Saturday, April 23, 2011

freedom to fail

We were making cupcakes - the boy-man and me.

He pushed on the egg shell before I was ready to talk him through the breaking, and it splattered on his shirt, and on the table and the floor.


"Cracking open eggs is a hard thing to learn, buddy," his gentle and kind father spoke aloud.

And I knew.  I knew my sigh was unnecessary and the tone I used for words that followed were hard.

At the end of our cupcake-making, I surrendered and apologized.  The boy-man didn't acknowledge my apology - he was off doing something different by now.  But I let the memory of my harshness linger.

Fast forward hours later and my groom - my partner in this parenting - gently speaks such wise words: "You weren't prepared for him to fail."

So we talked for a brief moment and spoke powerful truth.  We are often only willing to let the child try something on his own when it pairs up with {near-}perfection.  Sometimes we limit the opportunities for him to try - just because we are afraid our expectations won't be realized.

The weight of this is overwhelming and my insides weep.

I think of all that is lost when *trying* is not allowed.  When a life is pre-programed and becomes dependent upon others to manage all aspects, life becomes debilitating.

Sometimes I notice the boy-man make choices for himself and the peace that follows when *freedom* is granted.  And I contrast that with how sometimes I see the child's resistance to try, and how he looks for guidance at even the simplest tasks or choices, all because we're too lazy - or too fearful - to let him try.

Grace allows the freedom to fail.  

And it is grace that we sometimes lack in our guidance of the boy-man, and even our interaction with each other.

I'm thankful that my Father gives me opportunities to *try*, and the freedom to fail.  His grace guides me as I *try*, and when I apply His wisdom in my life the choices become easier.


  1. I know this feeling. . this being unprepared for our children to fail. "Grace allows freedom to fail".. beautiful words. May I choose grace when I want to choose perfection. :)

  2. I think I have prevented my children from trying things far too often, because I felt they wouldn't do it perfectly. Praying that I too will choose grace the next time my children want to try something. I love that freedom allows us to fail.