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Challenge: Stretched Too Thin

I Was a Failure Mom Again Today

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I said some stupid things to my kids this morning. I felt mistreated. I felt overwhelmed. Part of it is that we make different school decisions for each of our kids. Currently, my youngest one stays home and squeezes a hamster all day, one goes to public school for special needs assistance, and the other is homeschooled. Homeschooled by me, even though some days I'd rather just have hamster duty. Homeschooling is difficult in this season of life, and the one I homeschool is a perfectionist to the max, which means she tears up over a 98 A and tears up over being taught something new because she's frustrated it isn't in her brain already. All the chaos this morning led me to make the homeschooled perfectionist feel like I didn't like homeschooling her and didn't want to continue. She thought I felt that way because that's what I said.

Five minutes later, I opened her Bible curriculum and read the question I was supposed to read: "In the Bible, there are stories of people who God used to do great things for His glory. Can you think of any?" The examples the book gave were David, Samson, Daniel, Moses and Elijah.

Do you know what my girl said?

"The woman at the well."

I paused for a minute, genuinely confused. Me -- gospel-writer -- forgot the gospel and questioned her answer. "The woman at the well?"

She said, "Yeah. Because Jesus forgave her and then she went and told people about what Jesus did for her."

I was immediately undone. How beautiful. And how unreal that children can understand the mystery of the gospel better than the grown-up "professional Christians" who teach them. She didn't pick the Bible characters with great accomplishments under their belts. She picked the adulterous woman who was recorded in the Bible for doing nothing more than meeting Jesus and telling people she was forgiven.

That's all of it. That's the gospel. We have nothing to offer. We have everything to gain. Our greatest accomplishment is needing what Christ has accomplished.

I'm thankful for my daughter's powerful answer and for God's perfect timing. While I was feeling like a failure mom (because I was actually being a failure mom), God used an 8-year-old to remind me that my failures are hidden and my forgiveness is sweet.

Carry on, tired friends. Keep going, people who feel overwhelmed. Even if all you can do this day is hamster duty, Jesus has already won and you are already loved.

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