Tag Archives: parenting

Blind Spots in the Heart of Motherhood

There’s no place to hide and no point in denying that when it comes to the ones we love—especially our children, we are prone to developing “blind spots”.

Yes, despite my Creator-endowed super powers of all-seeing-all-knowing mother-ness..I’ve struggled to be fair-minded when it comes to my kids. There’s something deep down in all of us that tends towards denial.     We can hardly help it.


We’re their primary caregivers and first cheerleaders tasked with the dual privilege of drawing out the best in them while rooting out the worst— oftentimes in the same moments, using some of the same methods and always hoping for success in their future.     However, it’s hard to be consistent.      It’s hard to be fair.

Knowing this about myself helps.

I had no idea when I began writing  that this “Tale of 2 Mothers” was about to go viral on the interwebs. It’s an important story on a number of levels but  especially because it has gone so well in all the ways it could have gone so wrong. Beautiful how these two mothers “get it” and have modeled humility, love and respect towards one another because they both have the same goals in mind. Their children can now see what that looks like to be loved in the best of all possible worlds.

I want to be a part of that world, don’t you?

Let’s face it: there are few things that make us more vulnerable than the achilles heel of motherhood. It’s drawn out the best and the worst in me over the years. Whether it’s shrieking like a banshee at the “big kids” throwing rocks on the playground in the direction of my children,  or praising my child for sharing so generously—all that passion and pride tends to be drawn from the same murky well. 

So murky that sometimes at first,  I couldn’t see …that my kid threw the first rock or the candy they were “sharing” so nicely with their siblings was actually stolen from the grocery store the day before. (Sigh) Hard stuff.

When they were young, it was a simple matter of instruction and demanded compliance often mixed with exhausting levels of inappropriate frustration because I not only wanted them to do well, do better and succeed— I wanted to look good too. Sadly, I feared looking like a bad mother.  It’s a terrible pressure we Mommies put on our children, on ourselves…on one another.

Growing up alongside these three I’ve been privileged to share life with, over time my methods have grown softer, more understanding and less fear-motivated. I still want the very best for my now nearly-grown children but I am more able to trust that God does too and He invites— but doesn’t need— my help to do it.

As true as that is, I can’t deny the temptation I face every now and then to “stack the deck” in their favor. I can’t deny how hard it is to fight the urge to rescue them instead of letting them feel the weight of a poor decision or their sin.

It’s hard to watch them fall.
It’s hard to watch them fail.

I can’t deny how it hurts to face someone criticizing your child and refusing your apology because, let’s face it, “we have different parenting styles”.  Hard, hard, hard.  Hard because, deep down, I believe we have the same loving goals in mind despite our blind spots.

Awareness IN faith

As you know, I’ve been reading through the Gospels again and there’s this place in Matthew 20 where the mother of the sons of Zebedee (James and John) kneels before Jesus asking if they can sit in the places of power on either side of Him in His glorious kingdom. Jesus replies that she doesn’t know what she’s asking. She doesn’t. He gently tells her that these places are taken by those prepared by the Father.  Some indignation and awkwardness between the disciples follows but Jesus uses this as another teaching opportunity to remind them of who they are to be— it’s our reminder too.

I think about that mother and I just feel her. She honestly thought she was making the best move for her sons. She acted out of love…out of ignorance and Jesus was so gentle and kind. I’m not certain about this but it’s occurred to me that the places on the right and left of Jesus that God had already filled… might have easily been the places on either side of him as He hung on the cross. Like he said, oftentimes, we think we can “drink the cup” but don’t know what we’re asking. And God knows best…wait for it.

paradox of humility

A few weeks ago the speaker at our community girls event mentioned how she’s learned the Christian life is not about simple obedience. Instead, she said, it’s found in the joy of abiding. I absolutely agree.  I’ve learned that God really isn’t after blind obedience. He’s truly after abiding because He knows that heartfelt obedience will joyfully follow.

It’s why Jesus instructs us to abide with Him because when we get to the place where we are so deeply abiding…existing for and through Christ alone…well, obedience is no longer a problem.  THAT’s what I’m after with my children— to teach by modeling before them what it means to abide.      I pray it’s working.

I know it’s not the perfect parenting solution. I only know to lean on the perfect Savior and I surely know all about my daily, daily DAILY need for his help to do this thing called motherhood.

I’m nearly done with this season as my last one at home will be launching in a few years. But it’s my intent to be more gracious and grace filled towards other Mommies just trying their best to get it right. I want to do my best to remember that we all have blind spots… because we love and thankfully it’s because He first loves us….and I only have grace to spare.

