The day started badly. Bad attitudes abounded. Loud wails kept erupting from the kids. I felt that I was in a constant state of correcting them. My patience level was quickly bottoming out. Ironically, I didn’t lose it when I found the explosion of baking powder all over the kitchen floor.
No, I lost it when I found the boys fighting and yelling over something insignificant. “STOP YELLING!” I yelled. “I have had it up to HERE and we are DONE! GO to your rooms RIGHT. NOW! I don’t want to SEE YOU!” As soon as the words left my mouth, I felt the sharp sting of guilt and conviction.
The weight of what I had just said settled on me. Could I have a do-over?
With a few swipes of a finger, I can find hundreds of blog posts, articles, books, and sources that will offer explanations and suggestions on how to be a better mother/person or have well behaved children. “Never Yell At Your Kids Again.” “How to Have Calm Kids.” The list goes on. Some of the resources might prove to be helpful, but all are mere band-aides until I acknowledge the bigger problem of the heart.
When Spock was a baby, motherhood was easy (in retrospect). My challenges mainly consisted of sleep deprivation and such related issues. As he began to grow, I was confronted with the harsh reality that my sweet baby was exactly what God says: a human being with a heart problem that only He can fix.
And it isn’t just the heart issues of my children. The sin of my heart is undeniable. Sin. It’s an ugly word and I don’t like to acknowledge it (especially when talking about myself). But sin is ugly. However, beauty is found in the acknowledgement of sin because it exposes the need for Jesus – the Rescuer.
Motherhood brings my need for the Rescuer to light often for me. In the story I shared earlier, my motivation to correct my children was wrong. I was selfish (because I was frustrated at being inconvenienced from tasks I was trying to accomplish). I reacted in anger. My tone was not gentle. My words were not edifying.
I can’t erase the ugly moments, but I can find forgiveness if I’m willing to ask Jesus and others. Jesus is the only one capable of changing me from the inside out. He shows me what needs to change and gives me the manual and tools I need.
This doesn’t mean that I will no longer sin. It means I can have hope in those moments. He won’t ever call me an impossible case. He is still working on me, and He will until the day I take my last breath. Hope is found in knowing that I am far from what I want to be but I am not, by the grace of God, what I once was!
Motherhood is humbling because my children see what you don’t. They clearly see that their Mommy isn’t perfect. They see (as they have reminded me from time to time) why their Mommy needs Jesus. I pray that Jesus will use me to positively impact their life in spite of me.
The next time I find myself wishing for a do-over, I am not going to dwell in the guilt. I am going to be thankful for a God who forgives. I will move forward in humility and bask in the grace only He can give. I am going to celebrate the fact that the Master Artist is using each day to make me into something new. I am going to move forward in the confidence of believing that He who began a good work in me will carry it on until the day of completion (Philippians 1:6)!
Today is a new day. The Rescuer is by my side!
“No matter how hard they tried, they could never keep God’s rules all the time. God knew they couldn’t. And He wanted them to know it, too. Only one Person could keep all the rules. And many years later God would send Him – to stand in their place and be perfect for them. Because the rules couldn’t save them. Only God could save them.”
~The Jesus Storybook Bible, pg. 107