The Rookies: Grace (By Sarah Fetterman)

(Editor's Note: This post is a day late, which when you have finished reading, will make all the sense in the world! Sarah is the principal author on this post, and J will add his thoughts in italics.)

I've been thinking about grace a lot lately. When I look at the giant pile of laundry or the suitcase that I still haven't put away from August. When it's lunch time (or dinner time) and the boys are still in their pajamas. When dinner time comes and I have no idea what we're going to eat. All of these things make me think about grace because all of these things make me feel like I'm failing as a mom.

I've struggled with perfectionism for as long as I can remember, and now I struggle with it in motherhood. I feel I should have everything together for our boys. They should always be perfectly dressed in our perfectly clean house eating perfectly crafted meals. The reality for a part-time working mom of twin babies (who also likes to sleep at night) is that's not going to happen.

Let’s face it: anyone who knows me at all knows that Sarah didn’t stand a chance at achieving perfection! Perfectly clean house? Clothes without stains on them? Formal attire? I doubt it severely.

Thankfully, it doesn't need to.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Grace. God has given us grace freely as a gift. We don't need to -- actually cannot -- do anything to earn it. So why do we keep trying?

My desire to be a perfect mom comes from a place of love, of wanting our boys to have the best lives possible. But striving for perfection can actually do them a disservice. If I spend all of my time cooking and cleaning and worrying about little details, I miss out on quality time with them. Also, being their mother also means I am to model good behavior for them, and what do I show them if I don't give myself grace to be imperfect? If I don't accept the grace God has given?

It seems in my experience that it is universally true that grace is hardest to give to yourself. When I read Sarah’s words here, my reaction is to point out how much grace there is, how she shouldn’t be so hard on herself, how she’s doing great. But then my eyes glance down at my to-do list, and suddenly I get angry with myself for how much I’m not doing. It’s an odd thing that I’m willing to bet each and every believer in Christ, parent or otherwise, has to work on.

I've been praying over 2 Peter 1:2, that it would be how I live my life. It is my prayer for you too.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

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