I am a complete failure as a parent.
Within the last couple of days, I have broken up fights between my kids, disciplined them for talking back, complaining and simply not listening, and basically just tried to keep my sanity together with whatever strain of control I could find.
Again, I am a complete failure.
Try as I may, I will never be the perfect parent. My kids will never follow every rule, listen to every suggestion, or be ideally loving to each other. I start each day with a vow to be better-I say that I am going to practice patience, teach them obedience and show them the love of God.
And each day I inevitably end in failure.
After talking with other moms tonight during my small group, I was comforted by the fact that I am not alone. Is it wrong to be comforted by their failure? I suppose that I take comfort because these moms look like they have it all together so that when I find out that they have the same struggles, it lets me feel like I must not be so bad.
We reminisced about our pre-motherhood days and how we knew we used to be fun. We have not always been these nagging, exhausted moms who are constantly longing for just a moment of peace. Our sentences did not always start with, "Stop fighting, Do your homework" and "Why can't you listen to me?"
There is hope for the exhausted mom who is desperately trying to install godly values into her children while keeping balance in the midst of chaos...grace.
It is by God's grace that I am even blessed with the title of "mom." It is by grace that He daily gives me a renewed heart for my children. It is by grace that my kids can see Jesus' love in me even at my lowest points. It is completely by grace that He takes this complaining, unappreciating, selfish woman and not only loves her, but renews His mercies day after day after day.
I never really appreciated the meaning of His strength being made perfect in my weakness until I became a parent. As soon as I sit back, admit failure and give it all up to Him, the grace pours out. To quote from Caedmon's Call, "Your cup runneth over, while I worry about the spill. Teach me to run to You, like they run to me for every little thing."
I am running to You and falling down in defeat. And I am loving every bit of Your renewing mercies.