5.28.2019

It's time for a Mom Poll!

This book.
Nothing new or ground-breaking, as biographies have been written for centuries and will continue to be written until the sun ceases to shine.
But the collection of stories is a stirring reminder that mothers play a significant role in the lives of their children, whether they want to or not.
Purposeful motherhood.
Passive motherhood.
Both leave a mark on the life of a child, so we must wisely choose which model we will embrace.

I was encouraged by the stories and memories of godly men who claimed their mothers were the "why" for their "what."
I was convicted by the testimonies of mothers who spent so much time praying for their sons that their knees became calloused.
I was challenged by the consistency of kindness expressed and the unyielding standard of holiness upheld by mothers who engaged with defiant, wayward, and worldly sons.
And I was made to wonder what my sons would write about me if asked to do so.

Do they see me as passive or purposeful?
Would they proclaim or protest my prayers on their behalf?
Do they see me as a catalyst or a hindrance to their pursuit of holiness?
Are they confident that my love for them is sure, regardless of mistakes, failings, and sin?

These questions are important to me. They always have been. But in the midst of the needs of daily life, I fear I have been remiss in seeking the answers from the only ones who can offer them.
My sons.

But praise be! The Lord reminded me of the "tool" He inspired several years ago when I was seeking a way to study my children so I would know how to serve them best. He showed me that instead of studying and wondering and formulating what I *think* they need and want, I should ask them what they need and want. Imagine! <insert grin here> After this divine revelation occurred, I asked the Lord to show me a simple way to collect the desired data from my then 13, 11, 9, 5, 4 and 3-year old children. And thus began the Mom Poll! (modified yearly for the age and stage of each child)

If you walk up to one of my teen sons and declare, "Hey! I heard you have to take a Mom Poll!" your eyes will witness their own roll up toward the heavens. One may even groan, "Ugh. I hate that thing!" But as I tell them each year, when handing them a sheet of paper and a pen, "I bet at least one of you will mention this in my eulogy - as a FOND memory!" And then I laugh while their eyes roll past the heavens and into the backs of their skulls as they commence the taking of the Mom Poll.

I will admit, the first time they took the poll I was beyond nervous. All of my regrets as a mother played in a loop on the screen of my mind. I expected to see all of my mistakes written in the hand of each child, condemning me more than I already condemned myself. But I was wrong. Quite wrong, actually. When I read through each review, I was surprised. They were honest. They answered through the lens of their perspectives. They rebuked me where necessary. But where I gave myself no grace, they offered much.

What I thought was a simple little exercise ended up being a fabulous teacher, for what I learned through the Mom Poll was a simple truth. My children do not want a perfect mom. They want me. And this is a beautiful truth because while I cannot offer nor deliver a perfect mother, I can give them - myself.

Lord, thank You that You are a God who can redeem the past, overcome mistakes, and erase regrets. Thank You for being a God who refuses to leave or forsake His children, and generously pours out wisdom when they seek it. Being a mother is the hardest role I have ever filled, and I know I have much to learn and many areas in which to grow. Please, Lord, never stop teaching me, convicting me, challenging me, or encouraging me as a mother, for I want to bring glory to You, by honoring them.

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Mom  Poll 

What areas do you feel I am succeeding as a mom? (with you personally)

 In what areas can I improve as a mom? (with you personally)

 Do you see any hypocrisy in me - in word and/or deed?

 In what areas do you feel I am inconsistent? (with you personally)

 Do I encourage you in your walk with the Lord? If so, how?

 Is there anything I do that causes you to stumble in your walk with the Lord?

 What can I do to encourage/challenge/hold you accountable in your pursuit of godliness?

 Do you feel loved by me? Appreciated? Respected? 

 Do you feel like you get enough of my time and/or attention?
    What does “enough” look like to you?

 If there was one thing I could do better that would make our relationship stronger and more secure, what would it be?