Friday, October 14, 2011

An honest look at grace

I wasn't a very good first time mom.  I thought I was, which probably made it worst.  I had major anger issues (now I just have anger issues) coupled with the fact that I thought authority meant breaking my child's will to conform to mine.  It makes me cringe to write those words.
So, when my oldest son has trouble going to sleep at night, the old Mommy guilt creeps back. 
Do you know what it says?  Maybe it says the same to you?

"He is so anxious at bedtime because you traumatized him by yelling at him so much to stay in his bed when he was a toddler." 
"You scared him one to many times by grabbing his little arms in frustration to hold him to the bed."
"That latch you put on his door to keep him in, probably not a good idea."

I could also list the excuses that come to mind:

"I felt like a single mom with a husband in residency, I needed him to sleep.  I needed a break."
"He was so strong willed, he left me no choice."
"I didn't know any better.  The parenting advice I was receiving was not a good match for my temper or my kid."

And do you know what?  All of those things could be true.  The accusations and the excuses.  But neither of those things change the fact that I wish I could do it over.  I wish I could wrap my oldest boy in my arms and go back in time and be a better mommy to him. 
And it dawned on me today, while wrestling with my guilt after a long night of bedtime battles, I can. 
I can go back and do it over.
Grace says, "You don't deserve a second chance, you blew it big time, but here's is another chance to love.  Here's another chance to love out of the grace that has been lavished on you.  You know this grace-love, it brings tears to your eyes to think of your Heavenly Father looking down on you in love when what you really deserve is death." 
So, when my boy walks out of school to my waiting car today, I can lavish him with smiles, all the smiles that I didn't give him when he needed them years ago. 
I can move to him with a hug when I feel the most repulsed by his behavior.
I can move forward in hope knowing that he has a Savior that can heal all his wounds, whether they are caused by me or by the reality of sin. 
I can continue to pray that God will change my heart of anger into a heart overflowing with grace-love.
I can have peace.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
Romans 15:13


Leah said...

Thank you!

Magpie Designz said...

amen sista!

Magpie Designz said...

ok, now i'm that you can look back, what would you do differently? And are you doing it differently with Silas, who seems to not want to stay in his bed? Your insights would be helpful for this rookie mommy :) and maybe some other mommy's.

words and streets said...

O Jane. Yes. And yes. Our first borns...mercy. I cannot tell you HOW differently I'm doing things with my third. I nurse him when he wants, I pull him into bed frequently, I nurse him to sleep frequently, I hold him a ton (especially when the house is a mess--who cares?!). With my first: sleep and nursing schedules, prioritize of house, etc.. There's a part of me that wonders how much bonding happened? I was almost too nervous to allow it. I just wish i wasn't stressed out about it all (ie have a God complex). So now, Levi and I, though we definitely have our bad moments, are trying to make up for it, too. I long to bond and attach in new ways. It's not too late. I can so relate to the experience of regret and guilt. Lord. We confess: it's going to have to be all you and your saving hand. Course it always is. Anyways, I agree with Leah, thanks for your vulnerability and insight. Don't let that damn liar the devil get you with his lies. And keep writing. (btw, you've heard of the book "give them grace"--a parenting book? Bet you have. It's a world shaker.). Much love and many many many smiles :)

Jane said...


You are welcome. Just keepin it real sister, glad it encouraged you!

Jane said...


You are so right about it not being too late, praise God! I love how you said you and Levi are making up for it now....I feel that I am trying to do the same.
Thank God for grace!
Thanks for the comment, it is always encouraging to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

I always LOVE what you write, Jane! You speak to my heart. Thank you!