“Pinning Jello to the Wall!”

IMGP1260_250x188Sometimes kind people compliment me on my teenage/young adult sons, and for a brief moment I can’t help but wonder if I might have done something right… and then reality sets in…

Today was one of those “reality-days”.  I had absolutely no patience to home school my 10 year old, and trying to potty train my 3 year old was, like someone else put it, “trying to pin jello to the wall”

I just couldn’t do it, I gave up…for today at least…

Back in the “old country” I would have been branded an incompetent mother by now, I’m sure. All kids get potty trained at age 2, and no 3 year old still has a pacifier (called a dummy in South Africa). Yet, here I am, the mother who supposedly got everything right in her twenties, and I have to hang my head in shame! My little girl (who should have been so much easier than her three brothers) is still very far from potty trained, and lo and behold, she still desperately wants her pacifier at night.

It’s not that I don’t have a plan. I’m planning to succeed every day, but seriously, on the eve of 40, I simply lack the enthusiasm and the strength many days!

However, I honestly think it’s a good thing that I’m stripped from all my pride in the area of motherhood. It made me look again, from a different point of view, at mothers around me. I came to realize that every Mom I see around me is in fact a GREAT MOM! We love our kids and we try our best, and even those of us who don’t do such a good job, never intended for it to go so wrong. We have issues, jobs, relationship difficulties, financial crisis and health problems. Earth shattering things such as death and divorce happen to some of us, and still…we do our best for those little ones (and bigger ones) in our lives. All the MOMS I speak to desire deeply to be a good mother and to give their kids everything they need and want, in spite of their inability to always do so.

So here is to you, my friend and fellow mom, who are trying to “pin jello to the wall” this very day: You are an amazing extension of God’s love on this earth.

Forget about being the perfect mom, she does not exist. There’s only one thing you and I need to get right: Plug in with God daily so that His healing power, His wisdom, His love, and His patience can shine through us.

Love you girls!


Kids and Worries

Face it, the two go together like fish and chips, or peanut butter and jelly (in America). If you have kids, you have had some worries.

I have heard it being said that we waste half of our lives worrying about things that never happen. This could easily be true for me, especially when it comes to my kids. Today I was pondering on this worry-pattern that I have going. I saw my 9 year old laying on the couch, reading a book. This warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face, because for the last 3 years, since I started teaching him to read, I have been worried: Will he ever be able to read fluently? Will he ever love reading? Will he ever read a whole book on his own?

This is not the first time I went through this. I have four kid, and for crying out loud, you think that I would have learned something by now. I remember distinctly being very worried about my eldest son when we moved to Oregon about five years ago: Would he forever be scarred by this move? Will he ever make close friends again? Is this going to ruin him? Well, of course he’s not ruined. In fact he has more friends than ever, loves God and is a thriving 19 year old.

I remember pushing the kids to get involved in music: What if they could have been famous musicians and I just didn’t push them enough? What if I ruined their future because I couldn’t afford music lessons? Well, lo and behold, my middle son just one day picked up the guitar and started teaching himself to play. He is now on a worship team and loves to play without any help or motivation from Mom.


So, I should stop, right. No such luck! I have a two year old and I am already worried that she will never get potty trained, never stay in the church nursery without crying about Mom, and never learn to count to ten without leaving out 4 and 8.


Oh well… fortunately God made mothers, so I know he gets us. However, he does remind me quite frequently to cast my cares on Him. And when my anxiety levels climb too high, he calls me into his presence so that I can make all my needs known to him through prayer, petition and thanksgiving. Then, of course, peace follows as I am reminded that they are after all God’s children first, and I can trust him to take good care of them. I am also reminded that prayer is the most powerful tool God has given me as a parent. Worry doesn’t accomplish anything, but bringing my precious kids to the throne of God has always made all the difference in the world…