We have been attempting to potty-train in our house the last few weeks. To say it's going poorly would be an understatement...but here's the worst part about what's going poorly. I realized that me, as a parent, was the PROBLEM! Not my sweet daughter, not her developmental stage, not her ability to understand what I was saying and asking of her. No, it was my incredible sense of urgency to make this happen NOW, not on her time, that was getting in the way. It struck me, like the air had been removed from the room, how impatient I am. And it saddened me greatly - there were a lot of moments I was a really crappy mom. From yelling at her for peeing on the carpet, then telling me about it (I am not proud of this...in fact, maybe this if my way of confessing my brokenness and pleading for forgiveness)...and instead of reacting with love and grace, I shamed her. Oh how that breaks my heart, to know that my precious angel came to me with something she felt sorry for and instead of receiving her with open arms, I reacted with anger.
I've been thinking a lot about how often God reaches out to us with open arms and we shame him, or 'curse' His name (maybe not intentionally, but I know I sure do) or just flat-out turn the other way. And instead of being vengeful and hateful towards us, He waits for us to remember who He is. Not that there aren't repercussions for our actions, I simply mean He is always there with open arms. This has hit me very heavily the last few days, as I think about how I react to my child, His child. Do I open my arms to her at every turn and let her know I am here, no matter what? Do I open my arms to myself, realizing that God's amazing grace extends to me as a parent as well? His words, "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11) have captured my heart this week as I've gone over and over again in my head how I have let my sweet girl down. But I know, just as He is teaching her, He is teaching me...and I too need to turn and run into those beautiful arms of forgiveness!
Sweet Lord and Savior - parenting is rough! This is not for the weak...and it's proof again and again how deeply and truly we need you. Need your mercy, your wisdom, your patience, your guidance and most importantly, your grace. Father, I pray that you would help me, and my fellow parent friends, to have grace with ourselves. I know I am not the only one who is incredibly hard on myself as a parent. We will fail our kids, we will let them down, we will need to ask for their forgiveness and then move past it. But, you will never fail them, you will never leave them and you will never forsake them. Help us to teach them this and model this for them, that we believe that in our own lives! Lord Jesus, I would be lost without your grace. I pray that you would mold me into the mother you have called me to be and love that sweet girl you have placed in our lives as you have created me to. And Father, I pray for your patience as we journey onward. Thank you that you hear these prayers, and thank you that your mercies are new every day! Lord, we are grateful and humbled - in Your Son's Mighty Name, Amen