Y’all. Seriously. I’ve had so many motherhood failures lately that I’m clinging tight to this big, huge, monumental, dripping-with-hope win.

The other night after disciplining my 8-year-old multiple times in a row for not listening and not listening and not listening…and not listening, I firmly-with-clinched-jaw said in the most controlled voice I could muster, “Take. Your. Shower.” Then I closed the door to the bathroom (while hearing him call me “the meanest mommy in the world” #awesome), went into my bedroom, leaned over my dresser, and prayed.

Lord Jesus, help me.

A couple minutes later, after my blood pressure dropped and my perspective purified, I walked back in the hallway and heard my boy talking. He was in the shower, and he was crying, and praying, out-loud, to Jesus! “God, I’m so sorry. I don’t deserve Jesus dying on the cross for me. I don’t want to be mean to my mommy. I don’t want to make her sad. Forgive me. Help me. Please.”

Y’all. I died.

I crumbled into this messy, blubbering heap on the hallway floor, hand on my chest like love had stabbed my mother heart so deep it hurt. I got myself together and opened the bathroom door as he was finishing up. I didn’t want to embarrass him so I tried to play super cool. He got really quiet as I walked in and said, “Mom, I’m so sorry.”

All coolness flew out the window after that. “Buddy! I’m so proud of you! I couldn’t be MORE proud of you! It’s not about you being perfect. I’m proud of you because when you made a mistake you turned to your God!”

We went on to talk about how none of us deserve Jesus dying for us. It’s called grace. And then we hugged — the tight kind of hug.

God wrecked me that night. He gave me this precious glimpse of how His daddy heart must be towards us as His children. He isn’t looking for perfection in our motherhood journey. He isn’t. We can’t do it all perfectly. We’re going to fail over and over again. What pleases His Father heart, more than our seeming-perfection, is our contrite, humble, and broken spirit when we fail. I think it makes Him crumble on the floor of His holy throne room — proverbially speaking of course.

We’re going to mess up. We just will. But when we fail, the answer is clear. We bow low.

Instead of trying to cover up our failures, or defend our position, or justify our hormonal attitude (can I get a witness?), we turn to our God. We humble ourselves before Him with a broken spirit and ask that He forgive us and cleanse us. Then, we ask our kids to forgive us. And then, we move forward in grace. It’s why Jesus died.

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About the Author

Speaker, author, and blogger, Lara Williams lives in central North Carolina with her firefighter husband and their three kids (two of whom are of the boy-kind). The beat of her heart is that we as Jesus-followers would walk through our days having our theology collide with our moments. “We’re not all on identical journeys, but in Christ we’re all equipped to walk whatever road God lays before us in love and power.” You can connect with Lara online at www.LaraWilliams.org.