I remember, as if it were yesterday, finding out I was expecting my first child even though that was 42 years ago! My husband and I were poor college students and had decided to wait until after graduation, settling in our career and lives, before starting our family. While this unexpected news took me by surprise, it was the best news ever and an instant blessing. It was such a thrilling time, and I still can remember every single detail.
I had heard a Mother’s Day sermon on Proverbs 31 just before finding out we were expecting. The verse, Proverbs 31:28, had resonated deep in my heart, and I remember thinking on that Mother’s Day, when I didn’t even know I would be a mother before the next Mother’s Day rolled around, that is the exact kind of mother I want to be! I want my children to “arise and call me blessed”!
At the core of that heart-cry was the desire to be a good mother when that day came. I would dream of creating a home and an environment for my children to know God, to be happy, feel safe, learn, and grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults.
The moment I laid eyes on Dallas Brandon Sites, I was utterly enthralled. It was a magical, beautiful moment I will never forget. It was one of blissful adoration, deep love, overwhelming joy all rolled into one. My whole life surrounded around him, I watched in amazement daily, as if everything he did was a miracle!
We waited three and a half years to get settled before having our second child, Hudson Landon Sites, and all those emotions, feelings, thoughts, and experiences came flooding back into my heart and soul — another beautiful baby boy! And just 12 months later, another beautiful and “surprise” arrival blessed our hearts and lives as Bethany Autumn Sites (Cole) was born into our happy little family!
My wish came true!!! I was the most amazing mom, created the perfect environment for my children to grow into healthy, well-adjusted children that always loved one another, always served the Lord, and have never wavered in their faith… okay, here is where you will hear the loud scratching sound of a needle scraping across a record…a screeching halt to this idyllic scene! Yep, this is where a “narrator” jumps into my story… right here and says, “WAIT A MINUTE! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE LADY! Pause this fairy tale and REWIND back to reality!!!”
I grew up in a harsh environment, but I had a mom who tried and did the best she could considering her own circumstances. She took us to church every time the door was open, and she gave a valiant effort to provide for us amid a home filled with chaos, alcoholism, and violence. She struggled along the way to provide stability for my brothers and me. I acknowledge her efforts and see how she strived to provide for us, even with all the obstacles she had to maneuver through and overcome. Life was hard as a child growing up in that environment. I had dreams for my children to have a better childhood than the one I experienced.
But life is not a perfect fairy tale, and you cannot control everyone around you to create a false sense of security and happiness. My children did not have to deal with dysfunction that I did; the alcoholism and violence. While my children did have a much more stable and happy home, by comparison, than I had, real life is just messy, and we are less than perfect human beings.
It took me a few years, but I learned that a Godly Mother isn’t about striving to provide better for my children. It isn’t about having it all together or not having issues (aka. being in denial). It isn’t about striving to be the Proverbs 31 woman. It isn’t about doing more, being more, and more and more… until you hear those words I have always longed to hear; the words I based my motherhood on, “Her children will rise up and call her blessed.” It isn’t about me.
Being a Godly Mother is getting up every day, desperate for God’s love and forgiveness in my life. It is about being “transformed” by the daily renewal of my mind, my thoughts, and my actions through spending time with Him. It is about knowing Him and His character. It is about doing the Motherhood thing for Him and only for Him.
It is about your children seeing a Mother’s heart that is chasing after God’s own heart! It is about being honest and real with myself and my children. It is about saying I’m sorry. It is about listening to them, their hearts, their dreams, their thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so glad that the desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman burned in my heart, but it isn’t a standard to judge ourselves by or strive to achieve. Proverbs 31 isn’t a measurement to compare ourselves to… whether we pass or fail.
Of course, there will be times we make mistakes, we are human! Proverbs 31 is an encouragement to be desperate for God daily in our lives, and in that He will overflow in our lives. We aren’t to strive to become more holy. We become more holy only because HE is holy — because of who He is and who we are in Him and what He is doing in our lives.
If I am to strive for anything, it is to have an up-close and personal relationship with Him. As a result, I am more patient, not because I am good at being patient, but because I have a relationship with Him, and He gives me His patience. I am more confident, not because I muster up my own confidence but because I have a relationship with Him, and I am confident of who I am in Him.
I don’t strive for perfection as a mother and now an “Emmie” (Grandmother). I strive for a deeper relationship with the Lord. As I pursue Him, I become more like that Proverbs 31 Woman!
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. (Proverbs 31:25-31)