No one ever told me how strange it would be, to see the things that I had been battling my whole life show up on the face of my daughter. Not yet two years from the day I had her, and already it happened.
The Peanut is a chatty one, and friendly as can be. She is especially friendly when she gets the sense that her parents like the person she is meeting. Our good friend Betsy recently moved back to Atlanta (forever, please). She was awesome enough to babysit on Valentines day and then this weekend she accompanied us to the farmers market. We were consistently mistaken as the two hottest lesbian moms in the place.
But before we left for the farmers market, the Peanut was showing off her new tricks by naming the people we pointed at. Mommy, check. Daddy, check. Rilla, check. She even informed us that Rilla also went by sister. But then we pointed at Betsy. She has said Betsy’s name before, which is pretty impressive considering the Peanut is not yet two and this was the second time she had met Betsy. But in that moment, she didn’t know it. And she looked for a long time at Betsy, then looked to the ground, crawled off Betsy’s lap, and walked over to her daddy, being cute.
I suppose I could be projecting on her, but somehow I don’t think so. She was embarrassed, ashamed that she could not remember someone’s name. Someone that mommy and daddy like.
In the past I have been easily shamed. I can remember verbal smacks from elementary school teachers that I didn’t even like. And to this day they burn. I used to spend hours at night reviewing in my head things that were said to me, things that I said, what I should have said, why that person said what they did. It was so much wasted time, wasted energy, wasted moments when I could be sleeping. For whatever reason, I could not let those things simply roll off my back. I was embarrassed; sometimes I was ashamed.
It has taken me a long time to fully embrace the grace that Christ has to offer. To simply think “when you know better, you do better” and then go on about the business of attempting to do better. And even now, the people who are closest to me know that I am a serial apologizer. I say “sorry” for things that are not at all my fault. But I am working on it. I am doing better every day.
I don’t want my daughter to carry the that weight, the weight that I was carrying around for years. The weight that I now leave at the cross. I don’t want her to feel embarrassed or ashamed when she doesn’t know something or makes an honest mistake.
I want her to know that God’s grace isn’t just sufficient enough to cover our sins and squeak us barely in to heaven. It is abundant, and covers the rest when our best isn’t good enough. God’s grace is sufficient enough to take what you give Him and turn it into something beautiful. Even if what you give him isn’t the perfect right thing. It doesn’t have to be, just your best love. God thinks that is grand,
And I want her to know that we think her best is grand too. And all the people who love her, they think her best is perfect. Even when it isn’t good enough.
He wasn’t kidding when he said the tongue holds the power of life and death, was He? I, too, can still remember some of the very hurtful things said to me by completely unqualified judges 15 years ago. Sad, as I know at some point or another my tongue has let the same death roll off of it. Lord, grace for their mouths and for my heart to release the untruths they spoke.
And of course Gram thinks she is wonderful. That is a BIG period.