Grace Isn’t Working…

Grace just doesn’t seem to be working. I find myself slipping back into law. “No Kindle for you.” “No dessert after dinner.” It quickly becomes a rules/consequences home without me even realizing it.

I’m running from 1 baby to another, and the 3 older boys get leftovers. I don’t have time for the heart to hearts. It’s a quick jab, “Caleb, please stop doing that.” And if it continues then law follows.

I feel disappointed in myself as I write this. Satan waltzes in and empties me with words like “failure, hypocrite, fool.” I want to fight him but I don’t. I agree. Shake my head that yes, I am all of those things and more.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6a)

I have nothing to offer our kids but grace. I’m a sinner. No good. Looking to law to justify myself and save them.

BUT…

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how to stop the crazy with 2 babies in order to deal with the sin that comes out of my older boys’ hearts. I don’t know what can change to make time for these necessary conversations.

But I can face today knowing that His grace is bigger than my law. My failure to obey the law is why grace is so big. And so ridiculous. And the only thing that will change me and the 5 little people that call me Mommy.

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It’s how he rolls!=)

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2 comments

  1. Oh how I feel your pain! I think the simple fact that you’re worried about extending grace shows more about your heart than you may be able to see. Helping our children grow into healthy, productive & responsible adults is not easy but placing on them negative repercussions for deliberate acts of rebellion is not “un-Christ-like” or lacking grace. Taking away the kindle or dessert is preparing them for obedience to authority…which we all live under. Yes, those meaningful conversations are important and I’m sure you have had them and continue to do so even though they may not be at the exact moment you want each time. Allowing our children to exercise freewill (safely) to make decisions and live with the repercussions is a very Christ-like thing to do. An example made by Phillip Keller in his book, The Good Sheperd (I believe) comes to mind. Sheep by nature are curious and not so bright. They wonder and seek out “greener grass” in the strangest places. Keller painted a picture of a sheep who jumped down on a ledge while in the mountains with his herd to partake in some luscious green grass but once down he could not get back up. If the shepherd was to immediately attempt to rescue the wandering sheep then he would fight and possible injury himself & the shepherd or worse. BUT if the shepherd carefully watched and guarded the sheep, ensuring he remained safely on the ledge, in the predicament in which he placed himself, until the sheep was weak, tired & unwilling to fight then the sheep could be safely delivered from his plight. God does allow us to stand on those ledges and we must allow our children to do the same, as much as it hurts. Allowing them to make choices and live with the consequences, even if the consequences seem trivial at the moment, prepares them for life. No we shouldn’t threaten but if the choice has been stated clearly and willful disobedience occurs then a consequence is not unreasonable. Grace is not forfeited. You still have unconditional, unearned, never wavering love for the child. So much love in fact that you’re giving them the choice to choose…if you continue to XYZ which is not permitted in our home b/c it XYZ then you will not be allowed dessert tonight. House “rules” and appropriate/safe conduct doesn’t negate grace. Having 3 children 4 and under, I do understand the urge to bark commands and snap to get results esp having all boys who I wholeheartedly believe are “hard of hearing” & fight like little puppy dogs. Barking & nipping (no pun intended) on my part are not Christ-like, I agree, but discipline for willful acts of disobedience is. As a mother, I find giving grace to myself is the more difficult task at hand. Grace to realize I didn’t get it all right or even somewhat right that day but striving to do things better the next and apologizing when I’ve wronged my little guys. My hope is that allowing them to learn from their mistakes and mine in a safe loving home will instill within them memories and lessons that will last a lifetime. I pray that these lessons will make them great followers of Christ, amazing & loving daddies, strong & caring leaders & so much more.

    1. Thanks Meredith! That is some rich stuff you wrote. It’s encouraging to know we all have struggles and none of gets it right every time. We are totally for consequences. I just know when I’m slipping into threats and not taking the time to “shepherd the heart.” That’s been the struggle lately. Praying for all us…that we would love well in all the ways Mommyhood asks us to love. Thanks!=)

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