I wrote about patience yesterday morning. I wrote all about how love requires that we be patient with our kids. I even wrote these words: "Patience with my kids requires me to value teaching and loving them above my schedule, my chore list and my own desires." It sounded good. I was all ready to put it into practice. And then my girls got up.
Before 8 a.m. yesterday, I had blown it. I sent my older daughter out the door to school practically in tears because I ran out of patience with her. I closed the door, looked to heaven and wondered when I was ever going to get it right.
This blog is a little glimpse into a slice of our life, and sometimes I feel like it makes our family out to be more perfect than it is. I like to share the challenges and the triumphs more than I like to share the moments of frustration and despair. Yet we have so many of the latter.
We have days where nothing goes right. We have days where I'm asking for forgiveness before 8 a.m. rolls around. We have moments when I look to the heavens and plead for help.
I know you have those days, too. Days where you start off with good intentions only to lose it the first time a child does something wrong. Days where you wonder what ever made you think you should be a mom. Days where you look at your kids and wonder what happened to turn the cute baby you once held in your arms into the screaming monster in front of you.
You know what? Those days happen to all of us. They don't mean we're bad mothers. They don't mean our kids will grow up and look back on their childhood as a terrible experience. They don't mean we should throw in the towel on this motherhood thing.
You see, children are the best givers of grace that I know. They forgive quickly. Then they forget. When we screw up, our kids know it, but they love us anyway. My daughter came home yesterday afternoon and apologized for how the morning had gone and forgave me for my part in it.
Even better than our kids' grace is God's grace. God sees when we mess up. He stands by waiting to offer us His amazing grace and forgiveness. Then He forgets what we've done. We aren't bound by our mistakes. Romans 6:14 says "For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace."
This motherhood journey is long one. Each day is a new lesson in how to parent. The only person remembering our screw-ups and berating us for them is us. Our kids offer grace. God offers grace. But too often we don't offer ourselves grace. We beat ourselves up over our failures and have a hard time moving on.
None of us are perfect. We're all going to fail at some point. When you do, lean on God's grace, ask your kids for their grace, and offer yourself some grace. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the parenting game.