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A mother’s open letter to her children about her own failure and her desire that it only reveal more to them about the grace of Christ!

young children feeding ducks text overlay "open letter to my children about my failure as a mother

Sweet babies,

You mean more to me than you can dream possible. I don’t expect you will understand just how much I mean that until you hold your own hopes and dreams in your arms, kiss their boo boos, clean their endless diapers, wipe their tears, cheer for their successes, weep over their sin and brokenness, and rejoice at a flicker of spiritual hope.

Your father and I prayed and longed for your arrival and have stood in awe of your growth and individual personalities.

God has called me not to mother the entire world of children but to mother you. He designed you, in all of your silliness and wiggles. to be exactly who you are. He designed me to be exactly who you need.

I have seen you begin to understand deep spiritual truths. You have shown me what it means to live with integrity because to you, if it is right, we do it.

You are teaching me patience, gentleness, forgiveness, and reconciliation in a way I have never known. Your dad and I both attest to the fact that nothing in our lives has ever taught us more about our own sinfulness and the gracious patience of our heavenly Father than your lives.

God has used you already to shape and change the people we are dramatically.

mother holding little boy

I often get caught up thinking about your future. I have seen so many children who grew up to lack love and respect for their parents. I have seen so many friends and family members who don’t want to go home for holidays and desperately seek to move far from their families.

Rightfully, I don’t want that! I have prayed and prayed that God would grant us beautiful relationships as you grow older. I have begged that your future spouses, should you have them, would be welcomed by us and also love to come “home” to us. I have longed that you would think you have the best parents in the entire world. I have hoped that you would ache to return to our embrace. I have dreamed that you would not remember my short temper and quick responses. I have even prayed that God would shield you from my many inadequacies.

But, I have to tell you sweet children, my prayer has changed.

I still hope that you desire with your whole heart a relationship with both your dad and me for as long as we live. I hope you call and stop by every single day. I hope you and your future spouse and children, if God gives, would feel the absolute welcome of our open door. I hope you never question our love for you or desire for your good.

But I don’t want you to be shielded from my failings. I don’t want you to grow up to think that you have the best parents in the entire world. I don’t want your hearts’ affections directed toward me.

I want you to see my inadequacies, sin, and failure for what they are. I want you to know that your mother is both passionately in love with you and deeply affected by the fall. I want to recognize and never excuse my quick answers and short temper. I want you to see that your mother is flawed.

But, in seeing my short comings, I want you to see Christ. I pray that you would recognize, not my lack of failure, but His abundance of grace! I want you to see my sinfulness and marvel that Christ would forgive and redeem even me. I want this for you so that you never fear you are too far from turning to His grace. I want you to always know that you can run to Christ.

little girl kissing her mom's cheek

Someday when I draw my final breath, I don’t want you to think, “my mother was so good!” I want you to think, “Jesus was so good to my mother!”

So today I will repent to you even though you don’t completely understand. I will ask Christ for forgiveness in front of you, not so that you grow up thinking, “my mom is great because she knew when she did something wrong.” But so that you will grow up thinking, “my mom messed up a lot but Jesus was always there to offer the mercy she so desperately needed.”

May the finite nature of my motherhood to point you to the infinite Father you have in God.

coral colored background with text overlay "prayer for my children: may the finite nature of my mother hood point you to the infinite Father you have in God."

I don’t want you to see me making excuses for my sins. I want you to see me acknowledging them so that I can model a life of repentance before you.

If you grow up to follow Christ you will honor and respect me because that is commanded in Scripture. But I desperately ache for that to be because of your much higher love and honor and respect for Christ.

I long for the day that you become not only my children but my brothers and sisters in Christ. It is then that we will share an unshakeable bond. It is Christ Who will unite us in a way that cannot be broken.

So, as long as God gives me life, my embrace will be here for you. You will always have a place with me!

You are in a perfect position to see my sinfulness more so than almost anyone in the world. I pray you would also see my life of repentance more so than anyone else in the world.

I want you to grow up to make much of Christ, not much of your mom and dad.

We are vessels, very broken, very weak, vessels to display to you the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of Christ. As Christ extends that grace, mercy, and forgiveness to us may you see just how amazing He is!

May you never think, “wow! My mom is awesome!” May you always think, “wow! A Savior who would work in my mom’s heart like that is awesome!”

I love you more than you can even imagine at this point in your life. You literally hold my heart with you and walk around with it everywhere you go. You are treasures from Christ that I adore.

I pray earnestly that my love would only mirror in the smallest way the love of our Savior so that one day soon you would turn to the same Christ who so readily forgives and restores your mommy.

I am weak but He is strong!

Love you forever,


Your mom  <3

mother, father, two children and a chalkboard sign with text "waiting for you"

For a look at other things my children are teaching me, check out

The Blessings of Exhaustion: What Motherhood Taught Me about the Gospel

and The 7 Word Prayer that Changed My Life With Littles!

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