Expectations in Motherhood: Day Seven
“Expectation - It Would All Go According to My Plan”
By Nicole Lawrence
READ: John 2:1-11, Isaiah 46:8-11
Prior to becoming a mom I had this vision - a Pinterest worthy nursery filled with hues of pink and heavenly beams of light reflected in every corner, a rocking chair that fit my well-rested body so perfectly as I sat night after night embracing my girls tenderly in my arms nursing them and rocking slowly to the rhythm of our breaths in sync, where the only sounds we heard were each other's hearts beating in tune, as they drifted peacefully off to sleep. Reality was a hard critic of this vision - the cribs became filled with laundry because my girls won’t sleep in them. The rocking chair moved to our bedroom and became a very uncomfortable bed more nights than I would like to admit. Hour-long nursing sessions, ( that were so painful tears soaked my shirt), rocking a screaming baby, felt like days on end.
But do you know what I did learn in that rocking chair? That “somewhere” between my well-made plans and reality, is a well of grace as deep as heaven itself. God took my gallons of tears cried in that very chair and stored them up to use for His glory. He took the bruises of rocking an overtired angry toddler and turned them into a beautiful story of healing redemption.
We all have plans as moms. Maybe it's your birth plan, sleep schedules, breastfeeding, discipline, eating habits, and on and on. We want the best for our children so we research and discuss and plan until we can’t see straight, but in all our planning we can make idols of these things.
I think about the very first miracle Jesus performed. He was at a wedding when they ran out of wine. They planned for months this beautiful wedding feast and yet the unexpected happened. Even in their best plans they weren’t fully prepared. Jesus turned water into wine, He rescued them from a disaster. Maybe the plans we had would have walked us down a path of disaster or at least close enough to ruin us.
We have to expect the unexpected. We have to schedule to be flexible. And most of all we have to invite God into our plans. I didn’t plan to be a mom whose children were terrible sleepers or a mom who dealt with depression and anger, but God has used my wrecked plans to wreck me. To remind me that He is in control, and that is so much better than my crazy unrealistic expectations. But hear me out mommas, we don’t have to lower our expectations, instead, we need to elevate them, so they can be what God desires for us.
MEDITATE: “For I know the plans I have for you - this is the Lord’s declaration- plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
What plans for your children have become an idol in your life? Use this moment to lay them at the feet of Jesus so He can mercifully regain control of those areas.
In what ways has God wrecked your plans? How is He re-making you in the process?
Flip the script on your plans today. Re-write your goals and expectations of motherhood in light the holy desires He is placing on your heart today.
PRAY: God, we humbly come before You and thank You for mapping out our steps, for making plans on our behalf. Forgive us for wanting to control things. We rest in knowing that Your plans are better than anything we could have imagined. Help us to remember that when things don’t go the way we expect, it’s Your way of teaching us to trust You or protecting us from something you never intended for us to walk through. We love you, God. Amen.
There is no question that motherhood shakes us to our core. Everything we once believed is reshaped by our real-life experiences. We laugh at those naive young women without kids who say, “I would never do what that mom is doing,” because we know that life is unexpected. If we cling too tightly to our expectations as a mom, we begin to let the disappointments that follow consume us.
God designed us to want perfection because we are designed in the perfect image of Him, however, we live in the messy fallen world where perfection is only something we aspire to, not an unrealistic expectation we should place on ourselves. I am imperfect as a mom because I am not finished being a mom. As we wrestle with that reality, we can say goodbye to the shame of not being the mom we once thought we would be and welcome the wonderful mom that we are.
Lay your expectations at His feet so you can see that His definition of motherhood is a mom who loves Him, loves her children and seeks to glorify Him in our parenting. And remember we aren’t meant to do it alone. Lean into Him for strength and rely on your community of mom friends to support you.
“Do not fear; for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10