When a Mom Keeps a List of Her Mistakes


It’s so easy to keep a record of your less-than-perfect moments. But the truth is, the only one keeping a tally of your failures is you.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

“We get to dress fancy today!” My 4-year-old daughter’s words suddenly made me sick to my stomach. I felt a familiar flush as I realized I had done it again. I had completely overlooked something very important on her class calendar.

“Is today Fancy Day?” I questioned, hoping she might be mistaken.

“Yes! My teacher says we can dress as fancy as we want today, and we will have fancy snacks and eat on fancy plates. It’s going to be so much fun!”

My son had been in the same pre-K class the year before, so I was familiar with this event. How had I missed it this year? Was it posted on some calendar? Had I even received this month’s class calendar? I texted a few other moms with children in the class, and they quickly responded … confirming the party. Great.

We had exactly 10 minutes to get out the door before my children were late to school, but I had to transform my daughter’s outfit from leggings and light-up tennis shoes to a princess dress and fancy jewelry. Somehow, we made it. But as we raced out the door with my daughter’s little plastic heels clomping down the sidewalk, my heart was heavy.

Here was one more moment to add to my growing list of the times I thought I wasn’t a very good mom. Despite finding a dress and sending my daughter to school in a “fancy” outfit, there have been plenty of instances recently when I just missed it: I forgot to take my son’s coat to his school before outdoor recess, I forgot to send something with my daughter for show and tell, I forgot to wash my son’s blanket for his rest time at school. My list goes on.

Have you ever had something like this happen to you? Ever forgotten the lunch box or homework folder or the permission slip for the field trip? Have you been so bombarded by life that you just could not seem to get ahead on anything? Perhaps you’re familiar with feeling like you’re letting everyone down.

It’s so easy to keep a record of these moments. It’s so easy to write these moments down on some secret list we keep pinned to the walls of our hearts — weighing them when we consider our worth as mommas and as wives.

But the truth is, the only one keeping a tally of your failures is you.

Oh how I need to remind myself of that!

Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:5, “Love keeps no record of wrongs” (NIV). But oftentimes, we do. And while God’s love for us is not based on our performance — good or bad — many times, our love for ourselves is.

Today is your opportunity to tear up the secret record of failures you’re holding in your heart as you ponder the words of our key verse: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

If God removes our very sins from us, it doesn’t do our hearts any good to hold onto the moments we’ve felt like failures either. They pale in comparison.

The Psalmist continues, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13-14, NIV).

Let’s commit to show ourselves the same kind of love our Heavenly Father offers us. Let’s move beyond these moments as we realize the best way to move forward is to lean back on what God has already done.

Now, wouldn’t that just be fancy?

Lord, thank You for loving us so well. Thank You for never holding our less-than-perfect moments against us. Help us to continually remember that You are never disappointed in us, so we don’t have to live as if You are. Teach us how to show ourselves the same love and grace that You offer to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Philippians 3:13b-14, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 13:4-5, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (NIV)

What are some of your moments that you consider failures? Write them down on a list, and then tear it up!

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