Condemnation is a trick of the enemy, not the language of the heavens. Shame is not God’s tool, so if we are slaves to it, we’re way off the beaten path. And it is harsh out there, debilitating actually. If your inner monologue is critical, endlessly degrading, it’s time to move back to grace. Then we can breathe and assess our own parenting with the same kindness we extend to others. Only our overly critical, overly involved generation could engineer such carefully curated childhood environments and still declare ourselves failures. We are loving, capable mothers reading the room all wrong.
Can I tell you my goal for my kids? That their childhood is mostly good. People, I declare “mostly good” a raging success. If I am mostly patient and they are mostly obedient, great. If we are mostly nurturing and they turn out mostly well-adjusted, super. Every childhood needs a portion of lame, boring, aggravating, and tedious. Good grief, life is not a Nickelodeon set. They need something to gripe about one day.
“Mostly good” is later remembered as “loved and safe.” I now label my childhood “magical” though Mom slapped me across the face when I was in seventh grade and never bought me Guess jeans and accidentally left me at church several times. Mostly good is enough. Mostly good produces healthy kids who know they are valued and either forget the other parts or turn them into funny stories.
You are doing a wonderful job. Parenting is mind-numbingly hard and no one is perfect at it and we’ll all jack a thousand parts, yet somehow, against all odds, it will be enough.
And if stepping outside your mind to self-observe or planting your feet on a grace highway doesn’t work, come to my house for one afternoon and be guaranteed to feel better about your family, as you may recall how I told my then fifth-grader, after sassing off, to get a shovel, go in the backyard, and dig his own grave.
-from Jen Hatmaker's devotional "For the Love"
2 Corinthians 12:9
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.