Yesterday was one of the worst parenting days I’ve ever had. There was not one time during the day that one of my children was not completely out of control. I was livid by the time my husband came home. In fact, I crawled into the bed as he finished eating dinner and hid until he had put the kids to bed. (He could feel my weariness and I didn’t even have to ask!)
After the kids went to bed (screaming), my husband and I sat on the couch and talked—about parenting, God and for some reason about dishes. My husband declared that he was better at keeping the kitchen clean because he put the dishes away immediately instead of letting them pile up. (Which, in all honesty, is kinda true.) But after the day I had, this pointed look at my failure to keep the kitchen clean hurt my feelings deeply.
I couldn’t talk anymore. So, I got up, went to my room, got ready for bed and decided to read. I picked up Don’t Make Me Come Up There! by Kristen Welch. You might know Kristen from We are THAT Family. She’s a blogging genius, an advocate for Compassion International and has started The Mercy House, a maternity home in Kenya. And I am in awe of her. I got her book as a review (because I wanted to share the awesome news of her book!) and had read a few of the short chapters when it first came in the mail.
But this night? It was as if the book was written just for me. I started with Chapter 12 entitled, “When I Fail.” Oh, I had failed this day–as a parent, homemaker and even a wife. Kristen tells of how she blew it as a mom, how she was short-tempered and impatient.
And with each confession, I cried more. I felt the same way. A failure.
Then she relayed something her pastor taught her, “When I cut my hand chopping veggies in the kitchen, the blood in my body rushes out of the wound. That’s what it was created to do. Our blood was designed to wash out the impurities and clot to protect us. When I fail as a parent or wife or a person, His blood goes to my injured heart. It rushes to the place I hurt. Because that’s what it was created to do. He is there to wash away my regret and my sin when I fail.”
By this time I was sobbing.
I try so hard–SO HARD–to teach my kids to love God. I try so hard to point them to Jesus. But sometimes I forget to do the same. Sometimes I lean on my own understanding. Sometimes I rely on my past experience. Sometimes I just think I know best and I fail to do the best thing I can do:
Lean into Jesus.
Bring him my parenting failures.
Allow His blood to cleanse my bad attitudes towards my kids.
Rely on His strength to be my joy.
I ended up reading the rest of the book that night–all 52 chapters. And the more I read, the more God’s Word and Kristen’s open and honest confessions, stories and comfort healed my wounded heart. I felt like I had a sweet friend saying, “Yup. I’ve done that too.” with every one of my mess-ups.
Oh, and my husband came into the room to apologize and held me as I sobbed into his arms. I forget I need him, too sometimes.
Do you need some encouragement today? You’re not alone. You might fail as a mom every day. (I know I do.) There are moms everywhere going through the same thing as you. And Jesus is here. He made your children. He made you. And He put the two of you together. He can teach you to work together, to love together and to lean on Him together.
ps–all the author royalties from Kristen’s book go to Mercy House Kenya. Will you buy the book? You can read it and pass it along to another mom!