Every day, I make mistakes with my kids. It could be a pretty good day with one little mistake, but often, I yell too loudly and too much, lose my patience too often, and just act like a complete fool.
On those days, I can completely blow it. I don’t treat my kids in a Christ-like manner, I talk like a disrespectful jerk to my husband, and I pretty much go to bed feeling like a major hypocrite.
Yesterday was like that for me.
My patience had been on edge the whole day, but when my younger boys were taking a shower before bed, I lost it. My youngest squirted our shampoo into the tub – the entire bottle – after I’d just told him to leave it alone. When I say I lost it, I’m serious. I blew up. I overreacted, and my son went to sleep scared of me.
As I write this now, my heart hurts all over again. I love my kids so much, but sometimes my flesh takes over and I feel like I have to prove to them that I’m the one in control.
Parenting isn’t about controlling, it’s about connecting! I talk about grace-based parenting, yet act like a monster. I know it’s not a coincidence that Jerry and I are trying The Year of No Yelling, that our ministry of Busy Being Blessed seems to be doing well, and that we have made commitments to God and each other about our parenting. I realize Satan is working on us double-time.
Still. I’m so ashamed.
My guilt always comes after the fact. I always realize how awful I’d been, then repent. Last night, after I went in to kiss my sleeping boy and my hot tears amazingly didn’t awaken him, I prayed.
“Dear Lord, I’m so grateful for Your grace, and Your forgiveness that is everlasting. You’ve already forgiven this, even before I was sorry about it.
Father, You’ve even forgiven tomorrow’s stupid mistakes! I’m so thankful You’re not like me. You don’t put me in time-out, waiting for a sign of change.
You have forgiven when I don’t deserve it, and You and I both know I never deserve it! Please help me be more like You. My boys need grace, just like I do. They need Your grace, Your patience, Your compassion, Your unconditional love.
Please, Lord, I beg You, help me be more like You.”
I knew He’d lavished His grace on me anew, like a fresh falling rain. I had a new chance to be the mom my kids need, the mom God calls me to be.
Every moment is a fresh start. We just need to rely on the Grace-giver. We can’t wallow in our guilt, our shame.
It was forgiven on the cross.
There’s grace, even when we blow it.
This goes for the explosive mom, the disrespectful wife, and the disobedient child.
His grace covers it all.
Thank You, Lord.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: Romans 5:20