I cry (and yell) over spilled milk.
And you start chanting, “I’m sorry, Mama. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
And the floor looms large as I fall to my knees under the weight of my sin. Against you. Against Him.
And it’s just milk.
And you. You are the gift I prayed to receive in the years of darkness. The years the locusts devoured.
Words come more softly now, but with urgent desperation. “Lord, please redeem this moment. This Mama. Please don’t let my failures do permanent damage to her.”
And I find you once again in your place of safety. Cowering under the table, hiding from my harsh words of wrath.
Oh, how I long to return to who we were together – before you turned 3 and your sweet Mama became a B.
And here we are again. Little sister is now 3. And you know better than I that 3 is hard for me.
You’ve walked this path of eggshells before. And I see the look of remembrance with flashes of terror in your eyes. Followed by the flood of forgiveness in the beauty of your smile. And you know better than she that 3 is hard for me.
But you also know that this is why I, why we, need Jesus. And that He will help us. And heal us. As you so lovingly remind me while comforting the wounds my words have inflicted upon your sister. Even while the scars from your own wounds threaten to throb.
And we are partners in grace. Both needing and both receiving.
And the Gospel wins. Again.
And the Savior still reigns. In our hearts.
“Most of us are painfully aware that we’re not perfect parents. We’re also deeply grieved that we don’t have perfect kids. But the remedy to our mutual imperfections isn’t more law, even if it seems to produce tidy or polite children. Christian children (and their parents) don’t need to learn to be ‘nice.’ They need death and resurrection and a Savior who has gone before them as a faithful high priest, who was a child himself, and who lived and died perfectly in their place. They need a Savior who extends forgiveness, total righteousness, and indissoluble adoption to all who will believe. This is the message we all need. We need the gospel of grace and the grace of the gospel. Children can’t use the law any more than we can, because they will respond to it the same way we do. They’ll ignore it or bend it or obey it outwardly for selfish purposes, but this one thing is certain: they won’t obey it from the heart, because they can’t. That’s why Jesus had to die” (Elyse Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace).
What lessons of grace are you learning from your children?