Some days, I have to find the patience to parent. Many times a day, I repeat myself. Many times a day, I clean an area I have already cleaned. I wipe small faces again and again. I load in laundry, fold small socks, and fall into bed with a list in my head. Every single day of my life as a mom I have the opportunity to live out my love for my children and shower them with the gift that was given to me. God’s good gift of love.
But sometimes, I overlook the obvious teaching time. Sometimes I miss the chance to adjust my own attitude, and I am awash in frustration over my life with my littles. And the very thing that I have been given, the very thing that has saved me, has given me hope, has relieved my own anguish over needing much grace, is held tight and hidden instead of being set free.
As we walk through life with our families, it is easy to find ourselves in a place where we feel trapped, discouraged, diminished and confused. If we could find a way to take a few steps back and see clearly what we are too near to understand, perhaps we would find that the love we have been given was a gift to share.
And when we are faced with a child who is struggling, a teen who has lost his way, a journey that is unexpected, a behavior that will not correct, the most needed thing may be what we already have in abundance. Where we feel called to discipline, we must first love. Where we feel called to educate, we must first embrace. Where we feel hopeless, we can extend hope by sharing the love that has saved us and saves us still.
Because parenting our children does not have to be a puzzle that needs to be solved. It can, instead, be a lifestyle of offering God’s great gift to those we truly love most. As we do this daily we can clearly observe the wonder that comes from grace. Eyes soften. Walls come down. Teaching falls upon open ears and lives are changed.
Just like the lives we live.
Just like the miracles that have happened in our own hearts.
Many times a day, I repeat myself. I clean and re-clean. I re-wipe small faces and fold the same socks and feel like I am never done.
But all of this I can do out of love. I can find the patience to parent. I can choose to release the frustration that simmers just under the surface and give to my family grace upon grace.
Grace upon grace upon grace.
Just like that which was given to me.
God’s great gift of love.