I have never picked up a book, started reading, and felt so convicted. The Ministry of Motherhood is that book for me. It has taken me almost two weeks to finish the first part of the book, “The Gift of Grace”. You see, every time I have felt frustrated or overwhelmed, every time I have snapped at the kids or raised my voice, I have thought about this section in this book. I have thought about the Bible verses that have been mentioned in the book, and how disappointed I am in myself for not being more graceful with my children.
There are four chapters in the section on The Gift of Grace. Two of those sections left me very convicted and emotional. They left me wondering, challenged, and inspired. They left me wanted to be a better mother.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.
Throughout the Bible there are verses referring to the power of the spoken word. I have mentioned many times in my blog, on Facebook, Twitter, etc that I often have a sharp tongue. As I think of the past, there are so many times that my tongue was not as loving and compassionate as it should have been. In fact, I can think of times when I spoke before thinking and was probably bordering on the downright mean side.
Knowing how I’ve spoken to my children at times in the past, I am disgusted with myself. I know we all lose our tempers and say things we don’t mean or shouldn’t say, that makes me human, but did Jesus do that with his disciples? Did he lose his temper and say things he shouldn’t have to the sinners he spent so much time with?
Truly, I have struggled with this immensely. I can’t help but wonder if something I’ve said out of frustration when D was in the midst of an explosive tantrum that has changed the course of our lives. Have I said something that has made him less able to deal with the life he has? Have I said something to make his behaviors worse? Have I said or done something that was not in kindness, love, compassion, grace, that has amplified our issues?
I may or may not ever know, but from this point forward, I have to make the conscious effort to be kind, loving, compassionate, and graceful. I have to apologize and repent for what I may of said or done and pray for continuous strength not to do that again.
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience,
not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
The Grace of Forgiveness also struck a chord with me. When my children make a mistake once or twice, I am patient with them, but when they make the same mistakes over and over, I get impatient and frustrated. I do not always show patience and kindness when the same child has poured 3 bottles of shampoo or body wash out in the shower to blow soap bubbles. I am not as patient when another child has jumped off the arm of my couch 17 times in a 10 minute period, or even when another child climbs on the table and pridefully claps his hands. Instead, I get frustrated and fuss. I go on and on saying, “How many times do I have to tell you?” or “If you don’t stop doing that, I am going to lose my mind/take away your dessert for a thousand nights/make you stand on the floor until Christmas!”
How many times have I sinned the same sin? How many times have I gossiped, had an ugly thought, spoken those ugly thoughts, eaten too much, and many other things I can’t begin to name? How many times has God forgiven me? Every single time that I have repented. Have I instilled in my children that they can always come to me and admit their shortcomings? Have I taught them that they will always be met with compassion, understanding, love, and forgiveness? Have I taught them that if they do something I would not approve of, they should hide it for fear of being fussed at and hasty consequences?
Reading this section of the book has been hard, but it has also opened my eyes and my heart to God’s word. It has further fueled the fire to be the mother God intended me to be. I am so grateful for the words from Sally Clarkson (also found here) that I know were truly inspired by God, for they are the words that are being used to create a better mother in me.
*Note: Don’t forget, there is an opportunity to win a copy of this book. Please leave comments on my blog to be entered. You can read more details about the chance to win here.