It’s hard. It’s full of hateful jabs and spiteful cuts. And it’s learning to smile at those hurtful words knowing you, too, once spoke with such hate to your own parents.

It’s exhausting. It’s long days and endless hours of reponsibilities. And it’s falling — not crawling — into bed every night for eighteen years completedly depleted of every ounce of energy.

It’s choices. It’s constant wants and never-good-enoughs. And it’s telling yourself it’s okay not to give in to the relentless, ridiculous desires of your children for you know that feeding their pety requests will likely only foster ungratefulness.

Parenthood comes bearing with it inconvenience and agitation; stress and pressure; meltdowns and — Heck, there are days we feel like giving up and just throwing in the towel. But, then grace shines in. And it is there, in those grace-filled moments, when we realize that parenthood is worth it all.

When your son grabs your cheeks, looks you in the eyes, and says “you’re beautiful.

“When your daughter emerges from your closet wearing your oversized combat boots as leggings; for she wants only to follow in her daddy’s footsteps.

When they bring home that Picasso painting for you on Mother’s Day, even if you look like a giant pink and yellow blob.

Or when they hand pick you the very same flowers you just spent all spring planting in the garden out front.

It is there, in those moments, grace is found.

Because no matter how frustrated and overwhelmed our children leave us feeling, we are blessed.

The hurtful words, the selfish actions, and the unsatisfied demands of our children are merely temporary.

And let’s be honest — we’re only living the reality our very own parents once endured coupled with the grandeur of God’s grace.

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