*GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*
I leaned against the back wall of the shower, body shaking as the hot water washed away even hotter tears from my face. Totally depleted, lacking energy enough to even raise my arms to the heavens, I instead raised my chin and opened my eyes, looking ... pleading with God to see me.
"I feel so helpless!" I cried. "God, HELP me! I can't do this anymore. I don't want to be this anymore!"
Laid bare, I begged for God to act, to fix, to heal, to do something, anything, to change what had been the worst five days I could remember with my two young sons.
Hearts of stone.
I'm caught between two worlds as of late. I know that God alone changes hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26) and that no matter what I do, my sons will always be slaves to sin until they find freedom in Christ. But I desperately want God to show me a formula for raising godly sons. I search the scriptures, yearning for a no-fail equation ... something I can do to change their hearts ... to give me relief.
A noble pursuit, no? To raise boys (children) who love the Lord, respect their parents, obey? Is it too much to ask for at least one thing I can do? One if-then equation from the Lord that I can quickly put in place and find relief from the grueling ins-and-outs of daily parenting? Even the classic "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he's old he will not depart from it" verse doesn't tell me exactly how to train up a child (Proverbs 22:6).
I want to be a better mom! I want to be the best mom I can be for my sons. But in the shower that day, I was ready to give up, waive the white flag in defeat, lay down and let go.
I don't have the answers. I don't believe there really is an absolute formula for producing godly children. And the more I read from people who think they do have a formula, the more I think our rules and A+ B = C equations really do a better job of producing self-righteous parents and pharisaical children, than godly examples and selfless servants.
What I am sure of is that these past five days have held up a mirror to the ugly sin in this mama's heart.
- Taking up offense
- Unbelief (Oh, I DO believe...Lord help my unbelief!)
- Lack of trust
...and I know that I'm in need of grace as much, if not more, than they are.
I dance on the line of grace and works, grace and works. Sometimes, I just need relief from the beautiful chaos that is my home, and it's during these times that I'm tempted to care more about changing my sons' behavior than I do allowing God to change their hearts.
I often wonder why God designed it this way ... that we would have to place our hope in Him for our children. Having the entire end result of our children's lives lie completely outside of our control does leave us with a sense of helplessness. I don't know that there has ever been a trial that has driven me to the cross the way parenting has. Maybe the sense of urgency comes from the fact that I know all too well that I'll only get to do this once. In a few short years they'll be gone and I'll be left wondering what I could've done to be a better mom.
But through my trials this week God is showing me His grace ... relieving me of some of the weight of responsibility for the way my children will turn out. I see His loving hand all through the Bible delighting in raising even the worst of the worst to a place of salvation. And I'm reminded that if He can save even me, He can save my children.
Relaxing in grace. Grace for me, grace for my children, grace for yours.
Maybe that's the equation. Radical, beautiful, inspiring, awesome grace.
Our desperate need + God's radical love = Grace
It's the only sure thing we have.
Brooke McGlothlin is a mom of two young boys who leave her desperate for God's grace. Her pursuit of being a better mom has left her at the foot of the cross, knowing that if God doesn't show up ... nothing happens. This dependence upon God to turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh leads her to her knees in prayer. She's the author of the best-selling eBook Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most, creator of the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge and co-founder of the well-loved online community for mothers of boys, the M.O.B. Society. She offers hope for change to the hearts of women at her main blog, A Life in Need of Change.
Today, in celebration of The Better Mom's launch week, you can win a copy of all three of Brooke's eBooks! (And by the way we are soo excited to have Brooke as a part of our contributor team here at The Better Mom!) :)
Plus... a $50 Gift Certificate from The Vintage Pearl
The Vintage Pearl creates simple, unique, and sentimental jewelry -- custom handstamped necklaces, bracelets and other keepsakes, that can be customized with any names, dates, or words of inspiration. Each and every piece is handcrafted in the studio, using sterling silver and freshwater pearls.
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Giveaway Ends Friday August 12th at 11:59 p.m.
Good "Luck" friends!