failure

Yesterday.

Abethewisekid

Yesterday was really bad, and I couldn’t tell you exactly why if you asked. But it was just one of those days, ya know? Where your mind is broken and your heart hates not being in control. Last night I laid on the couch and cried. The day was filled with unmet promises to Abe and me dozing off while feeding the baby and pumping at the same time (please don’t ask me why I’m not breast feeding). Small group had left, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had failed them all somehow.

My 4 year old sat down next to my head and asked me what was wrong. I told him I was feeling very overwhelmed and like a complete failure. I cried harder and apologized for not getting to play hide and seek with him even though I promised I would. He had a pensive look on his face and said, It’s ok, mom. Emery needed all of your attention today.” I smiled and thanked him for being gracious and understanding, to which he replied, “It makes you feel good.”

Oh yeah. It does. I forgot. Grace does make me feel good. I wish I didn’t resist it like I often do.

About a half an hour later, Daniel was holding Emery and trying to get him to stop crying. The more Emery cried, the more Daniel got flustered until he finally gave up and handed the baby over to me. He got up and went outside, leaving us in the living room. Abe turned to me on the couch and said, “Mom, you need to pray for daddy tonight because he is afraid of being a daddy to two boys and thinks he’s bad at it. I pray for him all of the time.” My jaw dropped.

When Daniel tucked him into bed, I could hear sniffles echoing from the room. When Daniel emerged from his room tear-eyed, he told me that Abe had prayed for him, but it wasn’t his regular kind of prayer that usually only makes sense to Abe. It was an intercession for his daddy and a plea for help. And then he went to sleep.


It’s humbling to watch the Holy Spirit use a child to remind us of the gospel things we so easily forget and can’t seem to give to ourselves, especially when the usual prescription for reminders looks like our kids pushing us to our limits. But not yesterday. Yesterday it came in the form of a 4 year old understanding things more clearly than I do 99 percent of the time.

I can’t believe God would allow me to live in a home with people that fight for each other.

Grace floweth over.

 

March Writing Challenge Day 7: That Damned Wrong Side of the Bed

Failure and I meet again in this place

Even now it seems I’m failing as I fill up this blank paper’s space

I have no idea what day it is

And I don’t really even care

This day has my permission to be over now

Tired of being caught in the devil’s snare

I call myself a creative writer

But I can tell by her passive look

That on her college degree standards

She’d scoff if I told her I’d like to write a book

And then sometimes I can literally just be breathing

And someone’s gonna find fault in that

Angry, bitter, jealous little liars

Enemies I feel I must combat

I fail and fail over and over again

Try to set my own bones, hoping for just one small win

I insist, most days, that I do this on my own

Hence the perpetual failures

I’m like a plant that refuses to grow

On days like today I find myself hating my sin condition

Which means on all the other days

I ‘m too loud and too proud to listen

I go on thinking that I’m all right, I’ve got it together

Which urges me to condemn my fellow soldier

And right through that gracious love I sever

Cut in half the gift I didn’t deserve

Well, if I refuse to take it

Why would I ever give it to her

This is so filthy

Downright shameful to even share

But I’ll make myself share it anyway

And in doing so lay that shame bare

I don’t feel much better

In fact, I’m more exhausted than before

I need you so deeply, Jesus

Remind me of your love once more.

Deny-ers and Obsess-ers

There are going to be some days when I completely fail as a mother.

This is true for all of us, but what really gets under my skin is moms who don’t believe this could ever be so for them. Or at least they wouldn’t ever admit it out loud.

But it shouldn’t get under my skin, which probably means there’s a little bit of that “denial” in me too.

When we deny that we fail, we will stay in that failure, and the same goes true when we obsess over failure.

I usually lean towards the obsessing. I don’t like when I fail. I’ll admit that I do it, but boy does it crush me. It can get me down so bad that I don’t even want to get out of bed.

My fleshly pride is disappointed in myself for not living up to it’s expectations of excellence and perfection, because now it has nothing to boast about.

If you want, read that last sentence out loud.

Pretty vile, huh?

It’s true for you too.

Don’t think you deny-ers are getting out of this one. That same fleshly pride tells you that there’s no way you have failed, because you are just so awesome. It’s your kids or your husband that suck! That pride makes sure that vulnerability and confession stay far far away.

Go ahead, read that out loud too.

Cause that’s probably also true for you as well.

I know it is, because I know it of me. And at the end of the day, we are all the same human-y humans.┬áComing from a home where one parent denied failure and the other one drowned himself in it, neither of these is going to be good for your children. (disclaimer- I love my parents, and my mom and I are working on things together. At the end of the day, I’m responsible for my actions- no one else.)

Stop denying your failures, and learn from them.

Stop obsessing over your failures, and learn from them.

At the end of the yucky day, confess, repent, and resolve to start over tomorrow.

I promise you, your children (or spouse, friends, co-workers, team members, community group, etc) will watch how you handle failure. Use it as a tool for grace, learning and the gospel.

Its not even 10 yet. You still have time to start the day over.