I AM That Mom by Julie Arduini

As I’ve shared in previous posts, it has been a difficult season for our kids. What makes it so hard to watch is it’s one of those cases where it isn’t consequences for making terrible choices. It’s a refining process where they are growing in faith and life experiences.

But, oh, my Mama heart.

A couple weeks ago was just the rock bottom for them emotionally. School challenges, working with others, and out and out spiritual warfare targeted them both and they were devastated. We prayed and cried together. Not much has changed around them, but their determination to become more Christ-like and declare breakthrough has been steady.

Me?

When we’re together, I’m praying and encouraging. I know they’ve got this, and I KNOW God’s got them.

When I’m alone?

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Deep down, I’m a lot like Beverly Goldberg. Image: ABC/Downloadable Mother’s Day

The struggle to not morph into Beverly Goldberg from the ABC show, The Goldbergs, is almost too much. The sitcom is based on writer/creator Adam F. Goldberg and his 1980’s upbringing in Pennsylvania with his emotionally uninvolved dad and the model for all “smother” mothers, Beverly. With her high hair and colorful sweaters, no one is going to hurt her babies. If they have a need, Beverly is all over it. Schools fear her because Beverly gets it done.

She goes too far, of course, and I’ve enjoyed reading the real Adam’s stories about how real life parallels each episode. The portrayal of the real Beverly isn’t too far off. She wanted so much to be in their lives that when college dorm mates thought Adam had a girl in the room, he was actually hiding his mom.

It makes for a good laugh when the kids and I watch, and even the youngest has thanked me for not “pulling a Beverly” on them.

If they only knew.

A couple nights ago they ran an errand together and not too much later, our son called. He had been hit at a 5 stop intersection. They were fine, but he was nervous with his young age that the other driver or police might take advantage.

I couldn’t hide the Beverly in me anymore. I grabbed my purse and I was off. The scene was about two miles away, and when I saw their car pulled over with flashers on, it took prayer and a couple seconds to collect myself before I left the car. Why?

I wanted to run, run with arms wide open and yell, “My schmoopies! I love you two so much!” and go all Beverly on everyone else.

Thankfully for everyone, I did not. Our daughter was on the passenger side that got hit, and she was scared. She started to cry and we just held each other and I promised her it would be okay. When I got to our son, I let him know he was doing a great job. He admitted he wasn’t sure what to do, but he wanted to learn. I confessed I wanted to be Beverly and just hold them and call them “my schmoopies.” He laughed and said, “I’d be okay with that.”

What’s made the season so hard is that both kids are going through their things at the same time. That’s new, and it has challenged me in ways I never, ever considered before becoming a parent or even as a parent before this. To see them in emotional pain, the Biblical answer is rarely the easiest. But it’s the answer I have to give them.

I am far from perfect. I’ve made the youngest write her own tardy notices and deliver them, and we’ve insisted our oldest re-do a ministry assignment when he phoned it in the first time. I’ve forgotten important dates and raised my voice. But that night when we returned home, the first thing we did was pray. We thanked God for each good thing about the accident, and we came up with a long list. We prayed for the other driver and the man who came to the scene on her behalf.

The fictional Beverly in me wants to rise up and take charge, but at the end of each episode, she knows she’s taken things too far. Oh, she’ll do it again, but she knows they are great kids and they will be successful even if she takes her hands off the process. That’s what I’ve had to remind myself. As much as I want to jump in and take over, control the circumstances and outcomes of their lives, that’s not my job. It’s Gods. And if I think they are, as Beverly would say, “So scrumptious I could eat you up,” their Heavenly Father feels so much love for them it can’t even be measured.

We’re believing breakthrough is ahead with rich blessings and a new level of faith. Should there be any more hardships on our “babies,” my prayer is I’ll handle it with grace.

And keep my inner Beverly home for when we are binge watching The Goldbergs.

How about you? Do you struggle with parenting? Do you know a “smother?” When someone you love is hurting, what’s your instinct?

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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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