On a recent Sunday in church, our priest quoted someone who once said, “Yesterday is the heaviest weight you can carry today.” He made sure to repeat the line for emphasis.
As I let the quoted words settle, my mind wandered to my yesterday’s morning. Two stores with three young boys, a husband in tow because I was not in the mood to handle it alone, and the youngest of the three throwing a loud, and I mean ear-piercing, massive fit over everything he could not have. Throughout both stores.
Brothers were embarrassed, and mom and dad, well, we were very tired. Our youngest was created so very differently than the others. He’s the most active and the most of a challenge.
He was created so similarly, as well. He gives lots of kisses, pretends to be a puppy so you will pat his head, he thinks anything young and cuddly is “so cute,” and he is attached to his momma.
But keeping up with him is exhausting. He wakes multiple times a night and rises early in the morning. He demands supervision the entire day long, or danger looms near.
There was a moment that morning when I thought, “What do you do when both parents need a break from this one child?” The truth of this thought weighed heavily indeed.
Fast forward to my yesterday’s afternoon when I was outside with the youngest searching for roly poly bugs and sitting on the sidewalk while he practiced casting into a puddle with his fishing rod. He absolutely loves the outdoors, so there were no screams, only smiles, and the scent of sunscreen wafting in the breeze.
Back in my present moment in church, I thought about grace.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Children are often gentle reminders of God’s perfect grace. My parenting is, at times, a greater than gentle reminder of my weakness.
Yet even though I get angry, even after I yell, after I walk away, little feet always find me. Little arms always open up asking to be held. Little hands always cup my face and remind me of such innocent love. I am still loved, and my sons are still grounded in my love for them.
And when I finally find myself approaching my heavenly Father with requests for forgiveness and guidance for this earthly role of mine, the weight is lifted. He has stayed steady on the course where I often wander, with grace in abundance.
Our disappointing morning in those two stores is not and will not be the only stumble in this journey. But the weight of every misstep doesn’t have to linger long. Grace cleanses us, just as simply as a spring-time breeze. Grace speaks to us, sometimes in puppy-dog language. And grace frees us, lifting those weighty mistakes, trials, and hardships, so we can move forward in a brand-new today.