What God Can Do With Leftovers

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I saw a flood of recognition everywhere I went – the grocery store, social media, in restaurants packed with families, even at the soccer fields we were haunting the players gave their mothers roses at the end of the game in recognition of their status and sacrifice.

Moms matter.

Isn’t it funny, then, that Moms often feel invisible?

That Moms often feel inadequate?

My sister, who is very wise, once stopped me mid-pity party and said,

“You know, there is no ONE way to be a perfect mother. But there are THOUSANDS of ways to be a good mother.”

She is so right! Within our Pinterest world and desire to sanitize the mess of living, we forget that life, lived to its fullest, is often messy. It’s far from perfect, and that all of us wear multitudes of hats and are stretched in different directions every single day.

The mom of three that I sat next to during the soccer games this weekend? She works full time. She’s taking college classes to earn an accounting degree and just turned in her last final. And her kitchen sink sprang a leak that caused extensive damage so she’s had to do dishes in the bathroom sink for weeks while they make the repairs.

She feels guilty that she’s not giving her all to every area of her life. That the leftovers of time and energy are inadequate and she’s failing.

I don’t see that at all. I’m seeing that she’s supportive and showing resilience and dedication to following through on commitments she’s made.

If you consider that each responsibility she has is a main dish at a dinner table, I applaud that she has been able to do a lot of managing life and pulling it together with the leftovers from those dishes!

For those who are pursuing Christianity, we always talk about putting things in the proper order. Mary Kay Ash had a motto that it should always be “God, Family, Work,” in that order.

By capitalizing on that philosophy, Mary Kay was able to take the leftovers of women’s everyday lives and build a multi-million dollar company and pass out pink Cadillacs.

(I personally lived in a home during college that had pink bathroom counters so the Mary Kay products would match better. Dude – you know you have arrived when people make their bathroom countertop decisions based on how it will match your toiletry products.)

My point is that maybe moms should be a little kinder and gentler to themselves. Instead of pushing for perfection and being the super mom, let’s move toward being a mom who puts the priorities in order, then dedicates the leftover energy and enthusiasm to whatever God calls us to do for this season.

There are success stories everywhere that reveal what can be done with the leftover bits of time and energy that are dedicated to an ordained purpose.

A home education company built on mainly women who served with the bits of time and energy leftover from caring for their families has become the “Walmart of education.”

The book that was written in increments while caring for a newborn and managing grief.

The man who was crippled and chose to train his body by just consistently showing up one day after another.

The community garden that is grown by pulling weeds every day after work and ends up changing the landscape of an area.

Even when we can’t focus as thoroughly as the perfectionist in us would like, our leftovers are valuable and shouldn’t be discarded. First fruits belong to God. But so do second and third fruits. He’s creative and will enhance your efforts in a special way.

So do something with the leftovers – they can change the world if you let them!

What has been accomplished through the dedication of YOUR leftovers? Let us know in the comments!

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