This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.

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I started group coaching other pastor’s wives online about a year ago for PLI. It’s been such a blessing to help other women by asking questions that can guide them through a process. And I love seeing the growth in each one over time. The phrase I’ve found myself saying most often in these coaching sessions is “give yourself grace.” We as women are terrible at doing this. We hold ourselves to super-impossibly high standards of excellence, and we also pick up on (real or imagined) judgment from everyone else we see.

My house isn’t perfect. My hair and nails and clothing aren’t perfect. I don’t stay on top of meal planning or laundry or work or the dog… For some women, children are also in the mix, judging their own parenting against the list that goes on forever and can never be achieved. After all, how can anyone raise a child who is self-sufficient but also 100% safe; who knows what it’s like to lose but never is disappointed; who will try all of the foods without rejecting any and proclaim them all delicious (while still avoiding gluten, dairy, fat, sugar, GMO’s, and whatever the latest health scare is). It’s enough to make any mama’s head spin. Sometimes I find myself giving thanks that at least there’s one tiny upside to my children proceeding me to heaven – I don’t have to worry about failing as a mother.

And yet just writing that makes me feel like a failure as a mom. I shouldn’t be able to find anything to be thankful for in the death of my children. And there I go, “should-ing” all over myself.

It’s time to give myself some grace again.

Next post coming tomorrow.