Mother’s Day. An opportunity to remember the effort, love, and sacrifices my own mom made for me. A chance to be thankful for the brave birth mothers who helped make me a mother. A day to look on my children with love and awe and marvel at the reasons I am allowed to partake in this day.
Looking upon the year leading up to this day, reflecting on the changes, the growth, the disappointments, the trials, and the joy; my heart feels both heavy and lighter at the same time.
A day to reflect. How am I doing as a mother? The most important role I will ever fill. Am I still stuck in some of the patterns of the year before? Or, am I moving toward what the Lord has for me? Am I pushing past old destructive ways? Am I looking for patterns which lead to life for my family?
These questions fill my mind and to be honest, they’ve been keeping me awake at night.
As moms, we are so hard on ourselves. Second guessing decisions. Replaying scenarios in our minds. Beating ourselves up for our shortcomings. Allowing guilt and sometimes even condemnation to steal our days. Comparing ourselves to others or to some ideal we hold in our mind. Seeing our children’s behavior as a reflection of our own failures.
These are patterns which lead to death for ourselves and our families.
The Lord is revealing a different way to me.
It begins with grace.
Grace: Favor or goodwill. A manifestation of favor. Mercy. Pardon. Unmerited favor and love of God. The influence or Spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
Ahh..Just reading the word grace, followed by the definition is like a deep breath. My body loosens. My shoulders drop. My breathing slows.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2: 4-10
Oh those words, the Lord’s words to us, well up in me like an everlasting flowing river. A river of grace and mercy. His love for me was alive and well when I was dead in my trespasses.
On your worst day. He loved you.
On my worst day. He loved me.
Am I loving that way? Am I loving my family when they behave well? Am I loving them when they are acting in an undesirable way?
Are my facial expressions conveying love and grace?
Is my tone showing love despite their behavior?
Are my words leading to life for my family regardless of how they are acting?
Through His grace and love pouring into me, He is showing me how to extend grace to my family. He is reminding me to be patient with myself. He is showing me when I just need to breathe. He is showing me how to love my children and care deeply for them, while still separating myself from their choices. He is opening my eyes to what a heartfelt apology can bring to my loved ones. He is lowering my shoulders and filling me with His breath, His grace, His love.
3 grace-filled statements for mom’s this Mother’s day, taken right from the Ephesians 2 verses above:
- We are no longer dead to our sin. We are made alive by Christ. I can breathe easier and become unstuck because He has freed me from my sin.
- We are saved by faith, not by our works. I am not saved based on anything I have done or anything I will do. I am saved based on who He is and what He has already done on the cross.
- We were created by God to the good works He prepared for us to do. No longer do I need to strive in my own power, my own wisdom and knowledge. He has gone before me and prepared the way.
This good, good news of the cross and His love and grace over me, frees me to rest. Rest in Him.
Dear momma, find your rest in Him. Allow Him to reveal His grace to you. Be filled with His unconditional love. Rest in His everlasting river of mercy. He loves you so much. This year, begin your new patterns of grace.