So summer vacation began yesterday.
It started out when I heard screaming coming from the basement as I spent time writing in my favorite chair and drinking my morning tea. Not long after that little mishap was resolved Wyatt comes running into the kitchen yelling “Moooooom! Henley called me a BIG BUTT FACE!”
Oh, but wait… The day ended with me breaking the middle toe on my right foot.
You read that correctly. And no, I didn’t kick any of my children.
I have to admit that I’ve been slightly apprehensive about this being at home all day every day with the kids. I knew it would be an adjustment to this only child who tends to like things a little more quiet than virtually everyone else in the house. Yet even so, I’ve been incredibly excited about it because it’s the FIRST SUMMER I’ve been able to be home with them. Ever.
The last 11 years have been a juggle between the both of us working full time but also trying to make sure we’re achieving the life balance. In all honestly, we’d always been relatively happy with where that seemed to land. Relatively. It definitely had it’s disadvantages, but being self-employed always meant that it might be a good idea for me to hold down a full-time job to provide our family with health insurance.
However, I’ve learned that change is inevitable. And with or without health insurance, something needed to change. Sometimes things that always worked before, won’t continue to work forever.
God gave me so much peace in the decision that followed.
So you can imagine how I felt in the precise moment I heard Wyatt yelling at the top of his lungs that his sister had just referred to his face as a giant rear end. I might’ve even let my mind wander dangerously close to something that sounded an awful lot like, “You mean I gave up my job for this?”
News flash: I’m not perfect.
Spending more time at home has allowed me to get a real glimpse of God’s grace. Grace keeps me calm when I’d really love to shout back at their insolent remarks toward one another. Grace brings me down on one knee to look them in the eyes when I need to put myself on their level. Grace is the forgiveness that comes when they’ve spilled chocolate milk on the white carpet. Grace lets the little things roll off my back when I’m being anal enough to want everything “just so.”
Leaving my job to stay home certainly didn’t bring grace into the home. It’s just made it so much easier to recognize. Because I look for it now. I seek out the grace that is so freely given and that I so often underestimate and take for granted.
Another news flash: I don’t need to be perfect.
I see His grace so evidently in my imperfections. In their imperfections. And it’s a beautiful thing. There is no other design more diverting than the one where we can get a glimpse of that perfection through our own shortcomings. It’s brilliant!
Before you put me on a pedestal and say “Wow, just a few weeks at home and you’re able to completely regain supernatural composure as a parent with God’s grace?”
Not always. I still have those moments where I misplace the idea that grace is accessible to me (did that today). I still raise my voice when I’ve come to the end of my proverbial rope (did that today, too). I still overreact at the little things and lean into the argument when I should lean into grace (*sigh*). I still grasp at parenting straws when one child refers to the other one as a hiney ( 😯 ).
And when I forget and do all of those things…there’s grace for that, too.
(Even with a broken toe.)
But he said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Wonderful post and a great reminder to lean into God’s grace.
Thank you, Shelly!
Jennifer, I have to confess that the idea of your children calling each other “hiney” faces made me laugh. That sounds so much like my brother and I.
Choosing to stay at home with your kids was a brave and bold move. I really do believe that. I also really do believe that God will reveal to you ever-increasing riches found in His grace and love. Hang in there, momma!
You. Are. Not. Alone. So grateful for your real-life words.