Mommy guilt clenched its tight grip around me, making it difficult to breathe. There, in my hand, was the soggy google eye I had retrieved from the depths of my baby’s mouth. Earlier that day it had been a Lego and I had snapped. My children stood agape, eyes wide open, as I flew into a rampage scavenging for any remaining Lego that dared to traipse away from its appointed bin. I admonished everyone in my path. Don’t they realize that one stray Lego could kill their baby sister? There is a reason I ask them to clean up their stuff!
As I once again washed my drool-covered hand, defeat washed over me. Lecturing hadn’t worked. Neither had sweeping 16 times.
And where had I been anyway? Making lunch? Listening to my Kindergartener read? Cheering on my newly potty-trained darling? Searching for another Lego in the other room?
Guilt of what could have happened stabbed my heart.
I should have picked up that google eye before my little lady even saw it glistening from across the room. I should have seen her clench it in her tiny fist and put it in her mouth. I should have at least noticed that her malformed facial expressions told of her little feast.
But I hadn’t, and I wanted to crumble into a broken mess on the floor!
How many times have I wanted to be there for one of my dear children, and I wasn’t? How many times have I completely missed the evidence right in front of me and let my family down? How many times have I found myself snapping at my children instead of pouring out grace?
This guilt…it hurts, and it keeps me frozen.
Even when things go the way I think they should, that guilt is there reminding me that I am not perfect.
Yet, beauty is found in these shattered pieces, for it is here that God’s truths flood my heart (and hopefully yours as well)! As I try to pick up each piece and glue it back together, I realize that stuffing my “mommy guilt” to the side just isn’t working, it is a reflection of something deeper.
I have stumbled at more than one point. I have wallowed in self-pity, put other things above God, spoken harshly to my children, not taken time to care for my home, pushed my children aside so I could check just one more email, let fear reign instead of trust in God. Yes, I am guilty. I can quote along with the Psalmist- “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” (Psalm 38:4)! This burden of guilt is often God’s way of getting my attention and leading me to His throne, for it is there that…
God has taken away my guilt.
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
Beauty is found when I’ve stumbled and am broken, and I pour out my confession to the Lord. He cleanses with His grace. I am forgiven, completely free of guilt. I should no longer hold on to that guilt.
And the rest? The times I’ve let others down, broken a child’s favorite toy, not realized a daughter needed glasses, failed to pick up the stray google eye off the floor, finally rescued time to spend with God- only to hear a diaper change calling?
The rest I lay at His feet.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What would happen if each of us stopped worrying about being perfect? If we stopped fretting over getting our children into the best programs? If we stopped agonizing over all the things we could, should, would have done, and instead fell on our faces before our God, seeking Him and His ways? Soaking each situation with prayer as we relied completely on His Spirit, His strength, and His grace?
That is where we find His peace, His joy, and His beauty!
Jessica is the wife of her ministry-minded best friend and the love of her life. She is a blessed homeschooling stay-at-home mommy to 6 precious children- Alyssa, Elliana, Kayla, Isaiah, Annabella, & Ariya- all ages 7 & under! She is your every-day mommy that longs to be full of grace, but often needs to ask for forgiveness. She has a passion for seeking & following hard after God, loving on her family, leading little (and big) hearts to Christ, and encouraging others along the way! She shares her heart & her life at Our Family for His Glory.