Thoughts from the Mom Who Needs Grace
It was a normal day at home with my girls. Things were getting a little chaotic and needed to change. Instead of stomping my foot and insisting a different mood, I choose to cultivate one. So I ask, “Would you girls like to help me bake some muffins?”
With holiday tunes humming, and the afternoon light shinning down on our kitchen counter we made cranberry orange muffins.
“You pour the scoop, sister goes next. Will you help me stir? Keep the whisk in the bowl!”
We cheerfully made our muffins and I sent the girls on their way while I cleaned things up.
“It’s so nice when I take time to draw close to my girls instead of griping at them,”I thought to myself.
God’s Grace in Our Chaos
When Adam and Eve were hiding after their sin, God came to them. When his people were miserably missing the point of their relationship with God, God didn’t stomp his foot, shouting “You’d better get your act together or you’re getting a spanking.” No, he came down to Earth through Christ, and he poured out unstoppable love. He draws us to him through the chaos.
Psalm 18:16-19 is one of my favorite passages.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
Our Families Need Grace
As I was pondering these things, a blog post was starting to form in my mind. Then suddenly my attention shifted to the cries I heard from the other room.
One of my daughters had intentionally hurt the other one. With grinding teeth, I sent one to her room, and fetched an ice pack for the other. I felt tears well up in my own eyes as I cradled my girl.
“Who am I to write about parenting? I’m such a failure,” I thought.
A little later I shared my experience with a sweet friend. She reminded me about a lot of good things including the enemy’s tricks — the way he derails us from the good we want to do. She told me to write the post anyway.
So here I am.
The Grace We All Need
It just so happened that my advent study on this particular day was about Rahab. In Joshua 2, we can read about a prostitute in Jericho who hid two Jewish spies and helped them exit the city safely.
She was not a woman of God, but she choose to protect these men, and that’s not all. She choose to believe in God. She and her family are then saved, and as we know she became the great-grandmother to King David, the family line leading to Jesus. Her brave actions inducted her into what many consider the “Hall of Faith”.
“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”Hebrews 11:31
Who was Rahab to be used in such a way?
Ann Voskamp’s words about Rahab in her book, “The Greatest Gift” left an imprint on my heart that day.
“Rahab, in a godless place with a godless past, believes fully- and so lives fully. She’s steps out not in competence but in faith… Great faith is the greatest equalizer, the greatest eraser, and the greatest definer… No personal choice that muddies your life can ever trump the divine choice to wash your life clean. No situation is more hopeless than your Savior is graceful.”
Grace Doesn’t Compare
I don’t need to compare myself to others, feeling greater or less than. We are all in desperate need of God’s grace.
Of course, the good news isn’t that we are all sinners. The good news is that we have a way out.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Acts 2:38
So I reminded myself once again, that I don’t have to be perfect. He is the perfect one. I am the one saved by his grace. My girls won’t be perfect either. They need his grace too.
Who am I?
I am the one to whom God entrusted these two sweet babes. I am the one who can be the giver of his grace. It may get chaotic, but I can go to them still. I can find them, and pour out my love over them.
So once the “talkings” were had, the consequences laid out, and the tears wiped away, I gathered them close. We curled on the couch a read some stories.
Our favorite, The Little Drummer Boy, reminded us that even when we feel we have little to give we can always offer praise. With holiday music humming in the background, and the glowing of the tree shining on us, I knew that I was giving my best to him in that moment.
Living Our Faith
Rahab didn’t need competence to save those men, she needed faith. The Bible is filled with many more who did great tasks they weren’t qualified for. God did the work. They believed he would.
So here I am. I’m not a perfect parent, but I serve a perfect God. He has called me to do great work. Right now, that great work is raising my daughters. It’s the greatest work he’s called me to yet.
I don’t feel qualified. Oh, every day I don’t feel enough. That’s okay. He is enough. He will do the awesome part, and I will have faith. Glory to God in the highest!
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”James 4:8
Prayer Over Our Hearts
Oh, help us! The task of raising our children is not an easy one. We love our children in a deep, maddening sort of way. As we look on them and realize that you look on us in a similar way our hearts are softened.
How great is your love, O Lord?!
It’s both a question and a declaration because we can’t comprehend! Thank you for your grace. Work through us and help us to tenderly show your grace to our children. May we offer to them an expression of your love. May our faith be great! Lord, you are the Holy One!
In the name of Jesus, Amen