This is what my husband brought to my bed yesterday morning. He knows that I would usually prefer an experience over a thing (though I’ll admit I like things) and my ultimate experience usually involves food. So, when it’s my birthday or Mother’s Day or some other type of needy Micha day, I get breakfast in bed and I milk it for all it’s worth. There was no way I was getting out of bed before 9:30 yesterday. I stayed in my covers and read my book. And it was awesome.
Then, I thought, my mother would never have stayed in bed till 9:30! And August has been waiting to have his breakfast this whole time because I’ve been letting Chris cook this incredible meal for me. The little guilt bird in my brain started chirping and chirping. It won’t shut up lately.
I can’t seem to stop thinking about my faults as a mother. I’m sure that’s because August has become much more difficult since Brooks was born. More tantrums, deeper layers of stubbornness, a personality trait so different than my own people-pleasing character that does not care if his parents are upset with him. (When I was a kid, I cried when my parents shook their heads at me in disappointment.) Suddenly, all the things I felt like I knew about motherhood don’t seem to make sense anymore. I feel like I’m floundering. Do I scream too much? Do I expect too much? Am I too harried? Am I not teaching August to clean his toys up because I’m still really bad at cleaning my stuff up? My brain is full of questions about my worth as a mom, my failures as a mom, my fears for how I might damage my kids.
Chris is quick to remind me that every child of every parent is damaged because we’re all broken. So it’s our job to remain prayerful in the decisions we’re making with our kids, to be humble when we’ve made a poor decision, and ultimately, to pray for God to fill in the gaps with his grace.
Friday, during naptime, I found myself praying (miracle, I know!) and these were the fears I was listing out for God: every possible thing I could be doing wrong, every fear about the kind of mother I am. And you know what I felt God was saying to me? It was this: What if every thing you’re afraid of is true? What if you are the failure you’re afraid you are? What’s true about Me then?
That’s when I realized that even if all I do to love my kids fails them, God’s grace is still deep enough to heal them, to bring them out of childhood with hope and peace and wisdom. That’s what it means that I get to live with hope and security in my life and calling. However I fail, I believe in a God who not only rescues this flailing woman, but also the souls I flail against.
That’s my relief, even if my brain tortures me. That, and really yummy French toast.