mary, mary.

I love Mary, mother of Jesus.
She is my mom example. On many levels but mostly on
1) why I don't have to be a perfect mom and
2) it is OK to do something other than coo and dote on your kids all day long.

1)
I mean this in the best way possible. If it is OK for the Savior, Son of God, the Lamb, the Lord to have an imperfect mother then it is OK for my kids too. How do I (think I) know that she was imperfect? Well for one, God sent his Son to Earth to experience the human condition...not to experience Heaven on Earth. When Jesus was here it was still business as usual for the world. God did not make the planet perfect for thirty some years while Jesus was here. People still worked, still farmed, still had to cook and clean and still broke laws. The world was still messy and sinful, full of sinful people...every single one. Even the mother of Jesus. She was human just like any of us.

There is even an example of her imperfectness in the Bible...she left her child behind at the temple...and didn't even know it for a while!! A perfect mom would never do that right? Pshew...it's good to be off the hook, right?
This doesn't mean that I don't try my best...but I WILL make mistakes and plenty of them but it is nice to have a reasonable example to look up to, right?
2)
Yes, Mary was the mother of the Lord. But she was also a wife, a daughter and a keeper of her home. I would bet that she had a lot to do in a day...she couldn't run to the store to buy a loaf of bread...she had to possibly harvest the grain, grind it into flour, make the dough, knead it, let it rise, build a fire and THEN bake the bread. She had to keep her home clean. She washed clothes one at a time, by hand...clothes that she may have made...for her whole family. She had to prepare all the meals...from scratch...from animals that maybe she had to slaughter. She was the seamstress, the cook, the housekeeping, the wife, the mother and on and on and on.
My point...I don't think she sat around ALL day long and doted on the Savior. I don't think that God expected her to drop it all and hold Him all day. I don't think she was expected to give into his every whim or every attempt for her undivided attention.

Nope, I think she had to work out a balance between caring for her responsibilities and the things she wanted to do and playing with her kids. This doesn't mean she ignored them all day...they probably accompanied her on errands and chores...the children learned how to help and be part of a family. There was a time for all things.

I remind myself about this when I feel guilty about NOT playing with my kids ALL day. This doesn't mean I ignore them AT ALL. But I don't play all day. I take care of my home and my family. I do things that I WANT to do. I play with my kids. But I remind myself that if it was good enough and good FOR Jesus to have a mother that didn't dote on him ALL day...then it is good FOR my kids. I think kids need parents that leave them alone sometimes.

Make sense?

As usual...love to hear your thoughts. :)
xo

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18 comments:

number17cherrytreelane said...

I really liked this post. I feel like this generation has put some sort of extra importance on being TOTALLY kid-centered and forgetting about everything else that goes on in life, including being a Godly mom. What happened to the days when you raised good, wholesome kids and that was that? I feel like there is this insane notion now that you have to be 100% parent at the exclusion of all else. There has to be balance (in my mind), because the fact is, your children WILL leave in 18 years and you will be left with the relationship with God that you cultivated and the spouse you married. Both better have been taken care of...not ignored because you HAD to be ONLY a parent.

Great post!

sara said...

Wow, that's good stuff. Why have I never thought of this? "If it is OK for the Savior, Son of God, the Lamb, the Lord to have an imperfect mother then it is OK for my kids too." That is just what I needed to hear today. Seriously, thank you.

Jill said...

Beautifully said!!! (and just what I needed to "hear" this morning!)
Thank you!
Many Blessings!

BC said...

Wow, this couldn't be more fitting for me to have read this morning. Lately, I have been feeling so guilty about this very subject. Just feeling like maybe I wasn't paying enough attention to my toddler because I was either making dinner, or cleaning the house, or even doing Etsy stuff. And she's going through a tough stage where she follows me around and wants me to hold her or pay attention to her at all times because she refuses to go and entertain herself.

It's a really tough struggle for me to choose doing a chore over sitting with her and playing but I simply have to! Because like you said...the alternative is that the house wouldn't be kept, and there wouldn't be food on the table. And I believe those are the things that the Lord calls us to do as a wife and mother.

Thanks Crystal (as always) for a great little pick-me-up this morning. :)

~Bri~

Traci said...

