Avoiding a meltdown at any given moment in any given place.
Waiting for an hour while toddler causally eats breakfast. lunch. and dinner. (I thought I ate slow!)
A tantrum in the middle of a store or restaurant.
A curt remark to my toddler after she asks for a snack for the hundred millionth time within 20 minutes.
Suddenly deciding: "I'm going to scream at the top of my lungs when I don't get my way." (*eyeroll)
Little fingers under the door when you just need to go to the bathroom just this once by yourself.
The tug on your shorts consistently the entire time you are making dinner, not to mention the whining that accompanies the cute little tugs.
Come on other mammas, you know what I'm talking about. In these moments, or maybe I should say after 100 of these moments happen within an hour, we come to an end to ourselves quickly.
I've been struggling to parent a four year old and a two year old. There are decisions I'm making on the fly seemingly every second. There's not enough time to think for a day as to whether that decision will have any lasting negative effects or whether that decision is shepherding their hearts as I've been called to do. I've been honest with people that ask about how our we're doing – we struggle as each one grows and matures daily with different personalities and different ways in which needs are met. And constantly I receive the same advice: "Do the best you can and let God's grace get the rest of it." Tears flow from my eyes as I write this. My best is not good enough
Those words are scary. Those words haunt me as I think of the responsibility that God's given me in raising and shepherding my children's hearts.
But in meditating on that phrase, I realize exactly– my best is not good enough and to relinquish that control, honestly, is freeing. It is not enough to let God's grace get the rest
. I need it all. I need God's grace to cover, bath, suffocate even my best stuff I can pull out in my arsenal of parenting (don't laugh, it's slim). I will never be the perfect example that I need to be, but I don't want them to see me as someone that's perfect. I want them to see me as a sinner. I want them to see me as someone saved by the undeserving grace of God. I want them to see me as my heart hurts when I sin, and the Spirit calls me to repentance. I want them to see and remember when I hold them in my arms and confess my sin to them and apologize. I want them to see me shed tears for my sin. I want them to hear me say that I cannot do anything right apart from Christ.
And most of all, I want them to see Christ. I want them to see him for the beauty that he is. I want them to see him as the perfect one. The one worth living for and the reason for fighting sin. I want them to see that despite my failing attempts at the fight, he still loves me, calls me, and lavishes grace upon me.
So yeah, my best is not good enough. I'm still trying to figure out what it means day in and day out to rely on the grace of God to parent, but I'm learning, I'm failing, and I'm relying on his grace to pull me back up and persevere.
Let us rest in the sweet words that Paul wrote, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Let us boast in this. Let us cling to God's promise that His grace is sufficient. Let us rest in the promise that His power is made perfect in our weakness. Let us let go and watch with eager expectation as the Lord reveals the flow of His grace day in and day out in ways you could have never imagined.
Jana White is a staff writer for The Daily Grace Co.