It was one of those classic moments as parents when you’re two hours away from home after vacation and all your kids are melting down in the van, fidgeting in their seats, hungry again, can’t keep their hands to themselves, and mom and dad start yelling and acting crazy among the constant chaos.
This described our family this past Spring Break. The kids had lost their screen time because of their behavior so they had “nothing” to keep them preoccupied for the last leg of our 10-hour trip.
My husband and I were exhausted. He had to answer various work-related phone calls. I was emotional, feeling car sick, and we were ready to be home sweet home.
After our 8-year-old daughter made a piercing shriek (for the tenth time) because her 10-year-old brother’s long legs were touching hers, I cried out to God:
Oh, help us, Lord! Please help us get home quickly. Why didn’t I bring my earphones?
My head felt like it was being squeezed in two. I needed QUIET.
That day during our trip home, we needed God’s power in parenthood. We simply couldn’t last another minute without it. In our humanity and fragile state of mind and being, we needed Jesus to take the wheel (no pun intended) or else things would not go well in our family.
We needed his strength working through us to not rip each other to shreds with our words, and we called out for it. Oh, did I cry out for it!
We also needed to be reminded that we’d just returned from an amazing week at my parent’s homemaking special memories with our children and just being with Memama and Bebah (Grandma and Grandpa) was the absolute highlight of it all. The kids had so much fun they didn’t want to leave. So much good came from our week and we couldn’t let the last two hours of intensity on the road ruin our trip.
Truth is, no matter the challenges in our circumstances, God’s not ignorant of the fact that we need help as parents. He’s aware of our weaknesses. He knows we only have so much strength, energy, patience, and self-control. And that’s when he says to us as dads and moms:
Come to me, and I’ll give you My strength and power. I’ll do what you simply cannot do on your own.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV
When we’re at our wit’s end, his grace flows to us and through us. When we’ve had enough and want to throw in the towel, his arms are outstretched ready to catch us when we fall. When the demands of parenting threaten the oneness in our marriage and we’re disoriented, his grace carries our relationship.
When we don’t have the strength to discipline our children anymore, his grace remains steadfast.
When our kids talk back to us, disobey, whine, complain, hit their siblings, fight, and when the peace in our home is threatened by stubborn sin, His grace says, I’ll help you be all that your children need at this moment. I’ll help you cross over to the other side if you will only:
Read my Word
Ask for help
Tell a friend
Strive for peace
That long day of travel on the road, God answered our prayers and we made it home to Colorado in one piece (hallelujah). The kids unloaded their belongings and skipped for joy to be with the dog again. The fighting and yelling subsided and when we walked in the door everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief.
His grace carried us home.
Like What You Read? Read more from Samantha in her book Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches