It’s often at the end of the day, where I feel most attacked in motherhood. Satan whispers lies: You’re not doing this right. You’re going to screw up your kids. You’re unqualified. You’ll never overcome the anger, control, pride, and more. You don’t have what it takes.
Lately, I’ve been realizing that this is all a very works-based mentality. That if I could just “do” more and be “better” as a wife and mom, then the path will be straight and God will love me.
Oh, but this is far from the truth because it leaves out one word that I desperately need daily:
G R A C E
Grace comes to us as God’s undeserving gift and kindness. It is not something we earn or have to work hard for. It is not something that if we just get our act together, the odds will be in our favor. It is not conditional as to whether we meet a certain standard of righteousness. It is not how we often treat our children: If you do this, then I will love you. If not, then you have fallen short of my standard and I will like you less.
Another word for grace is also mercies. His mercies are new each and every day. The slate is wiped clean. I don’t know about you, but that is good news.
In Lamentations 3, the prophet Jeremiah was under intense affliction, wandering, and pain. He says, “My soul is downcast within me” (vs. 20). Yet in the next verse he reveals, “Yes this I call to mind and therefore I have hope” (vs. 21) – the steadfast love of the Lord is what spurs him on in the midst of trouble.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam 3:22-23)
Because of God’s unwavering, unconditional, steadfast love, we won’t drown in despair. When we end the day feeling battle-worn, wondering if the morning will be any different, we have great hope because his grace and mercy toward us are always moving in strength, like a raging waterfall – regardless of how well we have done. We can trust him to carry us in the deepest of valleys, brokenness, and suffering. Because that is what our Father does for his children.
Because his great love for you never ceases, his grace doesn’t either. Grab hold of it today – knowing He has covered your guilt, shame, dissatisfaction, self-sufficiency, self-loathing, and more. He has covered the lies that tempt you. He will give you what you need just for this very moment.
Most of all, let his grace and love captivate your heart unlike anything else in your life.
Questions for Reflection: Is there anything in your life you feel God could never forgive? How can you better cling tight to his grace, instead of a works-based acceptance mindset?
Like what you read? Read more of Samantha’s writing in her book: Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches
At the heart of The Better Mom is the message that Jesus calls us to live not a weary life, but a worthy life. It is my sincere hope and prayer that God uses this book to encourage moms everywhere with the good news that there is more to being a mom than the extremes of striving for perfection or simply embracing the mess. Just as God is using us to shape our children, God is using our children and motherhood, to shape us. It’s okay to come as we are, but what we’re called to be is far too important to stay there! The way to becoming a better mom starts not with what we are doing, but with who God is inviting us to become.
Grab your copy of The Better Mom book at any of the retailers below:
available everywhere books are sold April 24th, 2018