Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beauty from the Ashes

I'm in a Facebook group for moms with special needs children.  The other day, a sweet mom posted that she    just didn't know what to do when she had blown it. She called those times, "Bad Mommy Moments." And, it got me thinkin', as the saying goes... God knows I've had my own Bad Mommy Moments....too many to count. It's such a dilemma to me; I want to raise righteous God-lovers, and am constantly on them to do what is right, say what is right, and be godly. And then, I lose my temper, do the opposite of what I'm supposed to do, or worse, the opposite of what I've told them to do. (I'm smacking my forehead now).

What makes this worse, is that Bean Boy at the ripe old age of 11, has noticed the inconsistency.  I still remember that inconsistency I saw in my Dad, and how it challenged me...still does.  It caused a stumbling block for me in trusting him.  Knowing he said one thing, and did another caused me to doubt his sincerity, and lack trust for him in a host of ways.  Oh how I pray this doesn't cause the same problems for my son, or daughters.  The truth is, I'm a sinner.  My dad is a sinner.  My son is a sinner. No amount of preaching, reading the Word, prayer, or any other discipline is going to change the fact, that we are sinners.  And, that's a good thing!

If those things, our deeds and works, changed us into righteous people, well, we wouldn't need Christ.  The cross would just be a tree a man died on, rather than a beautiful symbol of sacrificial love.  If, we could be righteous on our own, there would be no need of a relationship with Jesus, and we'd miss out on something beautiful and wonderful.  If we stopped sinning when we became believers, there would be no reason to continue on our faith journeys.  Sin is ugly.  It is destructive.  It ruins trust, destroys hope, and leads to death.  Sin can be a relationship killer.  I think, from my own experience, this hypocrisy (even if unintentional) can be especially deadly.  However, it sin is a tool to show us our need for God.

My hope is that when couple with honesty, humility, and open communication, the life of our relationships can be saved.  My hope is that when sin enters in, our relationships can mirror our relationships with our Savior.  It starts with humility.  We must confess our brokenness to the other person, ask for forgiveness, and seek restoration.  It's especially hard to do this with our kids (the humility), I think.  But, I think it is important for them to see how this works, both when we forgive them, and when they forgive us.  God gave us such a beautiful model of restoration!  I think when we mess up, it gives our kids an opportunity to practice grace...and boy do we need to practice! (at least I do!) It gives them an opportunity to see God working in us, changing us, cleaning up our brokenness, and lavishing grace on us.  What comes out of the ashes of sin and brokenness is a beautiful miracle.  And, I believe it ultimately glorifies God.  I'm certainly not going to purposefully sin to create this situation, I do it enough without trying! ;) But, I will purpose to practice humility when I mess up with my kiddos, beg for their forgiveness, and show them how I too must go to my Savior and ask for mercy. . . again.

I hope my honesty and humility help them to understand that this is a journey we are on. . . we don't arrive as adults, parents, teachers, bosses, clients, etc.  It is a journey we continue throughout our lives here on earth, and part of the reason we long for Heaven.  I hope that my honesty and humility lead them to see that my faith is real, that I really am a God-lover and struggle with sin, that ultimately I want to please Him, all because I love him.

It is amazing to me that from the ashes left by the destruction of sin, God can make all things beautiful. . . even me!

To me, Isaiah chapter 61 is an excellent example of how God restores, and His ultimate plans for us...

Isaiah 61:3
. . . To grant to those who mourn in Zion-
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
taht they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.


  1. Thank you for this! What an eye-opener for me, and a beautiful way to look at things. Being thankful in our mess ups, so that we can remember that Jesus died to grant us mercy and forgiveness. Such a "teachable moment" for our children! I feel so much better...

    1. Thank you sweet friend! This parenthood thing is one of the hardest things EVER!!! Wish I could do it perfectly, but thankful that God knows what He's doing even when I'm clueless!