I’ve had a few mom experiences lately that have reminded me of the power of grace.
Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch a Facebook Live where I share this story, and our family’s brush with Covid.
It was the last text I wanted to send that afternoon.
First of all, it was my birthday, and I was just trying to sit on the couch, watch some football and eat the greasy Mexican food we’d just had delivered. (I mean, can’t a girl live?)
It was Sunday, the weather was beautiful and the boys were playing outside with the neighbor girl.
Everything was great.
Until, sometime during the second quarter, one of my kids busted into the room and blurted out that his brother had just shown the neighbor girl his penis.
Yep. I’ll make up names here, but it was something like:
“Mom! Bobby just showed Sally his penis.”
So that was fun.
I put down my favorite refried beans and went outside to discuss this with my sons, apologize to the neighbor girl and discipline the penis-shower.
Once I had that handled, I gulped.
Now I had to tell her mom. And I needed to do it fast, before word got back through the kid rumor mill, which tends to average about 3 to 5 minutes, at least on our block.
My head felt heavy and my stomach tinged.
My boys love playing with her daughter. She is just an absolute sweetheart and just a really great kid. We don’t know the family that well, but our kids have so much fun together. It’s just magical to watch them play.
I hated that this happened.
It could ruin everything.
As I clicked “send” on my apology text, the feeling of dread blanketed my heart.
I was terrified of what I’d get back.
Was she going to shame me?
Was she going to tell the other neighbors we have bad kids?
Was she going to tell the other moms that I wasn’t good enough? That I’m not worth associating with?
About 30 seconds later, my thigh vibrated and I cringed.
What would her text say?
Was she going to tell me what a shameful parent I am? Was she going to insult our family? Was she going to say the kids could never play together again?
Instead, I got this.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m sure she’s seen worse.”
And there it was.
I stared at my phone, stunned.
There were so many things she could have said.
She could’ve sent a hurried, nasty text back, adding insult to injury and telling me about the other wrongs she’d witnessed my kids do but had been saving up reporting for this exact righteous occasion.
She could have written back with a curt, “I think Sally needs a break from your boys for a while.”
She could have suggested certain ways I could have mothered my child better, so he wouldn’t have done this terrible thing.
She could have said so many things.
All the things, I realized, I had already thought about myself.
But she didn’t.
I felt so relieved I could almost cry.
Because with that text, she told me that she had chosen not to believe the lies that I’d already spoken over myself.
And so, staring at that screen, there was only one thing I could think to say:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GRACE.
Grace is forgiving someone when they don’t deserve it.
Grace is realizing that my neighbor friend didn’t need to forgive me.
Grace is knowing that I deserved something much different than I got.
Maybe an angry text. Maybe an ended relationship, written into life with the absence of any response back at all.
But she didn’t do that.
She extended me a mother’s grace that I didn’t deserve.
How many times do we go through our day and have the power to extend grace, or withhold it?
To that slow person in front of us on the way back into our neighborhood, when our kid has to pee and the baby is screaming.
To that family member who offers to help us, but drops the ball every time.
To that person who scowls at us while we’re parked right in front of the post office mailbox where we stopped to drop off Christmas cards, but then a kid had to pee (yes again), so we’re holding a sippy cup to their penis (yes again) while our hazards are on. (Literally happened yesterday.)
My pursuit of grace comes from knowing that I’ve been given a Grace I don’t deserve.
The neighbor mom has forgiven me when she didn’t have to.
And, I believe, Jesus has too.
And when we come from the knowledge that we have been granted Grace we don’t deserve, it is so much easier to give it.
Has grace been lavished on you in an unexpected way? Who can you give grace to today? I’d love to read your comments on Instagram, or the Facebook page. And, if you haven’t already, sign up for the email list so you don’t miss a post.