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Friday, January 27, 2012

Back to Toddler Future: Growing In Grace

While pregnant with Bridget, I remember thinking about what my child would and would not be like, what I would allow, and what I would not allow. I remember seeing a screaming toddler in the grocery store and thinking to myself that "My child will never do that!" I had grand ideas about parenting and training my children. 
     What I hadn't really taken into consideration was that this little person would have a will and mind of their own as well! That they were just as much God's child as I was; that they would have a life time of learning and growing and failing just like me; that they needed guidance, but most of all GRACE!

Grace: unmerited favor or kindness

God has used my children to show me over and over how I have needed to grow in grace. From the days when I was sure I would be the perfect mother, only to yell at them two seconds later and have to ask for their forgiveness with tears of regret in my eyes, to the days when they would come to me, marker still in hand, a little gleam in their eye, and an entire couch to wash.

The first week after my son came home (he was 2.5) I had to run an errand at Bed Bath and Beyond. I had just gotten him in the cart when the fit began. A loud, all-out toddler screaming fit!  He really didn't even know me yet. There was no real relationship. He was barely responding to no. I was not even to the point of training, much less discipline.  For all he knew I was just another baby sitter. We were just trying to survive! We hadn't had more than 3 hours of sleep each night since he came home.  What could I do?  I grabbed the things I needed as fast as I could, all while making a huge scene! When I finally got everyone home and down for a nap, the Holy Spirit began to convicted me. He reminded me of all those other grocery store mothers I had been self righteous, arrogant, and graceless towards.  If only I could go back in time and have those moments to do over. I would to see each of those women differently. I wanted to be able to go back and ask each of them if they needed help;  I wanted to be kind to them, because I had had no idea what was really going on in their lives! 

 I was a humbled, changed mother.  I have never forgotten that day. 

2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

For all my adventures yet to come, may I be ever growing in Grace. 

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