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That whole thing about the apple and the tree? Yeah, it’s kinda true.

This isn’t breaking news, mind you. It’s just that four times in the last week, I’ve had conversations with different people about Luke’s various idiosyncrasies.

These discussions inevitably resulted in some form of, “Where does he get that?” At which point some kind of weird silence hangs in the air while everyone mentally considers that it certainly didn’t come from Larry. I mean, seriously people. What am I supposed to say? “Yep, you nailed it. I’m the neurotic one.”

And while I could tell you a few stories to confirm that OCD-like behaviors are a plentiful fruit on our family tree, I’m most concerned about the learned behaviors that Luke picks up from me.

I'd love to tell you how I'm actively aware of my parental influence on a 24/7 basis...#imperfectmom @amykatdalke Share on X

I’d love to tell you how I’m actively aware of my parental influence on a 24/7 basis…but I would be lying. Yet lately I’ve grown increasingly aware of the lessons Luke learns by watching me.

He learns how to respond to criticism by watching how I respond to criticism.

He learns how to handle unsettling, troublesome situations by watching how I handle them. Which is not always very Jesus-like since I have a tendency to respond under my own Control and Manage setting. (Occasionally followed by the Freak Out When It’s Not All Controlled and Managed.)

(This strategy, incidentally, is a proven failure just so you know.)

Luke has heard my harsh words spoken in anger, which are the fruit of an insecure heart.

He hears the snide remarks that drop from my mouth before I catch them #imperfectmom @amykatdalke Share on X

And so on…

But y’all, I’m not writing this for the purpose of self-deprecation or to inspire our beloved Mom Guilt. Rather than agonize over my failures, I want to turn to Jesus in the midst of them so that my life is not a breeding ground of sin habits for Luke to model.

So I guess I just need to do better, right? Volunteer more at the church, or say the right things in prayer or something…and maybe that will help?

Actually, that’s exactly wrong. Because it’s not about deciding to “do better.” (Lord only knows how I’m pretty much worthless at doing that sort of thing.) Change will only occur when I am brave enough to stop running from my failure…and turn towards them instead.

How can we ever grow, if we pretend we're already just fine? #imperfectmom @amykatdalke Share on X

How can we ever grow, if we pretend we’re already just fine?
Jesus didn’t step down into this earthly mess so that we could walk through life wearing a Grin and Bear It t-shirt.
He came to free us, for crying out loud. To free us from the sin that loops around our necks and keeps us from experiencing life as God designed to be. But we don’t always see it that way; we’d rather beat ourselves up because of our “un-goodness” and our inability to fix ourselves (as if it’s our job to do the fixing in the first place).

Which means that I might notice how my behavior doesn’t match the person I want to be…but if I choose to stuff it and just do better next time…then that’s not going to do anyone a whole lot of good.

When Jesus called his disciples, he didn’t tell them to get their junk cleaned up and then come follow him once they holy’ed themselves up a bit.

He invited them to follow him - just like they were right then. #imperfectmom @amykatedalke Share on X
He invited them to follow him – just like they were right then. And their hearts were changed as they spent time with him.

Here’s the thing: the “with-ness” of Jesus is what changes us. Light of the World entered our atmosphere so he could shine into our dark places. #imperfectmom Share on XAnd the key to true life change is to quit hiding from the Light…but to bravely step out into it.

The Jesus-way to heart change is to lay it all out before him so that my inside is transformed by the power of God’s Spirit and His Word. And my outside will inevitably reflect what goes on inside.

The bonus is that when God is the one doing the work, our children discover first-hand that God is the Real Deal, and that He can free us from all that wrecks us.

Which proves that our motherhood failures are not a shameful thing at all. Rather, they’re the very thing God uses to show his awesomeness.

Shame will have a field day on us if our weakness remains hidden. It’s only when our failing, imperfect-mother-flesh is exposed to the light that it becomes a birthplace of all the good stuff.

And the one mark of motherhood I want to leave on my son is this: that his mom blew it a lot, but Jesus was always right there to set it all straight again. Because the heart of freedom in Christ is that we live imperfectly in the perfect love of Jesus. Share on X

That’s basically the greatest news ever.


Amy DalkeAbout the Author: Amy Dalke is a baseball mom, a seminary student, a wife who can’t cook, and a Bible study teacher. She has a tendency to be high strung (but is always working on that), and she’s probably missed your birthday party because she misplaced it on her calendar. Amy is slightly nerd-ish about scripture, and gets overly excited to share her insights, but that’s because she’s a mess without it. And P.S. her favorite food is peanut butter and jelly. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.




How Imperfect Motherhood is the GREATEST THING EVER! {Imperfect Moms Day 51}

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