In retrospect, my parenting résumé doesn’t look too bad. I’ve raised three kids into successful adults who now love and care for their own families. Everyone turned out okay, but sometimes that was despite me.
I’ll never forget how angelic they looked when they were sleeping. Shouldn’t it follow that these adorable children would bring out the best in me, especially since I loved being a mom? Not always, I am here to confess. The day to day stuff wore me down. I yelled. I was impatient. When they were little, I plopped them in front of the television to give myself a break, and when they were teenagers, I snooped in their rooms. Ugh! Did I just admit doing that?
Did I mention that I actually lost my youngest child once at an amusement park? I think it was the longest twenty minutes of my life. Security was notified and everything. I thought, Who does that? Certainly not a good mother.
Rejecting Guilt, Accepting Grace
The list of failings that I kept in my head threatened to overwhelm me with guilt. But each night as I lay in bed reviewing my day with God, I was encouraged knowing that He loved me no matter what, and that, by His grace, I would have another day to give it my best. I was often reminded of Lamentations 3:22-23, which says that, The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. (GNT)
Even if my new day had a few missteps (bound to happen, right?), by God’s grace, I knew that I would also have the opportunity to be the mom I was designed to be: to kiss boo-boos, cut the crust off my kids’ sandwiches, find their favorite toy, arrange a play date, turn an errand into an adventure. I was able to teach them to play baseball and lacrosse, and how to drive a car. I could snuggle and pray with them each night before they fell asleep, looking like angels.
Have the 24/7, unending requirements of parenting left you feeling like you're a failure? I certainly felt that way, too. But I am here to remind you now that the Lord is with you and it will probably be better tomorrow. May you find encouragement in these verses that helped me see that God’s grace was sufficient for me as a parent:
- 2 Corinthians 9:8 (CEV)
God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others.
- 2 Timothy 2:1 (GNTD)
As for you, my son, be strong through the grace that is ours in union with Christ Jesus.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (GNTD)
But he replied, “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me.
- Psalm 37:23-24 (GNTD)
The Lord guides us in the way we should go and protects those who please him. If they fall, they will not stay down, because the Lord will help them up.
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