Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

Grace for This Moment; Grace for Eternity

I hesitate to write this because it’s not pretty. It’s downright ugly and muddy. But it’s real. And I need to write it because I need to hear it. Maybe someone else does too.

I’m having a less than stellar parenting day week.

There are a lot of changes going on inside my heart right now. I began a Bible study that focuses on a certain area of my life with which I struggle, a lot. And while I’m finding it encouraging, I’m also finding sin’s greasy fingerprints on every area of my heart.

And as I deal seriously with one sin in my life (or rather, allow the Lord to have access to that part of my heart that I’ve tried to hide from him for so long), I find others grasping to take its place.

Like anger. I’ve been angry this week. I’m angry that I’ve been so stupid and run to all the wrong places to try to resolve this sin in the past. I’m frustrated that I’ve lost so much of myself to it. I’m mad that I’ve been so blind for so long.

But this anger comes out at every little annoyance. And when you live in a house with three little girls, there are many little annoyances. Things have been said that should never have been said in tones that should never come to the surface.

I’m finding myself apologizing to my little ones for losing my temper, asking for their forgiveness. And they do forgive their wretched mama. Their hugs and kisses and I love yous are healing, salves for my soul. May the Lord bless their forgiving and resilient little hearts.

I keep hearing the phrase in my head, purposeful parenting. I keep thinking of all the Type-A’s I know out there who seem to be purposefully parenting their little blessings and doing an excellent job at it. I wonder why I can’t seem to follow suit.  Some Most days, I feel so behind all the time. There’s always something to be done and not enough time to do it all.  Some Most days, my children find themselves at the end of my priority list.

And I’m wondering why. I’m wondering why my little blessings from God get my worst when they should be receiving my best. It’s not fair to them. It’s not fair to me. We are all being robbed of the joy of the mother/daughter relationship. I’m being robbed of the joy that comes from doing the job ministry God has given to me.

People, I NEVER do things perfectly. NEVER. And when I do things decently, it’s only by the grace of God.

About a month ago, something my pastor said during the sermon really stuck with me. He was talking about how God gives us grace to deal with conflicts. That he protects us in the moment. He quoted 1 Peter 1:3-5:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will NOT fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (NASB)

And so I wrote it down. And then I taped it to my cabinet.

And I put my new motto above it: Grace for this moment; Grace for eternity.

Isn’t that what life for a believer really is? Moment after moment after moment, covered in grace. Sometimes we focus on what’s to come and forget that right now is the foundation for what’s to come. Life, lived out in faith, can come only to the conclusion that it is sustained by grace.

My sister sang “In Christ Alone” at her church this weekend. It’s one of my favorite songs. And one that helps me to remember that “sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.” Click on the link and listen. The song is powerful and encouraging, especially when you have days like I’ve had today . . . the days that make you feel less than stellar.

It doesn’t matter the situation. It doesn’t matter the person. It doesn’t matter the conflict. It doesn’t matter the circumstances surrounding whatever “it” is. It’s all covered by grace. Each moment that we live, each moment that has already passed us by. Covered. By Grace.

I’m not a perfect person. I’m not a perfect parent. But my best and my worst are covered by grace. YOUR best and YOUR worst are covered by grace. I’m going to rest in that today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And for eternity. I hope you’ll join me.


8 responses to “Grace for This Moment; Grace for Eternity

  1. Cherie November 10, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Oh Christan – I live in your world! From the hectic days with three busy girls to dealing with anger in parenting to a cluttered house and a never-ending to-do list and an even longer list of ways to compare my life with the seemingly perfect lives of others, I can relate. This has not been a great week of mothering for me either – not at all. I am reminded though that our enemy would like to see nothing more than our homes and families destroyed. I am encouraged that it is not against flesh and blood (or 4 year olds) that I am fighting but against the powers of this dark age – and that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.

    I read an article just today that talked about taking each one of those crazy moments to the foot of the cross. What the author meant was to take each moment to the Lord in prayer, all through out your day. We actually sat in our car and prayed before we went into the commissary today because I could just feel my exhaustion and their whining boiling under the surface and we hadn’t even started yet. Somehow, we made it through without anybody – including me – having a meltdown. The Lord is so faithful to us and He wants to answer our prayers!

    Thank you for being so real and authentic, even when it would be easier to create a facade. I truly miss you, my friend. You always made me feel safe and cared about – and not judged. Thank you, and I know you will be transformed by this journey the Lord is walking through with you.

    • Mama Bear Ping November 10, 2010 at 4:36 am

      Thanks Cherie.
      I appreciate your honesty and truth.
      I’ve had many mommy meltdowns this week.
      Thanks for the reminder to take it to the Lord in prayer . . . all of it (and that the fight isn’t against your four year-old, or in my case, my three year-old).
      I miss you too.

  2. Rebecca November 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    As I sit here and read your blog….I feel like I’m reading something I wrote. As I read it and realize, while I didn’t write it….I realize how many of us struggle with this…and it takes me to Titus 2: 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure,
    And I realize….Titus knew that we needed to be taught these things. Loving our children is more than just a ‘feeling’ it’s a verb…an action. The fact that you know when to go back and allow your pride to be put away and apologize…that is HUGE and you are teaching your children something amazing…that while we are sinners, while we sin (because we are and we will)…we can still seek true forgiveness from anyone…and provide them with the joy of being forgiving. You are not defeated, my sister. You are like the rest of us…keep pushing….I am. I may not see a difference in myself in a day/week…but over the years, as Jesus pours His LOVE into my wretched heart…I pray that I see it…not for me, but for him and for my children! Blessings…and thank you for linking up and sharing this…..I, for one, needed this huge dose of honesty!

  3. Jennifer Janes November 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    What we do without grace?! I would be completely lost if He wasn’t so full of grace and mercy. Thank you for your honesty. We are all less than perfect people; we’re just not all willing to admit it.


  4. Pingback: Post No. 50. « Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

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