Pillows against the headboard, soft slippers by the footboard, a warm drink on the nightstand, calming oils in the diffuser, a fuzzy lavender bathrobe, two down pillows, and a quilted downy comforter. Ah, they are the comforts of home after a very long day in my world. I sit, close my eyes, then breathe deep–it’s quiet. All of our children are in bed and the day is done.
We did it, we made it through the day–
it wasn’t the very best and yet, it wasn’t the very worst.
Peace that passes understanding enveloped me as I gazed upon the dripping profanity staring back at me. A spray can of primer laid on the ground beside the oversized storage box. Yep, I know that handwriting. By God’s wisdom and grace, I addressed my son regarding the graffiti and I did manage to sift my way through the offering of lies. A soft voice, a compassionate countenance, and a willingness to learn the difficult truth was what I needed today and I needed it more than justice. I simply prayed the truth could come to light and for our son to see where he got off track.
I was glad for the peace I experienced in those moments–still am.
I’m grateful I didn’t lose my temper, grateful that I didn’t breakdown and cry in front of my son. I still feel hopeful that maybe even I had a breakthrough of sorts–mommy didn’t choose to fear. In those moments, miraculously, I didn’t fear my child was going to become a graffiti artist, or begin spewing profanity, or even expound on the accurate meaning of the word. (Ok, well maybe that made me feel a tad nervous.) Maybe I should’ve felt discouragement over the fact that he learned the new word at vacation Bible school–but I didn’t. This wasn’t the first time and wasn’t going to be the last time we looked at each other in the eyes and I would have to reassure him I wasn’t angry at him–he was accepted. Yes, I felt disappointed, yes, I felt frustrated over the broken family rule of staying out of daddy’s garage, but I assured him I loved him anyway.
A peaceful countenance was exactly what he needed in that moment–thank God.
I posted about God’s grace being sufficient recently because I had just reread about a thorn of sorts that Paul struggled with in 2 Corinthians 12. Even though the physical thorn remained for Paul and he repeatedly asked God to remove it, he trusted God’s wisdom either way. He trusted God’s wisdom, even if it meant God would leave it right where it was. I appreciated Paul’s example in that, because I often pray for my thorns to be removed. When moments like the graffiti happen, I come face to face with what I really believe in my heart about God’s grace, His power, and His sovereignty in my life.
My thorns haven’t all disappeared as I’ve hoped and prayed, but I still find hope in God grace–His grace for me and His grace for my child. Coming face to face with my son’s thorn of poor judgment and the results, often isn’t what I want to walk him through–but I must. I’m the parent, and it’s my responsibility to help him process and get back on track. It’s not easy to face my own weakness or fears in those moments, but it’s necessary. Our son needs to hear mommy not just tell him about God, but show him the difference God has made in my life. This opportunity, showed our son that His perfect love, really does overcome fear in all its forms. He needed to see me love even when he or the situation wasn’t pretty. Defining moments like these, test my faith and show me where I am in this parenting and faith journey.
Then, I remember, tomorrow’s coming…
Yes, well, since I’m snuggled down now and enjoying restful moments while our sons and daughters dream, I’m decided on one thing. I’ve decided, I won’t worry about tomorrow–for it will have enough trouble of it’s own. Yes, I’m learning. It’s been a long day, a long week, a long year, a long season, yet I’m learning just like our son, that God still comforts and His grace still remains sufficient for us–His power is perfected in our weakness.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)