A Little Grace Goes A Long Way...
For the mamas:
I haven’t meant another mom who thinks they’re slaying motherhood, housework, family life, friendships, marriage, or the day-to-day grind. I think highly of and admire all of my mom friends because they balance so much and appear to do it all really well. Then I hear them talk about their insecurities or where they feel like they’re falling short, and I’m reminded that we’re all in this together.
All of my friends with children parent differently, and it’s something that I really appreciate. Using a few of today’s buzzwords, I have some who are gentle, some who are authoritative, and some who are passive, but most float between the three. You can find arguments on why each one is the best, but to be honest, I don’t think there’s a “one style fits all.” Each child is uniquely designed in his or her own way (Psalm 139:13).
What I do know is that I am not a perfect mother. I have good and bad days. Some days I’m productive and others lazy, or tired I should say. I have lots of connection and play days, and some days feel like a tornado blew through our 24-hours, and I missed it all. A lot of it merely depends on my mood, my sleep or lack thereof, and my connection or lack of with other adults. From what I can see, I am the emotional thermostat of our home. Truthfully, you probably are too, and sometimes, a lot of times, that is a heavy responsibility.
Wherever we fall on the parenting spectrum, here’s my parenting mission: I want to parent with intention and grace. I am not a perfect person, and I don’t have all the answers. My children may not see that now, but they’ll come to see that on their own one day. When they discover it, I hope they offer the grace of Jesus in return, because that is the best grace.
The truth is: We all have good and bad days, including them. I am an imperfect person. They are imperfect people, and they will walk through life with imperfect people. I want them to know that Jesus has every one of those imperfections covered, and I want to intentionally model that we love each other and everyone through those imperfections, because of Jesus.
So, on the days when I’m short and snippy, I apologize, and I ask Jesus in front of them for His grace that covers it. On the days when I say the wrong thing, I apologize, and tell them we all say the wrong thing sometimes, and Jesus has it. On the days when I’m gentle and passive, I offer my thanks that Jesus has it all. On the days when I lose my cool, He’s got it, and I pray in front of my children for grace and strength. On the days when I’m sad and my kids notice, I tell them that He’s right there with me in my sadness. I want them to know, remember, and see from their little eyes that on all of the days, He’s there, in it all, with us. If they take anything from me, I hope it’s His love and grace.
We can read a million things about being the perfect parent, but no one really knows how one child will turn out from the next. It’s oversaturated. The Truth though… Jesus was there at the formation of the world. He was there upon our creation. He was there in the first heart beat of each one of our babies. He was there in their first breath and cry. He was there with their first steps. He’s there with them now. And ya know what: He’ll continue to be there in the good and bad decisions they make and in the beautiful and messy spots of life. He’s walking with them, with us, in our happiest and saddest times. So I may not get every little or big thing right in this parenting game, but I hope my babies know enough of Jesus to know a little grace goes a long way.