Conversations with Daughters of the King: The Non-Perfect Mom

In Op-Eds by Meryl Masterson

I once read, “There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children… What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply.”

This for me lets all the bars down. This releases so much weight off my chest. It frees my mind to remember the main point of the gift of motherhood: to love our children deeply and show them who Christ is through our love, time, words, and example!

Meryl and Justin Masterson with their three children.

After years of failed infertility procedures, we were able to get pregnant and have three healthy, beautiful children. After years of trials and praying and begging the Lord to fulfill my dream of becoming a mom, I am! We have a six-year-old daughter, Eden, and three-year-old boy/girl twins named Cruz and Nadia. I had perfect, textbook pregnancies and deliveries, just struggled to get pregnant. But looking back it truly was all part of God’s perfect plan.

God has a perfect plan for all of us. He never does it all at once, but step by step, because He wants to teach us to walk by faith, not by sight. If He had given us children easily and naturally, right off the bat, I wouldn’t have cried out to Him or relied on Him as much. I wouldn’t have ever been at my darkest to then see the light. I wouldn’t have been broken to then be rebuilt stronger. I wouldn’t have been able to use my pain to help anyone else going through infertility now. And most of all, I wouldn’t have witnessed and appreciated God’s true miracles – each day they wake up and call me “Mom”! His plans sometimes are not what we want or choose, but in the end, they are always best. They are always perfect and they are always worth the journey.

Now I know what it means to walk with Him and have a relationship with Him, truly calling out to Him daily. If we don’t have trials or struggles, we don’t feel we need Him as much, and can be lazy in our pursuit to know Him more and grow our faith. They help us shine His love and His light to everyone He puts in our paths.

Being a mom of three has caused me to turn to the Lord more than ever before. I have truly learned what it means to ask for grace and for strength and for mercy each day when I mess up this mom thing!

My husband plays baseball, so he is gone about eight months out of the year. God knew this would be the plan so he gave us those first three years of marriage to be together with no kids, even though those seemed like hard, dark years at the time. Now I know that I would not have had that time alone with Justin to travel and be by his side.

I am a recovering perfectionist, which is why I called this article “The Non-Perfect Mom”. I don’t believe God expects me to be a perfect mom. I believe my kids realize that while I try SO hard, I also mess up!

I believe that, even when I yell at them for spilling their cereal and five minutes later, I spill mine, and we all just laugh and I ask them to forgive me… Those are some of the sweetest, most humbling moments. Even better than if no one had spilled a thing.

I believe the best thing I can do as a mom is to be real with them and love them deeply in that way. Being vulnerable and open and free is the most amazing feeling.

Striving to be perfect truly ran my life for 17 years. I was a big mess! I loved Jesus but couldn’t surrender this up to Him. It showed up in several forms in my life, from a perfectly clean house at ALL times and to an extreme eating disorder. I wanted to be perfect and I wanted control.

On May 6 of 2016, I finally surrendered this. I had come to the end of myself, and wanted more in this life. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t pretend to be so perfect anymore when on the inside I was so completely miserable and exhausted. I wanted freedom to be the fun, silly mom that I was blessed to grow up with, and the amazing, fun, silly mom that I got as my beautiful mother-in-law. I wanted that freedom and that true beauty. So that day in May, I surrendered my life completely to Him – and he saved me, physically from anorexia, but also spiritually.

So now I can proudly say that my house isn’t perfect or always clean and picked up. Dinner is not always five courses, organic, and made-from-scratch – nor is it on the table at 6PM on the dot. And we’re not always sure when the kids last took a bath.

But I CAN say that I am in pure heaven when I am laughing with my kids, spilling things and giggling… when they hug me and ask, “Mom, why are you so happy?” I love it when they say, “Mom, you’re the best!” Or when I hear my daughter tell her friend, “Yes, we can jump on the couches here because my mom is really fun!” Or when I hear them singing praise and worship songs that I have playing all day. And when at night, I put them to bed and pray with them, knowing that by God’s grace and mercy, He has blessed me with each one of them. He knows I’m not perfect, but He uses my imperfection to show that only He is perfect and that His perfect, unconditional love will never run out.

The best part of all of this is the gift of being a mom!

“Happy Mother’s Day!” to all the beautiful women out there. We all either have a mom, are moms, or are friends with a mom. And it is such a wonderful gift! My prayer is that, by God’s grace, we can laugh at the spills, let down our guards a little, and love the little blessings that we have been given or will be given. Biologically or not.

            Jesus loves the little children

            All the children of the world

            Red and yellow, black and white

            They are precious in His sight

            Jesus loves the little children of the world

 

Image: Meryl Masterson

Comments