My Costco marinated salmon with beef flavored Rice-A-Roni seemed simple enough (I know, healthiest meal ever). But as I pulled the salmon out of the oven—with a crying baby grasping my ankle, another kid in time-out and the third screaming from the bathroom for help—I realized the fish had a crispy outside and a raw center. I started seeping tears.
Dinner time was 30 minutes ago and our stomachs and attitudes needed food.
This is motherhood for me. Everyone needing me at once and trying to accomplish a simple task sometimes feels like 10th grade algebra all over again. Why do they put letters and numbers together? So confusing.
I called in hubby for back-up, took care of urgent parenting matters, and then marched back into the kitchen and stood staring at the half burned—half raw salmon, and my pot of rice. “What should we do?” I asked the hubs, who usually cooks because he is amazing like that. “I’ll make something,” he consoles.
Then, I saw it—
“How ’bout I just chop up the salmon, cook it on the stove and add it to the rice?”
“Great idea,” Hubs said.
It was delicious.
Later that evening I realized Christian mothering is much like my salmon mess-up. We try our best to be faithful in this soul-shaping gig and in our best efforts we end up with burnt edges and raw centers.
That is the beauty of Gospel-living. The gospel that reminds us that even our best efforts fall short of the glory of God. That we are loved completely, regardless of our inability to raise perfect children.
God’s grace covers all our sin—and our children’s. And this God-story of Jesus dying on the cross, raising from the dead, and drawing us close through redemption, the forgiveness of our sin—is not just a cute story we read at Easter to our kids—this is real. True. Solid. Firm and unchanging. We are spiritually alive because Jesus died.
This God-powered grace gives us such freedom as moms to relax and enjoy our kids instead of worrying the joy out of our days together. Sometimes I get all tangled inside with fears of how I am measuring up—will my kids know enough? Are we raising them to love Jesus? Will they be loving toward all people, regardless of differences? Will they make a living in this ever-changing global economy?
And Daniel 9:9 reminds us of God’s grace.
We do our best to live, love, and serve our kiddos like Jesus—to prepare them for their future, both here and in eternity. All the while God does the amazing job of making wholeness out of our burnt edges and raw centers.
He forgives our many ways we rebel against His leadership in our lives—and in our parenting. He alone, by the power of His Spirit draws children—hopefully our children—to Himself.
We can’t control the future, but what can we control?
So, mamas, this week when you respond in a harsh tone instead of gentle firmness—when your kid lies about hurting his brother—when you can’t figure out why your baby is crying, or your teenager is dissing you—may these each be reminders of God’s grace.
We all need Jesus. And He forgives us all.
Father, God. You alone are holy. There is none like you. Please forgive me for all my sin. All of it. The sin I know about and the sin I am not even aware of. Help me, oh God, to love my children with the love and grace you give so freely to me. The world is intensely hostile to You. Please protect my children and their tender souls. Guide them by your Holy Spirit to know You and follow You—no matter what. I trust You, alone, oh God. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
How about you? How does God’s forgiveness toward you give you hope for your parenting imperfections? Please share. You can leave a comment by clicking here.