when imperfect motherhood leads us back to grace


At one point this week, one of my children screamed from the bedroom, "I hate this place so much!" 

To be honest (which I always try to be here), I wasn't loving "this place" so much either.

Summer has been trying at times here for us (well, mostly me). We're off our regular routine of friends, community, and school. I'm dealing with some allergy issues. My husband is in the middle of some demanding projects at work. And let me just point out, it's my first time raising these particular human beings (and combination of human beings), and goodness, it can be hard. 

(In all of these things I realize I'm so blessed--husband's job, amazing community, my children. But blessings are not always easy.)

There are many joyous and beautiful (and Instagrammable) moments of motherhood, but there are also plenty of "I hate this place" moments.

Sometimes I want
to tap out
a new career path
a stunt double?

Mothethood rubs raw every area selfishness. It pushes me past all comfort (and boy, do I like my comfort!). It reveals all my messiness right along with theirs.

And then of course I feel like I'm failing them. But would "perfect mommy" convince them of their need for grace and the surety of God's provision of it through Jesus? 

Well first of all, there is no perfect mommy, so that's really a silly question. There's really only either honest, Jesus-needing mommy, or hypocritical, Pharisaical, lying to herself mommy (who says and thinks things like "I can't believe you would do something like that!" and forgets that she did something similar five minutes ago. Oh, just preaching to myself here).
"Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:20-21 ESV)
I don't understand all of this particular part of Romans, but I do get that God's grace is always greater than our sin. If you keep reading in Romans 6, Paul answers the next question that pops in our minds after reading the last verses of Chapter 5: does this mean we're "promoting" laziness about sin so we can experience more grace? Paul replies, "Certainly not!" How can you resurrect a dead person that no longer lives? How can we, made alive by the Spirit, return to slavery to sin? And how can we, who love our Savior, delight in heaping more sins upon Him?

Grace is not a license to sin, but it's the only effective place from which to obey and flourish and grow--out of gratitude for a great debt paid--not obligation. It's where Jesus graciously starts all of us who come to Him in faith.

Jerry Bridges explains this idea really well in one of the first books I read that introduced me to the idea of God's daily grace. He writes, 
"Nothing cuts the nerve of the desire to pursue holiness as much as a sense of guilt. On the contrary, nothing so motivates us to deal with sin in our lives as does the understanding and application of the two truth that our sins are forgiven and the dominion of sin is broken because of our union with Christ.” ― Jerry BridgesThe Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
I'm challenged as I write this that "good motherhood" and discipline-making means helping my children continually step into the starting place of grace--so that I too can join them there. 

Guilt does not motivate them to grow; grace does.

Yes, discipline, teach, train (see 2 Timothy 4:2 below), but somehow we need to learn to do it without condemning. Like Jesus does it (see Jesus and the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11).


(printable card from the "Mission: Motherhood" set in the shop)
On the days that bring us to shouting, tears, and weakness, we need to know that grace can still abound. What clearer "preaching" of the Gospel is there in the home, I wonder?

Child of mine, let's start here together. It's a good thing Jesus loves sinners like us, isn't it?  

And this place--I love. 

Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from Romans 5:1-2! You can download your page (in English or Spanish) by clicking on the images below!*

PRAYING the Word
Thank you that we get to stand in your grace right now! Thank you that you did all the work to make us holy and at peace with you. Help us remember and rejoice in this today!

QUESTIONS to ask about the verses:
1. Where does our peace with God come from? What about our access to God?
2. Do you feel God's grace for you today? Can you do anything step out of God's grace? (Hint: Did you do anything to get it?)
3. Are you rejoicing in hope today? If not, what do you need to be reminded of?



More on grace here:

GRACE FOR THE GROWING


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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2 comments

  1. Grace and encouragement just oozing out. That's what I love about you.

    ReplyDelete