from FAIL to WIN

Kids are home. Few adults have the same workload they had weeks ago. Business is not as usual. We all feel it.

If you have kids, your parenting has been impacted too. I feel stretched to my limits and maybe beyond them. I wish I could say we have been thriving at my house, but I’ve had more parent-fails than not.

Friends. Let’s be honest. Parenting is hard. Things aren’t easier with the kids home, schedules changed, and social distancing.

We’re wrapping up week five here. I’m just now getting my feet under me. With five kids from ages 15 to 6, I do not have a fixed routine, but a rhythm that shapes my day. And that’s okay.

My kids argue with me. Normal. The past two weeks, I joined their arguing. Sometimes, I got smart, saw the mistake I made, and disengaged. BUT when I didn’t, I blamed them for arguing, doled out thoughtless consequences, and the whole thing ended with all of us frustrated.

I knew I needed to walk away and “Take 5” like I advise the parents I parent coach. Instead, I just shifted to the next thing in hopes it would go better. Sound familiar?

The parent-fails are real.

In the name of Jesus, the parent-fails can become parent-wins.

Every time we fail, things can be made right. That’s how it works in the Kingdom of God.

Confession, repentance, and forgiveness are wins for those who declare Jesus is Lord.

Confession. You name your sin to God and, if relevant, the one you sinned against. Repentance. You turn away from your sin toward life. Forgiveness. You forgive the one who sinned against you and/or forgive yourself.

Jesus forgives us our sins and leads us to life. When He cried out from the cross, “It is finished” that meant for you and me. Nothing is too great or small to be forgiven.

For years, the thoughts that raced through my mind, moved me to confession every single day and often repeatedly. Everyone said what a great mom I was. It looked great on the outside, but I knew better. I knew I needed Jesus to have mercy on me and change my heart.

“Lord have mercy on me a sinner,” became my daily cry. It was confession and repentance rolled into one for me.

Jesus carried me and had mercy on me a sinner as I offered Him my confession and heart again and again. He forgave me every single time. He did a great work in me.

People have said for you years, “You have five kids…and all boys. You have your hands full!” I never really felt that, but I do now!

Disappointment and frustration have been common responses to life for all of us here. Almost everything changed on a dime when no one expected it. “Lord have mercy on me a sinner” has been my cry again these past few weeks.

I have added to my prayer, “Create in a pure heart. Renew a right spirit in me.”

Confession, repentance, and forgiveness with Jesus and one another allow us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

Through our parent-fails, Jesus invites us to victory in His name. Friends, that is always a win.

Jesus, You are ours and we are Yours. Help us live more fully into that reality. Oh, how we need you!

2 thoughts on “from FAIL to WIN

  1. Ellen, thank you so much for this! I am an introvert and most of the time I feel ok with all of this social distancing, but reading this makes me realize how much I still need connection. His grace is so amazing. I am so encouraged that I don’t have to “start over” tomorrow, I can “start over” and repent now and truly have a clean slate. Love to you and your family. I am not gifted with words as you are, so I don’t know that I can adequately express my admiration, respect, and gratitude for you, but I have tears in my eyes, if that helps to explain my feelings!


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