This weekend was the women’s retreat at church.
You know, the time when nearly 500 women hand their husbands the reins and a few already-cooked meals, and for some – the number for the doctor and directions to the nearest emergency room, and all of the children – and then giddily flee to the mountains. They’re loaded down with coffee and junk food. They ignore the fact that they will be sleeping in bunk beds like convicts because they will be sleeping. alone. so just whatever.
One mom in our cabin
lied to told her husband and kids that we weren’t allowed to have cell phones, so not to even bother calling her. PERFECTION.
The cabin hostesses made Pinterest-worthy crafty things like our initials to hang on our bunks. We were welcomed with open arms and genuine smiles. We all looked around at each other that first night with wide unbelieving eyes that we’d all made it.
We mourned our sisters left behind whose escape attempts had failed. But we were all soon distracted. There were trays of food appearing as if from nowhere – right at our tables – carried by selfless husbands and teenagers there just to serve. Food we had not shopped for or prepared ourselves! As we were reveling in our good fortune, they came and picked up all of the dishes, too!
Our speaker was a sweet woman – Kasey Ewing. She said cute things like “y’all” and “nekked” with her gentle and endearing southern accent. Her words were soft and pillowy.
You could hear a chorus of heartfelt “mmmm”s all over the room when she said something powerful.
And then there was me.
Truth be told, this weekend wasn’t really a time of deep transformation or revelation for me. I kept sitting there being moved by her story of losing a child and how Jesus walked with her through her dark days, but really not being moved to action.
I didn’t really need the rest the weekend provided – Ty and I just got back from 9 days away from the kids. So I kept asking God, “Okay, so why am I here? If it’s not her words or her story, what is it? Is there someone I’m supposed to be here to meet? Are you about to show me something super amazing?”
It wasn’t until the very last five minutes of the last session with Kasey that I heard the words that moved something deep in my soul. When she said it, she said someone else had told her, or she’d read it somewhere, or something like that. Honestly, I wasn’t really paying attention until she said it. So I don’t even know who originally said it.
“Your kids don’t need a super mom. They need to know that they have a super God.”
And there it was – the reason God had brought me all the way up into the mountains.
You guys. I spend all of my life trying to do and be everything for my kids. Teach them manners, to have good attitudes, how to be healthy, about adventure. Create memories, environments for learning, and a loving home where honesty and grace abound. I’ve even been committed to teaching them about Jesus.
But you know what? I haven’t been giving them any idea of how big God is. Or how in control and sovereign He is.
It’s been about how loving Jesus is, and about how He died for them. And they get that.
What’s missing is the idea that He’s so super. He created ALL of the things. The fact that He died for us is so incredible because of who He is – good, merciful, and just.
His superness (just go with it) is for all and for one.
He is SO big and SO good, and it’s all accessible to them. They don’t need a super mom to manufacture amazing lives for them. They need a mom who points them to a super God who will show them why the life He has for them is amazing.
They need to see me turn to that super God for guidance when life gets tough. To know that our busy lives aren’t about being seen or being important, but about blessing other people and loving them well. To know that the things we have are not because of our hard work but because He has blessed us so richly.
He’s in control of galaxies and neighborhoods alike. He rules over nations and middle school, too. So when I don’t have answers, when I fall short, and as I am also navigating through life, we all get to turn to the super God in control.
The pressure is off!
As I fell asleep in my top bunk that night, I felt so relieved. I don’t have to be the super mom that I feel that I need to be – or that I feel like others are expecting me to be.
And neither do you.
cover photo: Peter Voerman