Embracing Embarrassment

I personally believe that potty training a child is one of the hardest things we do as mothers. It tests our patience and perseverance. It challenges our time management and planning skills. It can also result in some of the most disgusting clean ups and embarrassing moments.

I remember when I was in the midst of this season with one of my children. I felt we had finally made some progress and decided to venture out with my child dressed in big kid pants aka no diaper. I was happily chatting with other moms as we watched our children play at the indoor playground at the mall. It was always noisy, but suddenly I heard a roar of squealing, screaming and laughing. I looked up to see my child standing on the bridge of the playground (of course the highest point) peeing over the side. Adding to the “river” under the bridge??? I have no idea. It was definitely not a shining moment in my mom-life.

There was no harm done that day to anyone involved (except maybe the mall staff) but my pride was very bruised. Really, I rarely go an entire day feeling like I actually have it all together.

One of my favorite scriptures is in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10,

“I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations…At first, I didn’t think of it as a gift…God told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. Now I take limitations in stride and with good cheer…I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”

Maybe motherhood is one of the “handicaps” mentioned in the verse!

“I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.”

I can choose what I lay my focus on – it could be the embarrassment, myself, my God or my role in our family. What is it that He has put in my hands? It is definitely not those people and their opinions of me. I have no influence over that. I find that there is so much pressure that we put on ourselves for the pretty, Pinterest-perfect life…the best-dressed kids, perfect house, perfect body, perfect marriage, etc. But here’s the freeing truth: people are not watching you as much as you think they are.

People are pretty focused on their own lives. When they do look up and look at me, what do I want them to see? A measure they can’t live up to? Or a real, authentic example of an imperfect mom who loves well? We don’t want to be some plastic, perfect, cookie cutter version of what we imagine is the perfect wife/mom/Christ follower. We want to be warm, inviting and accessible. After someone has spent time with me, I want them to feel encouraged and think, “If she can do it, surely I can too…”

Let’s aim to be relatable, real, authentic. Slow down and laugh more. Savor this one life you get and spend it focused on what truly matters: loving Jesus and those precious people around you.