Grace For The Day
I sat in my bathroom, doors locked, ugly angry tears pouring out alongside my ugly angry heart.
It’s the only place in my house where the doors lock. It’s my sanctuary. I come here to eat oreos and to pray. And I guess sometimes I shower and brush my teeth. It’s central to my house, so I can hear the kids anywhere. No one is going to die because I lock myself in the bathroom for respite.
I haven’t done this in far too long. And that’s why I tore in here so desperately after sending my boys to their room. It was one of those days. My son is learning to read. That day, my son was refusing to learn to read. All the weight of the responsibility for his education felt so heavy, the fear that he would not be successful gripped me, and the belief that his failing at life would be all my fault. I lashed out. I yelled at my son in the middle of the reading lesson he was refusing to complete, and I left us both in tears.
Am I the only one who has done this? Am I alone in hearing generations of crazy misplaced anger come out of my mouth and land on the innocent people I am in charge of protecting and loving? Am I the only one who has seen the same pain in my kid’s eyes that I felt at their age? The confusion when adults lash out? I promised to tell you guys the truth, even if it makes me look bad. This time, it makes me look really bad.
I sucked at being a mom this week.
Not just “There are cheerios on my carpet and my hair smells funky,” sucked.
Like, “I maybe scarred my kid for life,” sucked.
And it’s true. Moms, we give ourselves and one another a lot of grace. And that’s a good thing. We’re supposed to do that. But what I learned in the bathroom this week is this:
The distance between a doomed-from-the-start-day and a redeemed one, is me owning my sin and giving it back to Jesus.
When I look back on confusing and scary times in my childhood, the times that I still remember and feel and think about 20 plus years later, the ones that land me in therapy and stuff? I don’t remember, even once, the adult responsible owning their sin, repenting to me, and asking for forgiveness. Not once.
And that would have made all the difference.
So yes, it may be (and IS) very true that we all have baggage. We all have moments of failure as moms. And there is absolutely grace for those moments. But I have fallen into the dangerous habit of cheapening the grace of God by downplaying my sin, telling myself that it happens to everyone. It does happen to everyone. But that does not make it okay.
Yelling at my kids is a sin. It damages them. It frightens them. And, speaking practically, it sure as heck didn’t make my son want to finish his reading lesson.
Guys, please don’t hear me coming at you from a spot on a high horse. I’m telling you about ugly crying in my bathroom for goodness sakes.
When I went to the Lord to repent of my sin, He showed me my heart. He showed me that the reason I lashed out was because I was scared. The reason I was scared was because I haven’t been giving my kids over to Him. I had forgotten so much of the wisdom I received from other moms when it comes to homeschooling: thinking I am somehow above needing to start the day with my kids in prayer and reading the Word, thinking my toddler doesn’t need a busy box because I can handle it. Thinking that Jesus’ place in our day to day lives can be condensed down to a lesson and a prayer and not that my love with Him needs to be walked out in Gospel living to my kids moment by moment – daily.
Oh. Did I have repenting to do. And I did it. I did the repenting. And I was met, not with condemnation, but with real bone-deep grace and super practical help. Cause God is a good Dad.
I did the repenting to my son. By the by, if you are struggling in your life with humility, I recommend repenting to a five year old. My son is so much better at forgiving than I am. It’s really beautiful. The Kingdom of Heaven looks like that.
Our day started out with that gross it’s-gonna-be-a-bad-day feeling that you can’t seem to shake. It ended up being one of the best days we have had in a long time.
Because doomed things become redeemed things when we own them, and then give them back to Jesus.
3 thoughts on “Grace for the Day – Fridays With Beth Biggers”
Love this Beth. I did the same thing this week. I spent an hour working on a rainbow loom bracelet for my son after work. I was tired and I didn’t feel like doing it, but he was so excited.
And then at the very end I totally messed it up. And because my son is 7 years old and can be quite dramatic and because he was very tired, he yelled at me and told me that I ruined everything.
So my 37 year old mature self yelled back and told him that he was “treating me like crap” which is a word that I will not let him use. Well, that was the worst thing I could ever say, because I try very hard to use nice words and he caught me and said “Mom! You never say that word! & I yelled, “That’s right but I need to say it right now to you because of how your acting!” He totally broke down.
It was downright awful. And at first I SAT there and angrily cleaned up the rainbow looms and then my sweet sweet three year old said mommy, “I think we should go up to Lincoln’s room and check on him.” sweetheart!
So I ran upstairs, knelt before my son and ask for his forgiveness and told him that I made a very big mistake with my words and that it wasn’t his fault and that he deserves so much better. That boy jumped up and body slam to me with the biggest hug and told me that it was OK and that he loves me.
Yes, that really is the kingdom of God right there, the message was grace through forgiveness, right there in my 7 year old boy. And although, it was a rough few moments, I went to bed feeling strong, humble, and thankful for the Holy Spirit helping me to handle my sin the right way. And that moment was totally redeemed. And that is a beautiful thing.
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Thank you for your story and your honesty! It’s so difficult for me to admit my failings…so much easier to justify them or sweep them under the rug pretending they’re not that big of a deal. Repentance and forgiveness is SO powerful! I’m so thankful for the Gospel and the covering of God’s grace that makes it so I don’t have to be afraid of admitting my sin. I want to glory only in Him and in what He has done!
Thanks again Liz!
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Liz thanks so much for coming by and sharing your honest story. I love how your little one knew the right thing to do when he said lets go check on brother. That is a sign of a really healthy family and a great Momma. Your son learned that from you – to be checked on when emotions are flying high.
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