"And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."
I ran across an old list yesterday. It said something like this:
- Phone calls
- Love my kids!!!!!
I know it was unrealistic. I know that loving your kids is more than something you put on a list and I know that at the end of the day there is no way that I would have been able to check that one off.
A list is my friend when I can't remember what to do. And a list is my enemy when I want to earn my way to God. If I could just do these things, whatever they may be, then I will feel worthy.
Lists are what I do when things are changing, when I feel out control. Right now there is a lot to feel out of control about...or so I think.
I grasp for something that I can assure myself with. Something tangible that says, "You're good. You're OK despite all that is going on around you."
I tell myself I'm not going to do it yet I wake up trying harder. I wake up with a mission for me and my family and two minutes after, we've all failed. I'm crushed and angry. I question God, make another list and try harder.
Its why I was paralyzed as I sat next to a friend at the pool watching my kids swim. Afraid of what she might be thinking as she watched their interactions with each other and with me. Worried that she would notice how my parenting has fallen into "stop it", "obey" and "because I said so."
I've made it all about me. All about my performance as a parent and their performance as my kids. I've been preaching the "good boy, bad boy" sermon again. Threatening out of fear, lecturing out of anger and giving up in despair.
Showing my weakness? Great. Being honest and transparent? No problem. But when it comes to my kids I will do everything I can to hide their weaknesses, I'm afraid you might see who they really are. Sinners, just like me.
I've been making my "do better" lists because grace seems scary to me right now.
Grace means letting go of control of yet another thing.
Grace means jumping off the cliff and trusting that He's there to catch me.
Grace means loving them despite their failures.
Grace means giving them a Jesus that doesn't require lists.
Grace means there is nothing for me to add.
Yet He continues to whisper in my ear that He's still there. Assuring me that although I have had no desire to give them grace that He has been pouring it out, praying for me and loving me all the more.
Reminding me to put away the unnecessary lists and rest.
Lists...they're easy. Grace is hard.
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