God's grace always comes at just the right moment.
No-the truth is, its always there and available, I just fail to see it for what it is.
Grace was always there, in his dark room, when he woke up for the 9th time. It was there when he'd cry at my every attempt to get him to sleep without me holding him. It was there as I held his tiny hand through the railing on his crib, my body aching at laying on the floor at 3am. It was there when hot tears slid down my face at that wrenching feeling of yet another failed attempt to get him to "sleep like he should". Grace was there when I begged, on bended knee, for answers as to what I was doing wrong and why he just couldn't seem to sleep without me holding him.
I remember those dark nights, sleep exhausted and soul tired, hearing his cries and my cringe. I remember being angry--he wasn't preforming like the books, he was confusing and I can't control this. Each new horizon I'd run to; once he stopped teething, once he turned one, once I stayed home more, once he turned two...each met me with failure and a dose of false hope for the next milestone. My reactions made me hate myself. How can you cuddle and whisper loves to the same child you roll tired eyes at and let out exasperated sighs to?
Maybe the true struggle in these soul shaking, parenting moments isn't about finding the proper routine, or correct lavender, bedtime-bath soap, or tidy homes and clean floors but about where I find grace, what I do with my past and what my heart is full of.
~I wish, when my children are needy and whiny and feel like sand paper to my nerves that I could give them grace rather than exasperation. I wish them to see me pick up my splintered cross and find joy in everyday moments. I wish them to see me take joy in the Lord rather than performance and by the book living. I wish them to see me accept and give grace wildly--knowing, because of Jesus, I was able to find grace in the hard moments and in the sunshine moments all the same.
~I wish I could remember to be defined by the Lord and not of my past. I am not an easily angered person; I am simply capable of darkness when I forget to cling to Jesus, but when I do, anger has no place in this heart. My past gets in the way of my accepting of Jesus' forgiveness and love. I'm not defined by what I've done or do, but Who I love and Who I serve.
~I wish, when my boy was smaller, that my reaction to an ever waking baby wouldn't have been to look for the problem in my son, but to see the problem the Lord was pointing out in my own heart. My heart is full of self and rights and to-do lists and a tally sheet and sin. When those midnight cries rousted my heart, darkness that filled it, spilled over.
Many mamas I know have, are, and will struggle with this battle of sleep-if not sleep, something else, for the job of a mother is hard. Some will have babies that fit the books, some will have trail blazers, but we will all struggle with this holy calling of motherhood and questioning our every move.
The legacy I long to leave my children isn't about doing it all right, but that I found Jesus' joy in daily steps. That I was able to laugh at the ice cream melted into the carpet, that I sang praise songs while drying dishes, that I loved and found my purpose in God and not in mundane duties.
I've learned so much from this boy, just 3 years old; that if I just took the time, I could see that what surrounds me isn't to-do lists, laundry piles, sleep-issues and struggle, but grace.