The Sweetest Harvest, day 13 – Failing Well

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  Isaiah 58:11


As parents, it isn’t whether or not we fail.  But how.

I could write all day long about my failures, but I chose this one for this sweet journey. Adapted from the post, “Crumbled Petals”:

I walked out of the kitchen, leaving there my self-control, into the dining room where they were to be waiting on lunch.  And I yelled.  Mean face, a tone too hard, it was unfit.  He crumbled those pretty dried hydrangeas I adore each morning and grinned with delight as they scattered like dust over the food stained rug.  I watched them fall, expressing to him what an act it was…inappropriate and disrespectful.  He interrupted me, and I yelled.  He’s 3.  I’m 32.

My heart dropped when I saw their faces. The oldest 2. You know when the mirror is turned in such a way that you see your ugly inward self and you just want an eraser?   And the oldest says, “Mommy, do you know how that makes me feel?”  And the younger, crying, “Mommy, you hurt my feewins!”

Oh, to lose self-control AND have an audience!  An audience of hearts I’m shepherding.  Or so that is the hope and plan.  I cannot take it back.  They remember that scary moment when mama lost it.

Over crumbled flowers.

Flowers that will come back in abundance next year.  It’s not like he stole a $20 from my wallet and tore it to shreds.  God help the both of us!

The emotions flooded me, all at once.  These 3 with who I am entrusted stare at me wide-eyed and fearful. If only I could rewrite this part of the journey.  What a failure!  As soon as it flew out of my heart and across my tongue, I knew it was wrong.  All wrong.  Certainly, I wanted his behavior to change.  But not at the expense of his soft heart.

A golden moment – an opportunity.  This is a chance for me to grow, for them to see my imperfections–my humanity, and our continual need for grace.  It is not ok for me to have a meltdown in front of these 3!  How can I teach them to control their temper’s and attitudes with one another, to treat each other the way they want to be treated, to show unconditional love and honor for their siblings, when mama can fly off over crumbled petals?

This would be a time to address the wrong and to speak to their hearts.  For them to practice forgiveness.  Right there for mama.  For our bonds to be strengthened and our grips, tighter.  The grass comes up like magic carpet down low in the valley.  ‘Neath showy mountains of splendor.  The peaks that receive all the attention.  Those times when we’re at our best.

But in the valley, the grass is a simple beauty.  It grows strong, thick! Our hope when we hit bottom.  When we outright fail.

So there, in my valley, bent low with arms stretched, I asked them to come.  They ran, nearly knocking me down.

I whispered I love you’s and I’m sorry’s in every ear.  Holding back tears, my heart still aching hard.

Plates were placed and they scooted chairs in as if a magnetic force surrounded me.  And I asked if I may pray today.  And this is what healed my heart.

“Father, you gave me 3 children to guide.  To raise.  I showed them the wrong attitude today.  Would you forgive me for yelling and help me to be a better mama each day?  I love you.  Amen.  Oh….and please bless this meal.”  

The oldest grabs my arm, hugging tight, and told me thank you for fixin her lunch.

I kissed that red-head on the cheek…and he said, I wuv you mommy.

And when they went off to sleep, I sat in gratefulness.  That they were a reflection of the Father’s love for this failing mother.  They forgave instantly.  Wanting to be near, their love vast beyond all measure.  Oh, that I may forgive others.  Myself, even.  Just like these 3.


That when I fail, because I will fail again and again as this harvest grows, I’ll remember the valley.  The green, lush, beauty of the valley.

How hard and humbling for our children to see our humanity.  When I fail, I pray broken and contrite will be this mama’s heart.  That it dims the failure and draws them closer to me.  To Him.


I join David in asking,

 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10”

imperfect and thankful for beauty in the valley,


“And tomorrow is it!  The harvest is far from finished.  There is much work to be done! 

So, for day 14, our final day of this part of the journey, let’s “remember the calling and Live it up!”

IMG_9552  You can see Days 1-13 HERE!

So thankful!


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