Flowers of Grace: When We Fail as Mothers

By Katie Earman

The day overwhelmed me. I felt emotionally drained from sibling squabbling, physically worn out from not sleeping well, and mentally fried from the many worries and concerns of life running through my mind. If faith is a fight, my faith was losing. Anxiety, fear, and depression loudly dominated every impulse and thought. And it was only lunch time.

I tried to pray, but sometimes even that is too hard. Depression and sorrow swept over me and the tears began to fall. Then the anger started to bubble up—anger that I was still in this place of anxiety and sadness.

At that moment the children started to fight. Shrieks and cries followed them as they ran into the kitchen. When they all started shouting at once about what the other sibling did to upset them, I asked them to quiet down and tell me calmly. No one listened. I said it again in a louder and firmer voice. Still no one listened. I then started yelling, and in a fit of complete frustration that I had yelled yet again after promising not too, I slammed my fist against the back door, accidentally shattering the glass of the window pane.

As the glass scattered over the floor, the sounds of five people crying filled the kitchen. I cried. And all four of my children cried. They felt afraid and sad. I felt sickened by what I had just done. I started apologizing, comforting them and picking up the pieces of broken glass. All four kids looked at me with big eyes and I explained that mommy was wrong and that I need Jesus to help me today. I explained that I was sad and angry, and I had let my emotions control me. I explained to them that it was not their fault and that perhaps they could go play outside while I cleaned up the mess.

Later that evening, when Joshua arrived home, all four kids sheepishly went up to him and said that mommy had broken the glass. He listened to their explanations and saw my sorrowful face and said, “Kids, let’s go out and pick up a pizza for dinner and give Mommy some space.” After an hour of much needed quiet to cry, think, repent, and pray, they returned. In addition to bringing home pizza, they brought home a bouquet of flowers…beautiful, sweet smelling flowers.

I did not deserve flowers! I had completely messed up as a mother. But instead of disappointment, frustration, or impatience, my husband and children gave me flowers. They told me how much they loved me. Those flowers stood on the table as a reminder to me of God’s grace…getting something we do not deserve. My rebellion against God was like my anger shattering the glass in the back-door window. I have broken God’s law and his heart. Yet he offers me a restored life and a relationship with him. He allows me to be his daughter and loves me unconditionally. The days when my anxiety or fear seem stronger than my faith, I know that He is enough. He has my hand and has good things for me: Flowers of Grace.