To do? Thing 1 and Thing 2

Dear Lindsey,

Patrick Lencioni, in his book, Five Laws of Decline, defines one of the reasons for being miserable on a job as having “immeasurable goals.”

I guess Lencioni’s definition of “job misery” may explain why there are days of even motherhood that are, well, miserable. A mother’s goals can be so immeasurable. If my child gets all A’s, then am I a good mom? Then what if my straight-A student becomes a father out of wedlock? Does that make me a bad mom? What if I had done nothing different between the two incidents? My results are immeasurable.

In a previous letter, I told how one of my children apologized to me for staying up until 10:08pm the night before, when I had only told him he could read in bed until 10. Good mom? This week, one of my children got caught cheating; then lied, denied and blamed with an unrepentant heart and left me crying, “God, I feel like I am losing.” Miserable mom.

I like the way Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven Life described life when his wife was battling breast cancer. He said that life isn’t necessarily a series of peaks and valleys as he had once thought, but more like a railroad track. One rail is negative and the other rail is positive, and our train keeps moving down the track at full speed.

In my last letter, I wrote a “Shout-Out to Moms” and comments were made regarding approximately 50 moms. I studied the comments. What makes a good mom? What can I learn from these women that will help my children the most? How can I apply it to my own motherhood?

In the shout-outs to moms, nobody said that a mom was a great mom because, “She had the laundry done every week!” or  “She looked like a model from the Victoria’s Secret catalog!” or “She kept high-fructose corn syrup out of the house!” (Seriously, have I stressed about these things?!) However, the common thread was there – and would truly apply to success in any job. The majority of them shouted:

Thing 1: “She loved God.” And

Thing 2: “She loved me.”

I suppose any job is not as immeasurable as it seems. Did I love God today? Did I love people today? Imagine what the Lord could do with that!

May God bless your profession as you live it for Him,

Terri Brady

Matthew 22:34-40 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

10 thoughts on “To do? Thing 1 and Thing 2

  1. This is so right on Terri! Thank you for bringing the focus right where it should be. I hope this is the legacy I leave. Love ya!

  2. Exactly! You are a great mom because you are “in the game” daily striving to do more and get better. You are a great mom because God is in your heart and leading it therefore others are attracted to HIM through you.

    Thanks for always allowing your heart to shine through the good, the bad, and the ugly!

  3. Ah Terri, I, too have been feeling like a “miserable” mom. I think it is the unrepentant heart that tears at me the most. But then I wonder, if my child has asked God’s forgiveness, isn’t that more important than asking mine? And the challenge of loving that child through it all….thank you for the reminder of how to measure our success. Today I will be a successful mom. I will choose to love God and to love others.

  4. Thank you again, Terri, for an excellent letter! Your message made me think of a 25k race I watched this weekend. Where I was standing was near the end if the race, and I saw some people with smiles, some in agony, some running easily and some struggling. We cheered for each person, running or walking as they passed. One lady walking in the race said “But I’m just walking” and a spectator answered “But your moving forward! This is your race, finish strong!”. Your letter made me think of God, standing at the end, cheering us on in the agonizing moments when we struggle and the times when we are smiling and flying. Encouraging us to just keep moving forward in Him, and finish strong!


  5. Terri, thank you so much for posting this “follow-up”, if you will, to the shout-out to moms & condensing your findings. It really is hard some days to see how I’ve done as a mom & this will for sure help me begin with the end in mind. Love God, & love people! I hope my children will end up saying the same of me. God Bless!!

  6. Terri, thank you for posting! Just the fact that you called being a mom our “profession” brought a few happy tears to my eyes on a tough “mothering” morning. A great reminder and wonderful validation of the most difficult job in the world.

  7. Terri,
    Thank you for always sharing from your heart. Your love for God and others shines brightly in all you say and do.

  8. Thank you Terri for this great reminder! I know I can definitely be hard on myself with unrealistic expectations sometimes and I constantly find myself worrying that I am going to “mess things up”. You are such a fantastic role model and someone I look up to greatly. Thank you for taking the time to share from your experiences. Love you.

  9. I really needed this tonight. I am a part time occupational therapist and wanting to be full time mom to 3 beautiful girls. I was just starting a pity party for myself for, I am embarrassed to admit, not being pictured in a marketing brochure where I work, and not being named as a favorite therapist in our staff mtg, when I came across this post in a LIFE tweet. My mind was being filled with all kinds of junk and insecurities and the tears were flowing.

    Your story helped remind me of my purpose. Did I please God today? Did I use the gifts he has given me to my potential? Would He put me in His “brochure”?! Thanks for putting a stop to my party.
    All the best,
    Michonne Palmer

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