Guilt has been my nemesis for most of my adult life. It seems like every time I have a child, more guilt is piled on. It looks something like this:
-Driving Clare to school, guilt that Cole is missing a nap.
-Home so Cole can take a nap, guilt that Elle is stuck at home.
-Mommy doing chores, guilt I'm not playing with my children.
-Mommy playing with children, guilt that chores are not done.
It is ridiculous and obnoxious and even as I write it out it feels ridiculous and obnoxious, but that is how my mind works most days.
A few weeks ago Todd, my pastor at Next Level Church taught on Biblical guilt. It was the first time I felt like I had a tool to battle the guilt monster. His teaching was that if my guilt is not founded on Biblical principle than it is from the enemy and needs to be let go. And as simple of a truth as that is, a light bulb clicked for me. Yet again, God has proven that in relationship with him I am FREE. His desire is for me to be free - in my case, from guilt.
If I choose to trust and live by biblical principle, it frees me from living by the standards of the world, the standards of the best moms around, and especially from the standards of my own messed up mind. When I go to bed at night feeling any sense of guilt, I can run it through the filter - is it biblical guilt? No, I did not read to each of my children for 30 minutes; yes, they did have a sugary treat after naps, instead of something healthy; yes, I did turn on the tv to keep them quiet while making dinner and nursing. Those are all things I strive to change or desire to improve on, but I can go to sleep knowing I am free from guilt that I place on myself.
It saddens my heart so greatly when people who do not know Christ think that Christians are following rules and tangled in chains that limit them. It is only through Christ that I can be truly free from the craziness of this world and the sin that harbors my heart and mind.
And I know that without a daily reminder that God desires me to be free, I fall quickly into the trap of living by the standards of everyone else, standards I was never created to live by. Today I am thankful for freedom in knowing all I am expected to do is love, teach, and discipline my children...not make sure my two year old is properly behaved, potty trained and sleeping without a paci (yup, good thing, or we have failed!)