I can’t – or won’t – begin to count my #momfail indiscretions today. This week. I feel like our household has been on a constant cycle of my frustrations, followed by the kids not listening, followed by my short patience, followed by their insistence on pushing the buttons to see what, exactly, could make me snap. Then as I offer what pithy apology I can muster for being frustrated or not using my words or whatever the infraction, we begin the process again. Sprinkle in a sick kid and a dash of medical profession frustrations while you’re at it. Just for giggles.
Sometimes, I just want to stop. Beyond that, sometimes I want my kids to know my limit. Here is where I stop. Here is where I fall to pieces. Here is where I feel I can give no more. But in my heart of hearts, I know that knowledge doesn’t serve the kids best. It only adds a notch of self-righteousness to my belt of savior complex.
But can I tell you what such days does for me? It gives me an ounce of grace for God, especially on weeks like this – Holy Week.
I know, I know – theologically-speaking, God doesn’t “need” grace. He’s the giver, the creator of grace, not the recipient. But in his gift of parenthood, he allows our eyes to be opened to this beautiful parent-child relationship of which I shadow with my littles, and though it’s imperfect, I still gain perspective. Sometimes I wonder if I get a taste of what God feels.
So maybe, on the week we remember God giving over his only son, experiencing the grief and anguish any parent would sell their soul to avoid, I can find a place to give God a break. To stop asking “why?” and simply appreciate that He would go to such lengths to redeem a world and a person He loves. Maybe I can give up being frustrated with the many ways in which we don’t experience the fullness of the resurrection right now and realize that perhaps if I can just be patient God will, indeed, show us his finished work – in myself and in the world.
Or maybe it’s an opportunity to see that God has done everything necessary to make the Kingdom possible. Dinner is served, I just can’t seem to to stop picking around the mushrooms and complaining that “it’s too hot, please blow on it.”
At the end of the day, frustration and tears included, I still love my kids. We sometimes end the day celebrating the mercy of bedtimes and start the next day with a new dose of patience. But in realizing how much it takes to continually offer that grace to my kids, I’ve come to a new appreciation of God’s willingness to start afresh with me.
God may have an edge with his nature of perfection and all. He probably doesn’t end up in tears on the living room floor after we – again – don’t pick up the toys as requested. I doubt he kicks doors or slams computers shut or tosses around hurtful words carelessly. And the fact he hasn’t had it up to here shows me the depths of his patience, the distance of his grace, the hugeness of his love for me. When I reach my limits, it’s hard for me to fathom his limitlessness, but my appreciation for it grows nonetheless.