"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, June 8, 2012


1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV 1984)  "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."

She makes motherhood look so easy.  If only I could make dinners like her.  If only I disciplined my children with a graceful tongue and kept our home like hers' - ready for the white glove test. . . . If only.

Have you ever gone circles with voices in your head like these?  Many "If only" conversations have occurred in my mind.  One area it navigates is that of motherhood.

I've been a mom for twelve-and-a-half years. Boy, it's been a roller coaster of hairpin turns and unexpected trials, but also full of numerous blessings. Mothering is such an arduous job.  I have experienced days feeling so stressed because I cannot keep up with the demands of children, husband, home, family, and ministry.

The older I get the more relaxed I have become, but I haven't always been this way.  I'm still learning to let things go and be more flexible, but the change God has made in my heart is significant.

You see, many choices I made as a young mother were because I wanted to appear I had it all together, so others would notice how good I was as a mom. Part of this masquerade was due to the fallacies I allowed to take root in my heart which forced me to do things that weren't necessary. Another component was comparing myself to other moms and vowing to "Never let my kids _________ . "

For example, to be a Good Mother I must:
  • Always get the kids to bed on time.
  • Never serve my kids frozen foods full of phosphates and MSG.
  • Always nurse my boys a minimum of twelve months.
  • Keep a tidy house all the time and NEVER, I mean NEVER leave dirty dishes in the sink (God forbid!)
  • Cook dinner every night.
  • Lose the baby weight in no less than three months.
  • Potty train by 2 1/2 or receive the "Loser Mom" award of the year.
  • Exercise five days a week.
  • Make homemade cookies at the least once a week.
  • Don't let the laundry pile over the basket.
  • Make the beds everyday.
  • Deep clean every room every week: vacuum, dust, scrub etc.
  • Keep the family vehicle spotless (so as not to appear we even have children).
Alright, enough confessions from my overkill life. I'm a recovering perfectionist. Yes, I was disciplined and organized, but too a fault. I masked the pain of people's assumptions and wanted to look sooo good so they wouldn't have a reason to think I was a slacker mom sitting on the couch with a bag a chips! (Doesn't that sound good right about now? :) ).

Why do we fall prey to these lies as mothers? 

Many times it is due to our insecurities. We think it's easier to keep up on the outside and if we do, then we appear "all is good". When in truth, the more we focus on the internal, the easier the external is manifested.  We should be more concerned with what produces the fruit than the fruit itself.  

Another reason we succumb to these deceptions is because we don't understand who we are in Christ and that by His grace we are what we are.  1 Corinthians 15:10 reminds us of this truth. Paul concludes that God's grace affected his life as an apostle. Paul accepted who He was in Christ, by God's grace.  

Not to minimize the spiritual depth of this verse, but when we truly understand the grace Christ gives and who we are in Him, this overflows into all areas of our lives, including motherhood.  Being a mom is a high calling and we use the grace God gives us to be the moms He intends us to be.  We are moms by the grace of God.

His grace is enough:

  • during sleepless nights, 
  • cranky behaviors, 
  • sick kids, 
  • tween-age hormones,
  • urine soaked sheets, 
  • dirty toilets and 
  • microwave dinners.
By the grace of God, a mother's toil and labor is not in vain.

Understanding this core truth motivates me to be proactive in living it out.  To be a better mother I'm trying to focus on:  . . . by grace only . . . NOT. . . if only.

Now I say, a Great Mother:
  • Understands what grace and flexibility is.
  • Doesn't live for the approval of others.
  • Leaves dirty dishes in the sink and laundry piled up.
  • Spends time with her kids on their level.
  • Keeps a tidy heart over a tidy house.
  • Gets enough exercise chasing her toddlers.
  • Maintains a level of home cleanliness that is reasonable (and when the kids are old enough, teach them to do their own laundry and toilets).
  • Lets the kids stay up to play one more game together.
  • Delivers homemade hugs and kisses everyday and allows Nestle to do the rest.
  • Cuddles just a minute longer at bedtime.
  • Doesn't panic if the kids have cereal for dinner.
  • Hands her list to her husband! :)
It is liberating to let false fallacies go.  Living up to others expectations is restricting.  Pursuing a flawless house and body is confining.  Scheduling every minute of the day is imprisoning.

