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Yesterday morning, as she does every Sunday morning, Lindsey (7.5 years old) got herself dressed for church. She chose a red and black plaid dress and her black shoes and put them on. And then she did her hair.
When I saw her, she had two ponytails, one on each side of her head. They weren’t quite smooth, and she had missed some hair in the back. Nonetheless, she was proud of having done her own hair.
I had a choice. I could either help her fix her hair, or I could let her leave it as it was. The first option would have produced better-looking hair. The second would have produced more self-confidence in Lindsey.
I chose to let her leave her hair as it was. That’s because her efforts were good enough for me. I was proud of her.
Why? Because she’d done her best.
It’s the same way God feels about us, moms. He knows that our fumbling efforts don’t produce near the results He could have produced. Yet He accepts our attempts with pride in us—if we’ve done our best.
Isn’t it great that God doesn’t demand that we be perfect in order for Him to be proud of us? He’s proud of you, and He’s proud of me—despite the fact that we’re not perfect.
Many times we, as moms, get the idea that we have to be a perfect mom, wife, woman, sister or friend in order for God to be proud of us. If God’s perfect, we (incorrectly) reason, He won’t be proud of anything less than perfection.
Let’s be clear here. When we sin, God is not pleased. He is not proud. But when we do our best—when we put forth our best effort—He is both pleased and proud. In fact, He’s even willing to help us by giving us wisdom, strength and comfort so that we can do our best.
Have you ever stopped to think that God is proud of you? That if you’re truly doing the best you can, making no excuses but doing your best, He is really, really proud?
He’s proud of how you spoke kindly to your daughter despite the fact that she was getting on your last nerve. He’s proud of the way you got the living room clean, even though the whole house wasn’t clean. He’s proud of how you made that decision or got up repeatedly in the middle of the night with a sick child. He’s proud of—well, anything you did your best on.
So what does it mean to do your best? It means to do the most you can with what God has given you. It means to operate in His strength, taking advantage of His resources, for His glory.
If that’s how you usually operate, mom, you make God proud on a regular basis.
If it’s not, you can always change that. You can go before Him anytime and ask Him to help you make that a reality so that you can operate that way. Tell Him you want to make Him proud, and ask Him to help you do it.
And then bask in the warmth of knowing that your Daddy’s proud of you.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Col. 3:23).
Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure. She is also a blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.