Extending Grace to Our Kids

Our eight-year-old daughter excitedly filled her own plate for our Easter meal. She carefully chose her ham, potatoes, fruit salad, and roll. The girl even got some Brussel sprouts of her own volition.  Then the plate slipped out of her little hands and crashed to the floor.

“Oh no! I’m so sorry,” she cried with tears welling up in her eyes.

I was immediately taken back to an Easter almost forty years beforehand. One where I was the seven or eight-year-old girl trying to fill my own plate and it fell to the floor, making a spattering mess of potatoes and fruit salad. The fear and embarrassment came back to me in such a rush that I had to steady myself against the counter for a moment.

In the present, I comforted my daughter and helped her pick up the mess. I told her it was only food, only a plate. All was well and she could start again.

Grace was given.

I couldn’t get the memory of my own experience out of my head. My own mother, probably overwhelmed by the day (and being a single mother), screamed at me in front of a roomful of people. She told me I was stupid and clumsy. “CLEAN IT UP! I shouldn’t have let you do it!”

Those words stung and I carefully tended them in a place deep within myself for decades. Any time I would mess up, I’d retrieve them and remind myself of their truths.

I was clumsy. I was stupid. I was bad.

I know if my mother could see the effect those words would have on me, she never would have said them. They probably exited her lips then disappeared from her memory in the same moment.

It made me ponder all the careless words I’ve spouted over the years with my own three daughters.

I cringe at the thought.

I have not always shown grace or love to the three lives God has entrusted to my care.

I have not always spoken words of affirmation or love over them.

I know, in my heart of hearts, I have caused deep wounds in them.

I can’t undo the harms I’ve caused in the past due to my own humanity, but I can move forward today and in the future.

I can make better choices like the one I made yesterday.

I can breathe in and remind myself of my role as their mother.

My role to love, to encourage, to extend grace.

How many times has my Father in heaven extended His grace to me? Click To Tweet

More than I can count. More than I deserve.

As mothers, we will fail. It is inevitable.

We are human with human thoughts and feelings.  Yet, if we know Christ, we can walk in the knowledge that He offers grace and forgiveness EVERY SINGLE DAY! Click To Tweet

His word tells us in Lamentations 3:23, “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

Graphic created by writer using Canva.com

I am so thankful for the opportunity to start again each day. Join me in accepting Christ’s offering of new grace and mercy.

 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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12 Comments

  • Donna Miller April 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm Reply

    My tummy twinged when you described the scene with your mother screaming at you. You are a beautiful momma now, filled with love and grace for your daughter! Blessings sweet friend! ❤

    • AlyndaLong April 2, 2018 at 8:44 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, Donna! That means a lot to me! My mother was a very hurt woman who I believe finally found peace after many, many years of turmoil. Blessings to you!

  • Esther Hosea April 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm Reply

    What a powerful reminder! The early years of my childhood included a father who regularly berated and belittled us when we made mistakes. It definitely fueled my desire to go the opposite way with my own children. Though, I too have failed on far more occasions than I wish to admit! Praise God for His PERFECT grace! What an example we have!

    • AlyndaLong April 3, 2018 at 8:47 pm Reply

      Esther, thank you for your transparency and willingness to share part of your story here! I am SO thankful for His perfect love! Blessings, my friend!

  • Tammy April 3, 2018 at 6:04 pm Reply

    Life is such a TRIP… JOURNEY…. I am grateful when we have a chance to “do better.” YES may we demonstrate grace and wisdom!

    • AlyndaLong April 3, 2018 at 8:48 pm Reply

      AMEN, Tammy! So thankful we have new chances every day!

  • Victoria April 4, 2018 at 12:16 am Reply

    I remember a time when I was about 4, and all I can remember is that my mom was disappointed in me, but said that it would be okay, and the day moved on.

    Life is full of these moments that will empower and encourage, or create insecurity. I would like to hope that the things E remembers are moments where he feels loved and supported.

    • AlyndaLong April 4, 2018 at 12:21 am Reply

      It really is, Victoria! We have a lot of power as parents! Blessings to you!

  • Jennifer April 4, 2018 at 11:53 am Reply

    Your experience brought back a few memories I prefer to keep buried. I love how you turned the negative from a past hurt into a positive in present. An awesome example of extending Grace. ❤

    • AlyndaLong April 4, 2018 at 1:04 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! The Lord is really making beauty from all of the ashes of my past and I know He wants to do the same for you!

  • Shiney Shoo April 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm Reply

    This resonates so much with me and a reminder that the way we handle things with our own offspring can have lasting effects on their lives, I often find myself guarding against moments that have been negative for me and make great attempts to not make the same mistakes with my own children.

    • AlyndaLong April 6, 2018 at 6:48 pm Reply

      Yes, the things we say and do greatly affect our kids. My eldest daughter once reminded me that children know their parents better than anyone else. They have watched and learned from us their entire lives! Such a great responsibility!

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