I felt the tantrum coming on the minute I told him he had to get off the slide to go home for lunch. We’d spent the morning playing with kids at church and it had turned into a beautiful day. But the squirming began as we headed across the parking lot. Kicking, screaming, dead weight…all as I struggled with the keys and began the daunting task of wrestling my son into a car seat he clearly did not want to go in. After prying his hands off the roof of the car, many attempts at distraction, bribing him with his snacks and his cup and his book, several uppercuts to MY face, and about 7 minutes, I finally managed to get him hooked in.

Relieved, I slammed his door and went to open mine. Locked. I felt the panic rising as I gazed into the backseat and saw my phone peeking out of a pocket in the diaper bag. The keys had fallen onto the floor during the episode and apparently we accidentally hit the lock button. I was stunned. How did the car lock? It isn’t supposed to lock when the keys are in the car! How am I going to call anyone for help?

Shaking, I looked across the parking lot. There were three cars still there. Someone had to be inside the church! I ran to the closest door. Locked. I banged on the doors. No one answered. I ran to another set of doors. Locked. No one answered.

At this point, fear was starting to take over logical thought. What if no one answers!

Frantic, I ran around to the back doors and banged on them some more. Finally, someone opened the doors. My friends quickly calmed me down as we ran back to the car and immediately called the police to get someone out to help as quickly as possible. All the while, my son sat calmly in his car seat apparently having made peace with being subjected to its straps.

Within minutes, a police car rolled into the parking lot. I was so relieved to see him. But, as soon as he got out of the vehicle, he asked, “How did this happen?” My heart sank and I shrank back. It is a standard question and was totally justified. He needed to know that information. But I felt like a child sitting in the principal’s office so afraid I was in trouble and trying to explain that it was all an accident. I didn’t know how it happened. He reassured me that he had a locksmith on the way and tried to make small talk while we waited.

Then, he got out his pencil and paper. Of course, he had to file a report. Just standard procedure whenever they answer a call. Still, I swallowed back tears as I gave him my information. The locksmith had my car unlocked within 10 minutes. My son was just fine. Everyone went on their way.

Shaken up, I tried to hold it together as I drove home. I tried to think about something else. Focus on the positive. But my mind was…locked. I couldn’t stop thinking about the incident.

How could you let this happen?

What if no one would have answered the doors?

What if it would have been freezing outside? Or worse, too hot?

He could have died in there while you waited for help.

How could you endanger your child like that?

Now, the police have a “report” about you. It’s embarrassing.

You are incompetent.

You are a bad mom.

Why do we think it’s ok to talk to ourselves like that? I’d never say any of that to a fellow mom. To another mom, I would have pointed out all the ways she did the best she could. I would have pointed out that God was right there with her and graciously provided for her every need. Her friends hadn’t left the church yet and were available to help. The weather was perfect, not too cold, not too hot so he wasn’t in imminent danger. The police officer responded quickly. The locksmith unlocked the doors for free because a child was in the car. I would have told another mom that a potentially dangerous situation turned out ok because of God’s grace.

But, I didn’t say any of that to myself. Because my mind wasn’t locked on God. It was locked on me.

I need to be a “good mom”. I can control everything. I should be able to do it all myself…and do it right.

But, I can’t control everything. And I hate to admit it but some days, I need help. Being a good mom is arbitrary. Everyone thinks they know what a good mom is but no one can achieve the level of perfection necessary to claim the title in their own minds. The truth is, I can’t be a good mom in my own strength. I am flesh. I make mistakes. I fail. I am weak.

“But he said to me,

‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

Lately, I’ve been praying that God will help me lock my mind on this truth. No, I’m not super mom. I’m not perfect. Despite my best attempts, accidents happen. But if I seek Him, Christ’s power can rest on me as a mom. When I am weak, He can make me strong. It’s not about me, it’s about Him. Through my weaknesses, God can be glorified with my motherhood.

Fellow mamas, my prayer for you is that you won’t allow your mind to become locked on your faults and your failures. Instead, lock your mind of God’s truth. Let His power rest on you. Don’t believe the lies. When you think you are weak, He makes you strong.

 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Shannon Lenz

I am a wife to my best friend, a mama to a sweet boy and baby girl, and a dog mom. My mission is to write words that encourage, comfort, inspire, and draw my readers closer to the Lord. When I'm not writing or chasing after my kids, I'm singing, reading, or cheering on the Huskers. You can read more from me at http://shannonlenz.com/.

Dear Dad, I Pray for Our Healing

In: Faith, Grief, Grown Children
Back shot of woman on bench alone

You are on my mind today. But that’s not unusual. It’s crazy how after 13 years, it doesn’t feel that long since I last saw you. It’s also crazy that I spend far less time thinking about that final day and how awful it was and spend the majority of the time replaying the good memories from all the years before it. But even in the comfort of remembering, I know I made the right decision. Even now, 13 years later, the mix of happy times with the most confusing and painful moments leaves me grasping for answers I have...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading