More Grace. Less Judgement.

We’re currently in the back-to-school craze at our house.  The counter is overflowing with school supplies, school shoes, school clothes, school lists, school paperwork...the list goes on!  One morning last week while I was downing coffee and frantically checking items off the list, my kids asked for breakfast...and a spot to sit!  I looked up and realized I had the table covered in papers and piles with no place for them to eat.  I was so busy drowning in my own tasks I hadn’t thought to give them the most important meal of the day! #badmommoment  I immediately jumped up and cleared a spot for each of them.  This is just one example of the grace my kids give me everyday.  

But it’s not the only example...oh no!  On the same day two of my kids didn’t have any clean underwear left in their drawer, one of my kids ate a whole bag of trail mix (the unhealthy kind!) for lunch, and I forgot their water bottles for soccer practice on one of the hottest days of the year!  But, the kids always give me an “It’s ok, Mom”, with an occasional eye-roll, and move on without being phased by my ineptness.  

It has me thinking of examples of grace in other areas of our life.  Do we give people in our lives the grace they deserve?  What about people we encounter at Starbucks, on the road, and at the grocery we extend grace to them or do we judge them without even knowing it?  What about other moms?  Judgement between moms can be harsh.  We all want to be doing the “best” or the “most” for our kids because we love them so much!  What about extending the kind of grace our kids give to us to other moms we encounter throughout the day?

Some of the most encouraging moments of motherhood for me have been when another #Mother candidly shares her challenges with me or supports me through mine.  Having support and knowing you are not alone sure makes it easier to keep moving forward.  

Years ago (back when I thought I had it all together!), one mom’s simple encouragement to me was so impactful, I have since been motivated to pass it on.  I’m sure many of you can relate with the scenario of: a crying baby in the cart and a toddler tantruming in Target, right?  Well, on more than one occasion I’ve experienced this, too!  But this particular time was when I was a relatively new mom with a baby and a two year old.  At this point in our life, outings were planned out, mostly controlled, and pretty seamless…until this loud crying-tantruming-scene-making-meltdown!  I felt helpless and overwhelmed and alone.  I was afraid to look up, imagining what looks I would be getting because I’M SUCH A BAD MOM!  My eyes filled with tears as a sweet woman came down the aisle and encouraged me.  She told me not to be discouraged and to savor even those crazy tantruming moments.  We had a sweet conversation that gave me the power to get through that tough moment.  This was years ago and I have tried to pass on what I learned to every other mom I encounter in this phase.  We all have those meltdowns.  We should not be afraid to look up. In fact, we should look up eagerly for support, knowing another #Mother is there to encourage us.  Since that day, when I see a mom struggling through a tough moment, I try to extend a knowing look, a word of encouragement, or a helping hand.  I’ve had my fair share of of them used to be that I would never let my kids have food on their face out in public…you can see that went out the window, as most of those judgements do!

The more life I live, the more experiences I have, the more mistakes I make - the less judgement I have for anyone.  We all have challenges and battles we fight within ourselves everyday: to be a good mom/wife/friend/employee...the list is endless.  Realizing that everyone we encounter throughout the day has the same challenges ahead moves me away from judgement and toward grace.  Stay at home moms, working moms, single moms...the grass isn’t always greener.  Life isn’t always easier.

We all have our own battles to fight, let’s not make life harder for each other by stacking up judgements.  Let’s make life more fruitful by breaking down walls, being real, and giving grace.  Simply put, let’s look up and love each other.