Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grace for Parenting

If you're like me, you are continually amazed at the grace God supplies when it comes to parenting.  In some ways I had been dreading this week for quite some time.  I knew that I would have my boys by myself all day every day for most of the week.  That may not sound like a big deal to some of you, but I know my limits.

I love my boys to death, but after a long day of wrangling my chatterboxes, I tend to get snappy and any patience I once had is gone right out the window.  Those are usually the times when Justin senses my need for some quiet time, and he is able to give me a little break.  I knew that wouldn't happen this week.  I had no idea how I would handle my boys in a kind and loving way long after my patience dwindled.

Last night I had a chance to find out.  After a long day of cleaning out little boy bedrooms, unpacking big boxes from the van, assembling furniture with only the help of a 7 year old, and rearranging the newly-assembled furniture a couple of times, we drove to church with two little boys chattering away in the back of the van.  Later, I headed home from church wondering if my 2 year old challenges the other nursery workers in the same ways he had challenged me during the previous hour.

After we finished up a few things to get the furniture in it's permanent place, I grabbed my phone to snap a photo.  Jonathan was going on and on about wanting to be in the picture and if the lamps should be on or off and how he wanted some real school work to do in the photo.  Then I heard a huge THUD in the living room.  I know immediately that Benjamin had thrown something, but it took me a second to realize that it was my camera.  My REAL camera.  My nearly irreplaceable Nikon D50 that I LOVE.

Even so, somehow I was able to keep my cool and properly discipline my 2 year old son before I even picked up the camera.  I can tell you for a fact that it was grace.  It was one of those moments where God meets you right where you need Him.  If it had been all me, I probably would have done a little screaming, punished in anger, and then cried and thrown a few things when I realized that my camera was, in fact, broken.

The truth is that as much as I love that camera, I know that it can be replaced.  It may not be any time in the near future because of the expense, and I will feel a little lost without it, but little boy hearts are so much more important than silly cameras.  God knows that.  He knows my sin, and that I don't always remember that in the heat of the moment, and that's why He meets me right were I am with the grace I need to be a mom.

If only I had remembered that promise in the beginning.  "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)  Then I wouldn't have had anything to dread because I could have confidence in knowing that I could rest in Him for the grace I need in every situation.

Is there some way that you particularly sense God's grace in your life?  How does it affect your parenting or other relationships?

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