Giving Grace

Sometimes I hear a truth and it weighs so heavy on me that I have a hard time breathing.

Simple statements can change my entire outlook, rearrange my priorities.  Suddenly I see the world through different lenses and there is just no going back.

Over the past year, my parenting has gone through some radical shifts.

My kids have exited the Baby Days and we are ushering each other into an entirely new era.

Gone are the days of diapers, sippy cups, and cribs.  I am now in the business of raising real people with real feelings and emotions.  Of course I'm aware that these things have been there all along, but now they are expressed, in the open, and there is no more denying that my actions have a direct effect on them.

I was reading a book, I can't even remember the name of it, but I got to a line that stopped me.  It made so much sense and embodied exactly what I want my Mothering Legacy to be.

Give them grace.

Openly, undeservedly, unconditionally, forever.


Not only do I love the way the word sounds and the meaning behind it, it also covers a multitude of errors.


I turned it over in my mind for a few days and let my heart tell me what it was going to mean in my life.  For me?  It's second chances, calm answers to harsh actions, peace and love and hugs and kisses that never end.  It's there when I don't feel like giving it.  It's putting myself on the other end of my lecture and changing my tune to what I'd want to hear.

It's love thy child the way I want to be loved.

And if someone criticized me for not doing something right on the first, second, third try, it would crush my feelings.  I'd be hesitant to try again.  Hardened.

I don't want to be loved with furrowed eyebrows or huffs and puffs and "go find something to do"s.

I want, well, I want grace.

I want it to be ok to try and fail miserably.  I want to have a safe spot to call home base.  And I want to give that to my kids.

Give them grace has become my new motto.

I wrote it on chalkboards, notecards, day planners, and my heart.  I repeated it to myself in every imperfect moment and let it carry me through learning to be graceful.  I said it until it was solid, forever there when I close my eyes.

It will be a process.  There are times I still lose it and forget to be full of grace.

But the wonderful thing about grace is that it's contagious and my kids are catching it.  They are forever graceful and forgiving to a Mother that often does not deserve their tender love.  We are working this out together and learning to love each other well.

Milk will be spilled and things will get lost.  There will be crabby days and missed naps and voices will be raised.

But next to all that, next to the things that make us so human, will be grace.


Nicole T said...

"It's putting myself on the other end of my lecture and changing my tune to what I'd want to hear." I love that! And it is so true! I have, recently, really been thinking about that particular statement. Why do we yell, or criticize? Why can't we just discuss? Resolution of an issue will come when we are both involved, much more than when I give my one-sided criticism. Then, they probably only hear about 1/10th of what I said. When someone is vomiting all over you, you turn your head to avoid it.

Anyway, great message this morning!

Teresa said...

I facebooked, tweeted, and pinned it. Thank you.

Donovan Doins said...

OH Nicole! This echoes my heart...God has been working on our house with this the last few months. I was so convicted of the need for humility with my child - how can I give grace without it.

Thank you

Kelsey Nichols said...

The word grace has been on my mind so much lately, it's actually ironic that you posted this as I have a draft in my posts of the same thing. Great minds think alike. My prayer has been for God to show me grace and how to have it for my kids, along with a compassion that could only be of God Himself. I'll continue to pray for you as this journey is not easy, the human Momma in me tries to roar all too often. I want to be a Christ Like Momma - grace is required for that :) Love you girl!

Ashley O'Brien said...

I'm finally out of the infant days and am busy adjusting to toddler days....sippy cups, real food, testing limits and my patience. Thank you for sharing this..,I will give my son grace. And maybe by the time we exit this stage and enter the stage you're at now I will be just a but more gracious, patient and kind. :)

Tracy said...

Thank you for this, truly. I needed to read it today.