Carson and Matt spent the better part of last week at our church’s Kids Camp. Matt went as the camp’s emcee/resident goofball, and Carson tagged along. Because, you guys, there are indeed some definite perks of being a pastor’s kid. Attending camp when you’re too young to attend camp might just top the list.

In short, the boys had a blast. Carson stayed up hours past his bedtime every night. Matt was thrilled to hang out with the Summit Kids staff he previously worked with. And oh yeah, this

That, my friends, is Carson reciting the first chapter of the book of Psalms. What I don’t have is the footage of this reserved kid reciting this in front of over 100 “big kids”.

Of course this makes me crazy proud.  But, quite honestly, it also makes me feel like a completely crappy parent. Because if the kid can effortlessly memorize a chapter of the Bible because of a simple camp challenge, why am I not being more intentional with this in my parenting? Why do I miss so many opportunities to stuff my kids full of truth, one verse at a time?

If you’re looking for excuses, I can give you plenty.  There are so many things to do.  Places to go.  People to see.  Lists to check off.  Just so. many. things., leaving me with too little time and not enough energy to pursue what actually matters.  Like this.

I know my worth as a mom is not determined by the number of verses I can cram into my kids’ brains.  Nor am I declared righteous because of how awesome my kids turn out.  But I also know that we, as parents, have been given a high and holy calling to point to them to Jesus.  To His righteousness.  His love.  His truth.  Over and over and over again.  To have the gospel spill out of our lips and into our actions so that Jesus naturally becomes the cornerstone of not only our lives but our family.

Oh how often I fail miserably.  Out of selfishness or busyness or laziness or whatever.  But you know what’s most beautiful about failure?  The grace that so freely flows as a result.

So, as this messed-up, worn-out mess of a mom accepts the fresh grace and new mercies He has to offer, I am reminded once again that it is in His strength alone that I can parent well.  My own efforts and most valiant attempts are okay at best.  What I need- who I need- is Jesus.  And so I ask Him, “Lord, come.”  And He comes.  Always.  And as a result, my kids- without even recognizing it- see the strength and might of their creator and the redeemer of all things.  Jesus on display.  Strength displayed in weakness.  Yes, that.