I recently spoke to a group of young moms with preschool children. They had asked me to tell them how to balance marriage and motherhood.
Once I’d stopped laughing (which took a few minutes) I did come up with a series of do’s and don’ts which had at least helped me survive those early years of diapers and late night lunacy.
Here’s the most important thing I told them. That if they remembered nothing else from my talk, they must remember this: there is grace.
Motherhood shows you many things about yourself. Primarily that you’re finite, imperfect and impatient. For most of the first five years, you’re likely to be a hormotional wreck. Yes, horm-otional. Ask any mom to explain this mix to you.
Which is why it’s so crucial to remember grace. If extending grace to oneself were reliant upon some self-willed self-talk, I’d never get any. If it was based on some kind of moral courage or human “bigger-ness” to extend grace to others, I wouldn’t have any of that either.
But it’s not. Grace comes from the One who extended it to us when we deserved none. Who gave us love, when we were worthy of contempt. Who looked on us with forgiveness, where there should have been judgment. And who gives us another chance to try, over and over (and over) again.
If I am not able to receive that grace and extend it toward myself, how on earth do I ever think I would be able to extend it to anyone else?
So whether you’re a mom or not, if you want to show grace to someone else, remember that it is to you that that grace was given first.