I send store-bought valentines to my son’s school.
There. I said it.
I don’t stencil names onto fancy pieces of cardboard. I don’t hot glue the perfect candy heart message onto cardstock. I don’t bake heart-shaped cookies from scratch. I don’t help my boy cut and glitter his own valentines out of red and pink construction paper. We buy a box of valentines and stick them in the envelopes. Last year, we left the envelopes blank because we ran out of time to print the other kids’ names on them.
The primary goal of our marriages, our homes, and our families should not be to impress the watching world. It is to honor God.
It’s not that I’m a slacker mom, exactly. It’s just that the Lord reminds me often about what does and does not really matter as I mother. Essentially, anything I can find on Pinterest falls into the “doesn’t matter much” category. Anything that requires the work of my heart and the selfless service of my hands tends to hang out in the “matters a great deal” side of the ledger.
It’s the precise reason I’m not the room mom for my son’s school. It’s why I don’t volunteer to be an assistant basketball, cheerleading, soccer . . . coach. It’s why birthday parties around here consist of a favorite meal and a boxed cake.
Don’t get me wrong. I actually love to craft and bake and volunteer. It would tickle my heart pink to throw fantastic themed parties, earn a few bragging rights with other parents by sending something creative with my child to school, or to catch some more quality time with my boys by coaching something they’re interested in, but I’ve had to come face to face with a foundational truth about motherhood:
I can do it all, but I can’t do it all well.
I often have to rehearse these words in the mirror . . .
“No, thank you.”
“No. I’m sorry. My schedule is full.”
Can I be honest? Sometimes I’m embarrassed by these lines I’ve drawn in the sand. For example, last week, my son Eli was supposed to bring something that started with the letter “P” to preschool. I threw a piggy bank in his backpack as we rushed out the door. Another mom came to school bringing pizza for everyone. When I found out I had a moment of panic, wishing I was able to drop everything to deliver pizza to a class of hungry and excited preschoolers.
But then I am reminded . . .
Motherhood is not a spectator sport.
Neither is any other side of womanhood. The primary goal of our marriages, our homes, and our families should not be to impress the watching world. The goal should be to honor God.
In a world of Facebook likes and Twitter retweets, it is so hard to remember the wisdom found in Colossians 3:17.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
God is more honored by children growing in righteousness than 1,000 homemade valentines. God is more honored by a marriage focused on His glory than any touched-up family photos we put on Facebook. God is more honored by a woman who makes wise choices with her time than by a momma stretched so thin she has no time to seek Him.
So bring on the store-bought valentines and the boxed cakes. Join me in asking the Lord to shift your focus away from the expectations of others and toward a family obsessed with His glory.
Jesus, help us to be women who live our lives for you. Deliver us from the temptation to measure our worth by what others think. Teach us to build families that point others toward your gospel.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “When God Rewrites Your Job Description.”