Ladies, as school comes to a close and we look forward to summer with our kids, let's relax and enjoy simple, yet profound pleasures found in our loved ones.  Choose to please God first and be confident in the mom God created you to be, not if only . . . but by His grace only.

Heart Work:
Share below how God helps you be a "Great Mother."

Make your list of "Good Mother" and "Great Mother" items.  Evaluate where you see growth and what needs changed.

Heart Exam:
What false fallacies do you believe about Motherhood?  Which ones paralyze you from enjoying life with your children/grandchildren?

How does the approval of others inhibit you as a mom?  What are your "If only's?"

Do you tend to be a perfectionist?  How can you find better balance regardless of which side of the pendulum you are on?

Heart Changing Word:
Galatians 1:10  "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Ephesians 3:7  "I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power." 

2 Corinthians 10:12 "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.  When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves they are not wise."

Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.  


  1. Love it! So, so true! Lets hand this out to all the new moms at church and spare them the pain of learning this lesson the hard way. :)

    1. Jess,

      Thank you for your comment; I appreciate you sharing and love your idea too! ;) Love to you sister, Love, Hester ;)

    2. Hester! This is exactly what I needed to read right now. My heart keeps wanting to compare myself to women who seem to have it all together or even compare to women that seem spiritually so much more holy. I am where I am and taking that extra "time" at night is just one of the many truths I am taking away from your amazing blog! Love you!

    3. Rogne's,

      It's so easy to compare ourselves to others isn't it? May God bring us freedom when we are tempted to do this. We need only compare ourselves to Him, right?

      Grace to you, Hester ;)

    4. You are such a blessing! Thank you for allowing God to use your life so powerfully! Love you!

    5. I am hoping I did it right this time so it will show me as a follower...Cause I want to be! Love ya! : ) And....I actually figured out how to add my picture (our picture,,,) Ok, Ok, so I did need my 13 yr old son's help...I admit it!!

    6. Rogne Family,

      You are so sweet and thank you again for your kind words. I'm going to private message you regarding "following" to try and help you. ;)

      Love you back & eh' no worries on needing your son's help - mine help me all the time too. :)

      Love, Hester ;)

  2. So so good Hester. Thank you for your boldness to share God's Word.

    1. Mandy,

      Thank you for your comment and for your encouragement. You bless me.

      Love to you sister, Hester ;)

  3. Hi Hester,

    It's so amazing the way God develops and matures us over the years. I'm willing to bet our "Good Mother" lists were identical, but one of the great things about growing older (and thankfully WISER) is that you figure out the "Good Mother" routine everyone puts on is a sham. All of us are flawed, no matter how perfect our homes and families appear to everyone else.

    And that's a truth that I hope will set some young mama free! Thanks for sharing!!
    Love, Susan

    1. Susan,

      You said it right -- it is a sham indeed! We are all incredibly flawed, no matter how perfect we appear. Thank you for taking the time to share with us Susan, I appreciate your wisdom.

      Love, Hester ;)

  4. Hi Hester!
    I agree with you and I like what Susan says about the "sham" many of us (me included) have put on at one time or more. It is so much pressure! I have had to learn to give it God each morning. Some of the most refreshing friends I have are the ones who don't strive for perfection in their roles as moms, they let Jesus do it! Great post sis!

    1. Lisa,

      Thank you for your comment and sharing with us. It's helpful when we are honest with each other to share our weaknesses with this temptation to mask our lives.

      Thanks for being an example to me.

      Love, Hester ;)

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Jen! God bless you,

      Love, Hester ;)

  6. A good word for me as we're expecting our first. Not comparing is hard--but there's only one we need to compare ourselves to, and He died to free us from the burdens of a sinful heart. He makes people free! We have to live in that freedom as mothers and show our kids where our priorities really lie.

    1. Christine,

      Thank you for your comment. You are so right that there is only One we need to compare ourselves too and His death indeed brings freedom. Good word sister and thank you for sharing with us.

      Congratulations on your first born to come. Wonderful gift! ;)

      Grace to you, Hester