I’m a Grace Addict

I use grace like it’s a drug. It’s the antidote to my big mouth, my I get crabby when I don’t have enough sleep attitude, my selfish pre-occupation, my it’s easier to yell than use a kind voice, self.

I don’t know about you but some days I want to hand in my mama badge and declare myself unfit. Tonight was one of those times.

Our family is in the middle of a, shouldn’t be this hard but why am I surprised it is, move. We left our old home but weren’t able to move right into our new home. So we’re hunkered down in temporary digs. In preparation for moving to our new house this week we went to Lowes to check out a lawn mower, weed eater, and washing machine.

While we were there my tired, sleeping on an air mattress, displaced, hot, sweaty, did I say tired, kids, tried out every nerve I have. They wiggled, they whined, they touched. I was just as bad. I fussed and fumed and threatened. I try not to do that. I usually try to think ahead, give them clear instructions, and very clear consequences to their choices, and then follow through. But I was just as tired as they were.

So instead I lost my cool. At one point I turned to my husband and said in a very firm tone, “I don’t like being a mom, I’m finished.” His response was as practical as expected. Something like, “Well, that’s not an option right now.”

I can’t argue with that, and it’s pretty much how I parent. It’s actually how I do a lot of things. I don’t particularly want to work, I’ve had moments I haven’t wanted to be married, I regularly don’t want to cook dinner, clean my toilet, or shop responsibly. But that’s life, those things aren’t “an option now.” They are what big girls do, even when it’s hard.

My Max touches my heart with his honest words and tenderness to his sister, I’m proud to be his mom. Daily our curly fairy girl charms us. But so often I don’t like mothering. Can you relate? I don’t like how mothering can bring out the worst in me. And yet somehow, miraculously, over time it actually makes me better.

Spring 2011 03

There will always be days like today in Lowes when I lose my cool and I don’t feel like being a mom. It’s what I do with those feelings and failures that matter. I bring them to the cross and honestly confess to Jesus that I need grace for mothering, and everything else in my life.

I also bring them to my children to be covered in grace. Honestly confessing my mistake and asking for their forgiveness. Having perfect parents isn’t going to happen. But my kids can learn from me the art of asking for and receiving grace. I hope my short comings will serve my children well. I hope they will grow up to be grace addicts just like me.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16

What about you? Do you embrace grace for your messy mom moments? How are you teaching your children the value of grace in their lives?

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