A letter


In New York Summer on June 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm

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So there I was, dinner made and plated, beverages poured, silverware set, and family seated. David asked Leon to pray. His prayer that night was sweet and heartfelt as always. He prayed for each family member and a need they might have. He prayed that David would make $15,000 a day. Yes and amen to that! He prayed that Sol’s tick bite would be healed. Also, yes and amen to that also. (That is a story for another day!) He prayed for Alex’s work. What would his prayer be for me? I was eager to hear what blessing would burst from his little heart. I listened. “God, I pray mommy wouldn’t be so frustrated all the time.” I smiled softly and caught David’s glance, his eyes wide. I felt like running and hiding under my bed. His words held a mirror to my heart and cut deep.

Saying the past few days have been rough is an understatement. It was a sweet prayer, but not exactly what I hoped my child will think of when it comes to me, their mother. I felt defeated. I felt like a failure, and was wishing there was a way to resign. All that night and yesterday it was eating away at me: episode after episode of bad days and patience-less moments playing and replaying through my mind and heart. I felt frustrated at being frustrated and upset at not always being the mom I want to be to these little people God’s given me–these little moldable souls.

After much angry pondering, I realized that Leon will be fine. I don’t think he’s scarred for life, though he’ll need Jesus like we all do. He’s not keeping a tally board under his bed chalking up all my moments of frustration. He’s quick to forgive and has a heart the size of the moon. And, there are way more happy and laughter-filled memories than not. I realized the person that’s not fine is me. I’m the one keeping score. I’m the one in this last season who remembers all my bad days. I remember the times I raised my voice and regretted it later. I’m the one who’s hated who I’ve been. I’m the one who hasn’t forgiven myself–who deep down feels like a failure in this whole journey of parenting. I desperately wish parenting would allow me to take a couple of years off to go back and get my degree in “momming,” but as we both know, “momming” only comes with on-the-job-training.

I feel like Jesus sat down across the table, poured me a huge glass of grace-juice and said, “Drink it.” I want to. I’ll feel so much better when I do. I’m not exactly sure how to do it, but I’m going to start sipping today. I’m remembering their tender hearts are more important than spilled milk, sinks full of cornflakes, and the entire house being a toy box. I’m remembering I’m on a journey. I know I won’t be perfect, but I’ll keep growing. Sufficient grace. In weakness, perfect power. Sigh.

He’s my on-the-job coach. He’s so gentle in His nudges. He’s so kind in His tone. He’s so patient. He’s all the things I need to be to myself and to my kids. I guess if He’s with me, I can’t fail. Now to believe it.

Sipping grace.


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