Take a deep breath.
This is something that I need to do more often. Certainly we have to breathe to live, but are we really living?
As a working mom to two young children who, by the end of the day, has changed diapers, folded laundry, prepared dinner, disciplined a toddler and maybe made eye contact with my husband, it certainly seems like I’m living….or am I just surviving?
More days than not, after my children are tucked in…I crawl into bed and I realize I’ve been holding my breathe.
With my eyes half-way open, I reflect on the day’s activities. Some things were good and some definitely need a redo. I find myself frustrated as I recall being short with my son when all he wanted me to do was refill his cup.
As mother’s we are always filling cups, whether it be with milk or with love. But how full is our cup?
As I dive further into my thoughts…my cup is half empty instead of half full and I’m mad.
This is where grace comes in.
We have to have grace; grace on our children and grace on ourselves.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was looking through rose colored glasses, just like many new mothers. My baby was going to be happy, we were going to have this wonderful bond and motherhood would be blissfully perfect.
Then I had an unplanned cesarean section, my baby suffered from severe reflux and colic and in turn, I was depressed. My idea of motherhood was flushed down the toilet.
I knew that I was depressed, which naturally made me more depressed. So the only logical thing to do was ignore it.
Satan had me right where he wanted me: secluded and believing falsehoods about my parenting skills and about my baby’s love for me.
One night, in the quiet darkness as my son slept in his crib, I got on my knees next to him and prayed. I was completely broken…I had nothing left to give. I can’t remember exactly what I said to God that night, but he heard my broken cry for help and healing…he is always listening.
It took me ten months to overcome the grief I had from my delivery experience and to accept this precious child that God had blessed me with. I finally took hold of the novel concept that my baby was a real person, just like me, with real emotions; happy, sad or indifferent.
Real people are not perfect and all people are real.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes to the church in Corinth: But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Grace. Sweet grace. It promotes living not just surviving.
I still want things in my life to be “just so.” Certainly it’s okay to be organized and have personal goals…..but I am learning to have grace and give grace. When my house is a wreck or more importantly, when I am short with people I love, I have to take a deep breath, ask for forgiveness and hold on to the promise that God’s grace is enough…I have to get over my failures and happily and gracefully move on.
As I finally fade into sleep, I inhale the promise that God’s grace is enough, and even though I was short with my son when all he wanted me to do was fill up his cup, I smile knowing that he will be thirsty in the morning.