Have you ever had a parenting moment that you wanted to “do-over”? I sure have!
It pains me to write this as it is definitely one of the many moments that go down in my “parenting hall of mistakes.” However, each mistake has made me a better person and more like the parent I want to be.
I recall an incident with my daughterr as we were completing school work; she had trouble sounding out the letter— “h” for one of her site words.
The drill sergeant in me came out as I yelled, ‘Why is it so hard for you to pronounce this, what is wrong with you? Geez!’
My tone was so ugly and unloving!
I gathered all of her papers together, sloppily packed them in her bag and gave her punishment – time-out (sigh), bath and bedtime!
I vividly remember how fearful and fragile she looked with her head bowed and those innocent dark brown eyes as she tried to collect her tears.
I peeked in the room after sending her off to bed, and with a trembling voice she whispered, “Mommy, I will try again tomorrow.”
I was deeply shaken by her words. How could she possibly want to try again? She had just experienced the brunt of my anger. I mustered up enough courage to kiss her in hopes she would recognize that as unspoken remorse.
The writer of Revelation refers to Satan as “the accuser” (Rev. 12:9-10). One of his awful tricks is to remix our thoughts, as well add on to them. He used his megaphone to expose the voices in my head that re-played my own personal mess-ups and fears.
“She will get her GED just like you did; she will never pick up on things as quickly as she should, I thought.”
“You don’t have the patience to help her,” Satan hissed.
And on and on…
Sadly, I realized I was following a familiar pattern in my own life and I punished her because of the way I thought life had punished me.
I was reared with the one and done mantra! No second (twelfth or twentieth) chance and this caused inner chaos that spilled out to my daughter.
The guilt of my behavior eventually wrestled me to the floor. The carpet fibers etched their shape into my knees and tears slid down my face as I cried out, ‘God how do I fix what it is I have done wrong? (Deep Breath) L-L-L- Lord, I need a do-over, I prayed!’
God spoke one word in a gentle whisper.
I searched my bible and found this treasure in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
My inner critic and the accusing voice Satan had deployed were silenced!
The feeling of guilt had no power over God’s grace.
Friend, is there a mess-up that you have kept in the crevice of your heart? Do you need God’s grace to seep into your tattered soul?
Let’s stop re-playing our mistakes. Let’s extend the grace-full heart of God and connect with our children as opposed to chastising them. Let’s seek and embrace grace when we stumble.
We may not always get it right, but we can echo my daughter’s words “God, I will try again tomorrow!”
We can rest in this truth: God has more grace than us mamas! (Heb: 4:16 NLT)
I want to encourage you to exhale and let go of guilt, now inhale God’s grace! Ah, doesn’t that feel good?