sensing weakness in my armor, the little angel then went on the warpath. Ugly mean things came out of his mouth towards me – completely disrespectful and inappropriate behavior for a child to a parent.

It might have made me feel better to think “I deserve this” or “he’s just expressing his feelings about what I did” or some other nonsensical guilt trip to blame myself for his behavior, but that is not what we are called to do. We are called to train our children in what is right. It doesn’t mean that we will have it all together and be the perfect example for them one hundred percent of the time. After all, I had messed up. Big time. I lost my cool, and I was worn out – weary and sick of it all – but I am still mama. He must still respect and obey me.

Our Commitment

On days like my Mother’s Day, when overwhelmed by attacks and feelings of defeat or inadequacy, it is so essential to have something to turn to: a reminder of my dedication and commitment, a call to accomplish my mission, and a description of who I am as a parent as seen through God’s eyes.

Soldiers need that to. In the heat of battle, stress can overwhelm even the strongest of our heroes. Cracks in their armor can ultimately lead to meltdown and disaster. It’s in those times of extreme pressure that our hero must be given something to resort to, to remember and be encouraged by, to live by, and to fight by. For the Army, that’s the Soldier’s Creed. It is drilled into soldiers from day one. They memorize it, recite it upon command, and learn to love it. The intention is to build in them the ethos needed to do their job and to do it well – never give up!

Soldier’s Creed

I am an American Soldier.
I am a warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

In order to provide the mantra needed for those “less than perfect” moments, I modified the Soldier’s Creed, something that I used to hold so dear, to fit my new identity of parent.

Parent’s Creed

I am a Christian Parent.
I am a leader and member of a team.
I serve the Lord first and my family always. I live in light of the grace, love, and mercy I have received at the cross of Jesus Christ.
I will always place my mission as a parent above my own desires.
Though it may get hard and I will fail at times, I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave my family.
I am disciplined: physically, mentally, and emotionally tough through the power of Christ.
I maintain my relationships with the utmost care, attention, and humility.
I am an expert, a leader, and a professional – I am full of love, compassion, concern, and patience.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemy of myself, my family, and my children – Satan. His attacks against us will not succeed because of the victory I can claim in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I am a guardian of my family and our way of life, but I ultimately submit to a higher authority and will allow Him to lead us down the path He would have us travel.
I am a Christian Parent.

When things don’t go exactly right, a leader needs to remember that they are human. You will make mistakes and you will let yourself and others down. But, upon owning up to your mistakes and changing, you are still the leader. You must still maintain order, discipline, and focus. Don’t allow Satan to sneak into your home through guilt that you might place on yourself. No matter what it is, you have to pick up your boots, dust them off, and try again.