being there

She shuffled around the kitchen after announcing she was making cookies. She is young and restless and doesn’t see the need to read the recipe first. She stirs and whips and soon realizes we are out of eggs. She adds a heaping cup of water into an already full to the brim bowl, just because.  The concoction was thin; it dripped from a spatula like chunky chocolate milk.  Minutes later she asked her father to take her to the grocery store to buy a carton of eggs. 

He knows regardless of the eggs, the cookies will never take shape. They will fold in the oven.  She has stretched the recipe beyond repair, with too much of this and not enough of that. But even though her dad can predict the obvious ending, he drives her to the store to buy the eggs that won’t make a difference in the failed dessert.

But I know him well enough, this father of hers for 12 years, to say that the five-mile drive has little to do with the mixture of mush.  What he says in his actions is that success or fail, he believes in her. He will applaud her effort to spite the outcome. He’ll stop what he’s doing to invest in another ordinary afternoon. And as they walk out the door I shake my head, wondering why he would waste his time buying a silly ingredient that will do absolutely no good.   

But late in the evening, a lump forms deep in the back of my throat as I scrawl this simple story. Too often I focus on the success in my daughter and my two sons. I push and persuade these little ones of mine to behave and listen, and the obvious missing ingredient in my tattered and tired recipe for mothering is grace. 

Grace in the daily blunders because they are still children. Grace to giggle at the frequent fiascos.  And a heaping amount of grace in the moments of success and failure.


Linking up this week with Michelle at Graceful & Jen at Finding Heaven


16 thoughts on “being there

  1. Oh my goodness. You must have been reading my mind. I have been cycling through these same thoughts over and over and over again. I think back to my childhood where success was always paramount and I realize that I could very clearly instill that into my children. But what I want for them is exactly what your husband’s actions showed. No matter what, I will encourage and love you, despite your failures or your successes.

  2. I’m a fairly new friend to your blog, but I’m loving it! Your genuineness shines through your posts. Thanks for the gentle reminder to celebrate our kiddos through the ups AND downs. Learning happens through every experience, and God doesn’t waste them.

  3. Years ago, our daughter decided to make a batch of cookies. The batter got thinner and thinner but she persevered and scooped it onto the cookie sheet anyway. In the hot oven (as we all stepped into the other room, mind you), the batter spilled over the edges of the cookie sheet, onto the hot coils below. When our son wandered into the kitchen a few minutes later, he discovered a fire in the oven. Yep. A fire! Fortunately we caught it and avoided a major catastrophe!

    So thankful that yours is a better ending than ours. 🙂

  4. I needed to read your post today. I’ve been having trouble with one of my children lately. My stomach was in knots because I didn’t know what to do anymore, but this morning he was wonderful.

    I’m still learning how to balance my desire to instruct and discipline while extending grace, the same grace that I need to rest in when I feel I’ve failed as a parent.

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