By Allison Gingras
As a mother, I make a lot of mistakes. In some ways, it is my mom superpower. While that may seem a negative assessment of one’s motherhood, I consider it a fair and accurate evaluation. This assessment keeps me humble, honest, and always trying to improve – but most of all, it makes me reliant on the grace of God!
I am definitely not a failure as a mother. Blessed with three children who mostly cooperate with what I ask, appreciate a majority of my advice, and participate (2 out of 3, anyway) in our Catholic faith without bribery. However, I see my admittance of a few (ok, many) parental weaknesses and mistakes along the way as a strength. For me to keep improving as a parent, it is good to admit a continual need to learn and grow in my vocation.
The truth is, I can say this about many aspects of my life, including my spiritual life. Over the many years of practicing my Catholic faith, I have made many mistakes. Practice, does not, as they say, always make perfect. I’ve had periods of excuse-making about why I was not attending Mass regularly, avoiding confession, or giving up on praying.
Upping my Game
To become a better, more engaged parent, I have many educational resources. I can talk to more experienced moms about lessons they have learned in their journeys of motherhood. I can read on parenting techniques in magazines and books. I can hit cyberspace for advice, instruction, or just plain old fashioned camaraderie. Another highly effective, yet overlooked method of improving my mom skills, is through prayer. I can take my current motherhood concerns, questions, and fears to God — seeking His grace and wisdom.
Making an honest examination of my strengthens and weakness, I can better assess the areas of my parenting needing adjustment. If I am willing to admit my faults and failings, I am open to accepting guidance. Without humbling myself to gentle correction and direction, especially as a young mother, I could have been stuck with a non-sleeping, tantrum-throwing, un-potty-trained child (or 2), forever!
How This Relates to Matters of Faith
To grow spiritually, I have these same options. I can talk to more experienced women of faith and learn from their spiritual journeys. I can read the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or any number of insightful Catholic books.
The appropriate websites and social media outlets also provide fantastic resources for faith discovery. However, just as when someone uses the web as their doctor, the Internet as a Spiritual Director requires prudence, common sense, and prayer. As someone in social media evangelization for nearly ten years, I can’t help but marvel at how God has used the World Wide Web to connect the faithful.
In all things, I can turn to God. Humbling myself before Him, I open my heart to receive the abundant graces to fill where I lack, especially in the knowledge and understanding of God and His Church. St. Paul explains this beautiful power of grace in his letter to the Corinthians.
“And he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses … for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
My weakness, in whatever I am called to do, genuinely become my strength the moment I set aside my pride, seek to learn all God desires to teach me, and most of all, pray.
Where in your life have you seen this understanding of weakness as strength most prevalent and fruitful?
Allison Gingras works for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization as a WINE Steward tending the Virtual Vineyard including facilitating WINE book clubs and WINE social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest).
Allison authored The Gift of Invitation: 7 Ways Jesus Invites You into a Life of Grace, and is the host of A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras on BreadboxMedia.com, and blogs on her website: ReconciledToYou.com.