My oldest is 9, so in no way do I consider myself a “veteran” mom. However, as I reflect on the early days of motherhood, and when I talk with moms younger than myself, I am struck by something specific.
Young moms (by young I mean new to the gig…not necessarily young in age) need one thing more than anything else.
There is nothing but Grace for you. An overwhelming, abundant, perfect Grace. If there’s one thing I wish I could get Keely 9 years ago to understand, it would be Grace.
Your house is a mess but your kids are alive? Grace.
You haven’t showered or brushed your teeth but your kids are fed (and alive)? Grace.
You yelled at your 18-month-old? Grace.
You’re not sure how many hours of TV your kids have watched today? Grace.
You don’t have homemade treats for small group or playdates? Grace.
You don’t attend small group or playdates? Grace.
Your husband’s work shirts are dirty or he has to dig through piles of clean laundry that’s never put away? Grace.
You don’t remember the last time you had 2 minutes of peace so that you could pray or read your bible? Grace.
You’ve fed your family McDonald’s twice this week? Grace.
Ladies, God sees. God knows. God hears your heart’s cry.
Jesus died for your freedom.
Freedom!! Freedom from guilt (Oh, mom guilt. It’s a KILLER.) and shame and expectations and obligations and fear and doubt and worry. He hasn’t given us an unrealistic ideal of the perfect wife and mother and expect us to achieve it. He gives us Jesus, who fulfilled every expectation and every obligation and every bit of the law because He knows we can’t.
Do I live each day in freedom and with full knowledge of the Grace God has for me? Nope. Not even close. I still beat myself up. I still hold myself to impossible standards. I still feel like a failure every day. I still worry that I have completely and irreversibly ruined my children.
Some days those things feel true. So.True. Especially when the evidence seems to be stacked in the favor of all of those things.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
If I could have you in my living room for coffee, or walk around the block with you, or text with every single one of you, or put my arm around you and whisper to you (which would totally make me uncomfortable but I would do it because I want you to know how serious I am), I would preach Grace to you. Grace to you. Grace to me. Grace to your marriage. Grace to your children. Grace to your weary, tired, lonely, shame-filled heart.
Grace upon grace.