Your blog seems to be getting better and better each day and for such a young mom you are a very WISE mom, wife and women! I absolutely could not agree with you more!

me said...

very insightful! these are thoughts i have never had about mary. of course, i have thought that everyone in jesus' life on earth was imperfect because he was perfect, but never to the understanding that she was his mother and her imperfect motherly example did not effect him in a negative way. i also think we all feel bad about not entertaining our children all day. i think the more children you have, the more you realize that some things have to get done and they can't all get done during naps and night time. i think these times that our children are playing alone while we do laundry and cleaning help them learn independence and creativity. (fyi, about the time aaron turns one, you will be amazed how much he and moses begin to play together and you can put in a load of laundry without someone following right behind you.) my favorite example is the woman of proverbs 31. while many people argue that she sets the bar too high, i feel she is an example of how we can live in the modern world. maybe i will do a similar post soon. i think it is important for your children to one day be able to read things like this. thank you for your thoughts-they definitely made me think this morning!

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

What a WONDERFUL post!! Thank you - I have never thought about Jesus' childhood that way.

Heather said...

couldn't agree more, and I'd like to share on my blog.

Karin Schueller said...

So well said! I also think that a happy mom is a better mom. And to be happy you need to do things for YOU! If that means sewing, or crafting, or baking, or whatever it is... well, that makes you a better person, and a better mom. :) Thanks for the reminder, Crystal!

mommyholly said...

I completely agree Crystal!!! I think today, parents are pressured to provide endless entertainemtn and stimulation to their kids.. sports, activities, video games, etc, etc, etc. 100 years ago, kids had to entertain themselves while their mothers got things done around the house and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!! I find myself watching Andrew play in his room by himself and I think "Oh I should go in there and play with him"... but then sometimes I make myself stop- he needs to learn to play by himself, to find happiness in his own company. It's hard, but kids have to learn that there won't be someone there to play with and be entertained by at every second!! I hope to instill a bit of independence to Andrew early in life... not to say I don't play with him often hehe!! :) Thanks for posting this though- no mom is perfect, we all have our flaws and we should be able to accept that!
xoxox Holly

MAXimum MESS said...

What a beautiful post! I have always thought the Mary was always the best example of a Godly woman. I sometimes feel guilty about not spending my day sitting in the floor playing with my son or snuggling with him all day (which is what I think people assume that I do all day since I stay home). This is a really great post!

Sara Luke said...

Honestly, I'm not sure it's good for your kids to never see you do anything other than coo and dote on them all day long. It's good for them to see productivity, amidst the love that you regularly dole out. Plus, learning to play on their own and entertain themselves for a period of time is a skill that too many kids go without.

I actually think you're enriching their lives by demonstrating hard work, and good rest for mom.

Chelsea Ling said...

This is a great post. I am not religious, but it still speaks to me. I believe it is really important for us moms to take care of ourselves as women too - because what good are we to our children if we don't??

:) you're right about finding a balance!

Koningskind said...

Thanks for sharing this insights.
It is so true!

Courtney said...

love this post! good balance is so important...yet do difficult most days. i feel VERY guilty about something "imperfect" i did yesterday...sad pics on my blog about it...and i needed to hear this! thanks!

Elizabeth said...

I just wanted to say AMEN! I'm blessed by your thoughts today. I would love for you to join me on Tuesdays for Child Training Tuesdays. I don't have it all official yet, but I did start a post about it this morning. You have a good balanced perspective. I loved your thoughts about Mary, and I totally agree. I agree that if the savior of the world could have an imperfect mom, then so can my kids. I'm often humbled by the fact that God has allowed me in all my bad mommyness to even have these children. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Ben and Taryn said...

Such inspired words of wisdom from you today. I know the Savior may not have been doted on but he was definitely loved and knew he was loved and that is so important. I never really sit and play with my kids anymore like I used to. They are older and can finally entertain themselves without me and don't really want me to mess up their toys or game. Kind of sad but it works for me. I have to take time for myself everyday to recharge, whether it's blog surf or watch tv. Some days I feel like I am cleaning all day but my kids are starting to help with that now too. I do however, tell them I love them constantly. My 3 year olds first words where "I Love you" and my heart about exploded. We share how much we love each other alot, so even if I don't dote on my kids and play with them alot, I know, they know I love them. I don't know if any of this makes sense but I just want you to know that I agree with you and support your decisions to not dote 100% of the time.

Jodi said...

Great post and so true.

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