Today Facebook alerted me that it is my “Friendaversary” with my husband. Apparently he sent a friend request to me exactly 10 years ago. As I smiled at our pictures together, I realized how much we have grown in the past decade. Sometimes, as an adult, it is easy to forget that we are still in the process of growing and changing.
Giving myself grace as I grow is one of the hardest things to do. When I fail as a spouse or parent and respond in anger or impatience I feel terrible and it’s easy for me to feel defeated for days. I don’t want to ever excuse sinful behavior, but in those moments I need to feel hope that I can change and will do better next time. When I look back over the past few years I see significant growth in my life. Seeing the ways I have changed gives me hope for the person I am becoming.
Recently one of my kids pointed out that I reacted inappropriately in a situation. I agreed with him – I should not have responded with unkind words. And I quickly pointed out that I am not perfect. “Mommy is growing too.” I didn’t say it to excuse my behavior (which was wrong and for which I apologized without excuse). But I wanted him to know that I am not Jesus. I am quite human. I don’t expect perfection from him and I hope he understands that I need grace too.
So the next time you are tempted to beat yourself up over a shortcoming, just remember: you are growing too. We are all human. It’s not an excuse to justify wrong behavior, but there is hope. This one little phrase, I am growing too, has been a lifeline for me when I want to give up. I am a work in progress, just like my children. God’s grace is precisely for these moments.
May you find joy in your busy nothings this week!