He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
~Isaiah 40:11, NIV
Often, lately, when I meet someone new who has read some of my books, they chat for a few moments and then confess their faults as a mama. I certainly don’t want others to think that just because I write about ideals, that I don’t fail to fulfill my own standards on a regular basis. But the ideals, the following the heart of God is what makes me continue to move forward.
Sometimes I even feel as thought God looks and me and shakes His head—”Oh that Sally! She just disappoints so often.” And yet, the more I ponder the Lord, the more I see HIs deep compassion and generous love toward me and all of his own children.
Somewhere along the way, I decided to put the load of guilt from all the ways I had failed into the file drawers of heaven and mark forgiven over them. Now, when voices accuse me of once more blowing it, I just pray and again give my state of guilt to Jesus, seeking to stay alive in the freedom that He has provided.
All of us carry guilt—because we yelled, because we have selfish, hateful thoughts. Yet, in spite of it all, we can start over every single day. And because your children want to love you and give you grace.
You are still writing your story. That story cannot have a good ending unless you decide to celebrate life right where you are and lay your guilt, inadequacy, and condemnation at the foot of the cross and then move on to live in the freedom He wants you to have.
In the same way we would not expect a toddler to live a life without making messes, crying, and throwing a few fits, so God is not surprised at our incredible potential for messing up. In comparison to His holiness and perfection, we are mere toddlers—if that.
Today, take off the burden—it’s ok to take a day off. Do something fun, look at that crazy child you have and look for the ways you can love them. Eat something fun and tasty. No legalism or pressure or guilt allowed today—for you or for your children
Celebrate life, Start over. All will be well and the world will keep turning. Even as you need new starts and do overs, so do your children need. Give them the love for who they are right as they are right now and give yourself the gift of loving yourself, just as you are.
Do not accept the heavy burden of guilt—choose to live in your new freedom. Choose to put away the voices that condemn. Faith is a choice of your will. Believe that He is a Redeemer. He can draw back stray sheep because He loves them and especially wants to love and help you because you are a mama after His heart. He will redeem— buy back—all of those mistakes. Redeeming is what He does—He delights in doing what He was made to do. So don’t waste your time worrying—leave your failings and regrets in His loving hands.
After all, I think mamas are close to His heart because, like Him, they make sacrifices for their sweet sheep.
One of Nathan’s and my desires in writing this book, Only You Can Be You, was to help parents to give their children the gift of grace, the gift of not having to bear unnecessary guilt or false guilt. We are all imperfect and yet, by His redeeming us, we are of great value, even in our own limitations. We hope you will use this book to talk with your children about God’s unconditional acceptance and love for them and that all will delight in the message and the amazing photos.
Also, there are free downloadable coloring pages, activity sheets and educational questions you can use to help children absorb the message behind this book. Go Here for more.
May you live in the resurrection power today and each day until you see Him face to face.
Books Referenced in this Podcast:
Leave an iTunes Review These are so important as they help our podcast reach more women with messages of encouragement.
Share with others. My prayer is that this podcast brings encouragement to women and families, and I would be honored for you to tell others about it.
Join my friends and me in membership at Life with Sally, a place for me to share more teaching from the Bible and messages on education, motherhood, discipleship, and more!