I am sitting in front of my computer with a crying six week old on my lap, a three year old trying to put a beaded necklace over my head and my two year old eating a pencil. Well, maybe he's not really eating it, just exploring with all of his senses. I still need to make dinner with enough time to eat before he leaves for his meeting at the fire department. Then I have to put all three kids to bed, by myself.
I'm not complaining; well, let's be honest here: I am a little bit. I am just wondering about gold stars. You remember them, right? From elementary school. A nice big chart on the wall for all to see with your name (as well as those of your classmates) and a collection (or smattering) of gold stars. They're beautiful, all shiny and perfect in shape. They mean only one thing: you've done a good job! Now I'm wondering, where are the gold stars for parenting? Wouldn't it be nice to have someone recognize all of the "good mom" things you accomplish in a day? Wouldn't that spur you on, or at least make it bearable to change one more diaper?
Of course not all things are worthy of gold stars. Like how I just yelled at my three year old more because I was annoyed than because she was misbehaving. But that's not what this is about. We need to forget what is behind and move toward God. If you keep looking back, you're bound to crash in to something to come.
What happens when you feel like you don't deserve a gold star? When a day has been just that bad that you can't imagine why anyone, much less God would give you a gold star. A friend reminded me just the other day. It is for these stars I am the most grateful, even when I don't deserve them. And what makes you feel better on a bad day at school than when the teacher gives you a gold star, even if you don't feel you deserve it?