What do you know about blindspots? Grace?

  from my heart,   Lorretta signature

Linking with Jennifer, and  the Missional Women of Faith.


It was a dark and stormy moment….

In the midst of my daily feat of attempting to juggle running chainsaws and feral cats with one hand tied behind my back, I was struggling to summon up the necessary courage to run to the local “Mart of Wal”.

I didn’t wanna go…but alas, my family had “needs”; we were down to the last roll (again?!?!) and the local DG didn’t sell V-neck tees for boys. So off I went; trusting the house, the business and homeschool would run quite fine without my presence.

The “Mart of Wal” is less than 3 miles away. I calculated I could be in and out of there in 30 mins tops. (Who am I kidding?) An hour later and 20 bucks lighter,  I cruised back through my kitchen door met by my 13-year old swinging a variety of “weapons” and explaining that he was working on his “epicness” (Spell check doesn’t like that word but it was definitely appropriate for what was going on in my kitchen.)

“So…” I ask, “how’s the epic school work coming along?” No answer. I didn’t expect one but out of fairness to the accused I try to start off hoping for the best while knowing the worst.

See, this wouldn’t be an issue except, this has been the story for the past week…or more. There’s nothing easy about homeschooling, ministry, running a business and a home…all in the same bit of square-footage.

And this kid is slick… He knows what’s expected yet he seizes every opportunity for idleness, and like most red-blooded 13-year old critters, he’s got a bit of a strong will. In fact, there are times I’d describe him as the one with “buns of steel and a heart of stone”.

This time, I was prepared to do battle. After a bit of work check, blank answers and a word volley back and forth with my “epic” 13-year old, let’s just say his lips got loose and momma tiger was about to pounce.

Pouncing is not good for me. I am a recovering pouncer. I have been known to over pounce and to pounce furiously so that all teachable moments dissolve in the heat of my pouncing. Not pretty.

Actually, I was impressed because the impulse inside of me that said…”Smack that mouth!” disappeared instead in a whispered prayer of,

“Lord, help me do this.”
[This homeschool, this child, this love, this discipline.]
“I need you NOW, please help.”

I can’t explain exactly what happened in the course of the next 20 minutes but a close description is that I was caught up in the Spirit….with my husband’s help.

Did I mention we have a home business? Yeah… and that might make some folks think I’ve had a lot of help in this department through the years. However…we can both say that God is doing a daily restorative miracle in my husband’s ability to tune in, sense danger, see his role as our spiritual leader and step in to help. And God is also miraculously restoring my faith to trust him to do so and in my ability to let him.

Calmly we discussed our options to straighten this crooked-speaking, wrathful, defiant child uttering oaths in the other room. What were our goals? (Exorcism? Nah too extreme…Ground him til he’s 30…no way, we want to go on the mission field!)

We didn’t simply want to punish…we wanted to teach.
That’s why we home school in the first place

But we don’t simply want to teach, we are after his heart–not simply for ourselves, but for that child and most certainly for God.

That’s why we home school in the ultimate place.

With a plan in mind and unity between us we went in to him to explain what we know he already knows but apparently needed reminding– his heart was being captured by the sin of defiance and his tongue was out of control.

It was clear that the privileges of computer, ipod, radio (we don’t have TV!) were going to be removed until further notice. He was grounded. He needed to make the connection between the respect for authority he shows in other settings to what is rightfully expected here.

He was about to lose the privilege of going to his Civil Air Patrol meeting as well, but neither of us wanted to go that far. However, it was definitely on the table and because my husband and I stood there unified in our love for him and each other, the boy began to cave.

It was time to walk away and let the Spirit do His work. It didn’t take long. In fact, here is the blessed miracle of it all; 15 minutes later the same epically defiant boy stood before me crying in repentance. His heart had been won (and his backside had been spared a good pouncing!)

I sent him to his father who gladly received him and his apology but also took him one step further to know that his privileges were not going to be returned to him any time soon and before they could be, he would have to read James chapter 3 and they’d have a discussion together…when he was ready.

What was just another dark and stormy moment in our home and could have easily turned into another episode of cosmic chaos was instead tempered by the grace of God falling in extraordinary ways on our ordinary little family.

I sometimes wish there had been more of these moments before today but the grace of God also tells me that the road to glory is paved with lessons like these and is best traveled with my eyes fixed forward on Jesus.

He’s restoring the years the locusts may seemingly have eaten, one grace-filled, redemptive moment at a time…and I’m beginning to see more of them. So grateful.

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.”
(Proverbs 3:11-12)

How about you? Where have you experienced God’s extraordinary in your ordinary recently? Please share.

Linking up with these fine folks: