For When Your Children’s Grace is Greater Than Your Own

I’m pressing squares today with my back pressed hard against heat.  Heat turned up as high as it will go.  Because back pain is no joke.  This is the second time in 6 months and it hits like a summer storm in North Carolina.  Little warning.

So, I’m snappy and utterly depressing.  

I do the unthinkable and say yes to not 1 but 2 back to back hours of tv!  Heaven help me.  That doesn’t even tame them.  By the second hour, the boys bounce on my lap and beg for attention I’m too depleted of energy to give.

I’ve turned inward and my attitude looks horrid.  It’s so hard to smile when they ask you to come help them potty and you’re slicing pears for snack.  When one snatches the reading book of another and races around the table while the book owner screams.  Or when the man comes to install a phone in the house and he has to go to your bedroom and 3 kids follow him with their bicycle helmets and unending questions.


It’s hard to smile when your’e hurting.

The 4 year old hugged my arm this morning and then this:

“Mama, I love you so good I think when I grow up I want to marry you.”

How can he love me like that?  I’ve been bad today.

It’s not the picture you really want them to see, but it’s all you’ve got.

It’s all I’ve got.

They needed fresh air, so they race out to ride and I saunter to my chair in the garage with knitting needles and yellow yarn.  That dishrag my sister asked for 6 months ago, it’s still not finished.  A mason jar with my iced coffee to sip.  So thankful to turn entertaining over to nature.  

Knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row.  Peace.

Until the wagon came whizzing down the drive, little boy pushing big sister and hollering with delight into the garage smashing into the table at full force.  The table that held my mason jar.  My coffee.  My sustenance!

I watched the nearly full glass fall in slow motion to the unforgiving concrete.

Why does it all happen when we’re not our best?  When we hurt?  When we’re cast down?

I sent everyone inside so I could force myself to serve nourishment on a neon plate for lunch.  (Didn’t I just serve snack?)

I hear them laughing and I feel anger.  “Please go to your rooms and wait to be called to lunch.”

8,9, 10 pieces of broken glass scattered in a pool of coffee and milk, and I can’t understand why they laugh in the midst of my discouragement. Bent over in discomfort to prevent a cut in a running bare foot, I just pick up the pieces.

Keep going.

One’s humming, the other one laying back on the floor with a soaring plane above his head.  And I enter to show a little love.  The hug hurts, but my heart would beat out of my chest if I didn’t force it on them.  They squeeze me and accept my apologies for not being a great mommy today.

The big girl, she smiles bright-eyed and says:

Oh, mama, I’m not worried about that.  I love you more than ice cream. *giggle.

How can their grace be greater than my own?  


Maybe they know, the sun will rise tomorrow and the Creator will make all things new.

Maybe they know I give them my best 9 out of 10 days.

Maybe they’re teaching this mama that even when things get ugly, offer grace.  It’s pure honey over the head.  


We can’t be “on our game” all the time.  It’s not a cop out.  We must try.  We must take the gifts we’re given and offer the best we have to give.  We must often sacrifice our selfish desires to make room for heart cultivation on little people.  We must practice self-control if we expect them to be in control.

But, somedays, we hurt.  And we can’t be our best.

And we’ll feed on the grace from their tanks.  

Let’s make sure they’re full~


I write in thankfulness this Monday afternoon.




  1. I have so been there, was there yesterday, will likely have some moments today. thank you.

  2. Ditto! Been there done that – hope your back is feeling better!

  3. What a humbling and joyful experience to be sharpened by our own children. God is so good.

  4. I am very happy with this frank post! I also have those days and I’m ashamed of that … but now I read your post. I think we small people with a great GOD and His is full of grace for tired moms.

    Hos your back now?


  1. […] may have noticed it most when my back kept me from stooping that Monday.  And Tuesday and […]

Leave a Comment