Our Children Always Deserve Our Grace
This was the scene last night of a mighty, mighty battle…
…a little boy taking on the world with his strong will and terrible threes…
…a little boy who refused to take a nap and was just plain exhausted…
…a little boy who is transitioning from being at home to preschool.
…a little boy who didn't get to do something he thought he was going to do.
…a little boy who was coming down with his sister's cold, and we didn't know it yet.
This was the scene tonight of a mighty, mighty battle…
A battle scene Satan was all over.
Writhing in joy at this little boy taking on the world with his fit. Elated at my lost patience and raised voice. Squirming with delight at the thought of defeating me and my motherhood today with an epic fail as an ending.
Bathtime came and went, and I thought the battle was finished. But, truly, it was just beginning, as every emotion in his little being finally came to a head. And every ounce of exhaustion in my body came pouring out--in a raised voice, hands thrown up in surrender,
and lost patience.
My hands up, and my back hurting, from carrying him so far--in and out of time-outs, up the stairs--screaming and crying--into the bathtub and finally wrangling him into his pajamas that he tried over and over again to tear back off of his weary little body.
I could see his mood change in his eyes. And, it broke my heart. But, in that moment, something inside of me was past taking the time to respond, so instead, I chose to react.
I cleaned up his mess and huffed a prayer of forgiveness up to God. I asked Him for grace. More like begged, if I'm being honest. And, it was within that prayer and moment with Him falling to pieces amidst another motherhood failure moment, that He entered my heart with a fresh perspective to cling to, ever-so tightly, during these fleeting moments of motherhood.
As He whispered gently, "My child, how many times do I clean up your messes? How many times do I ask you to do something, and you choose to do something else instead? How many times do I forgive you? How many times, each day, do I offer you grace? How many times do I pick up after you? How many times? What I do for you, you need to model for, and teach to, your own children. They will learn everything from your example.”
Words I didn't want to hear. A constructive-criticism kind of moment. Such profound truth there in the upstairs hallway. But, goodness, I knew He was right. As always. I knew this moment with Him was a take-away I needed to keep. Ever-close to my mama-heart.
And then, his tiny, half-gone voice...
"Mommy, I am sorry. I am tired, and I am just feeling sad."
My mama-heart just couldn't resist, as God melted it right then and there, on the spot.
"Oh, buddy, I know! I am so sorry too. I am tired too, and when you are sad, I am so sad too! I am so sorry we are having a rough day."
And so, I gently pulled this tear-stained, precious baby boy into my lap, I simultaneously crawled into my own Heavenly Father's lap. Begging Him to once again clean up my mess, as I finished cleaning up my own child's.
Rocking a tiny soul back to a place of comfort. Letting my tears flow onto his soft, golden locks. Smothering his cheeks with more kisses than I could count.
It was in that moment that I lost myself. Completely and utterly. In God's humbling example of a child's beautiful, unconditional forgiveness. While at the exact same time, finding myself once again. In the unfailing embrace. Of His unequivocal, ever-giving grace.
For, what Satan fails to realize—each and every time--is that my weapon of choice never fails.
God's grace always wins.
An unwavering shield.
Every single time.
And, God's grace?
God's grace always shows up.
When we least expect it.
When we least deserve it.
But, always, when we need it the very most.
Sometimes, we forget. These little people are human too. And just as our Heavenly Father Above gifts us this most beautiful blessing when we least deserve it, our children more-than-deserve for us to model the exact same kind of understanding.
"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8)