• Dana L. Butler

A Story of Failure and Confession

Can I tell you a story today, friend?  A story of my failure and how I really want to be a better mama and how God is so incredibly committed to my heart, and my son’s and future children’s hearts, in the midst of all of this crazy, messy HUMANNESS?  I hope you don’t mind if I’m maybe a little more raw than usual today….

Here I go:

The other day, my son was waking up from his nap.  He had taken a long nap (sigh of contentment from mommy), and I had been doing some writing and getting some other things done on the computer.  When he woke up, he talked to himself for a while…sounded like he was in a good mood, so I let him hang out in his bed as he continued to wake up.

Then he started calling me…. “Mommmyyyy….  MOMMYYYYYY….”

Type.  Type type type type type type.  I was trying to finish what I was working on.  I was impatient.  Really wanted to get it done before I went to get him.

His voice began to sound not-so-happy:  “Moooommmmmmmyyyyyyy???”

His sweet voice tugged at my heart.  Still typing.  Stressed.

(Ugh… this is hard for me to confess.)

Sometimes I make “3-minute idols” out of my projects.  (Or 5-minute… or 20-minute…). Things I just want to hurry up and get done.  Sometimes I’m guilty of neglecting my primary callings and responsibilities (i.e. my son, my husband, the dishes…. I could go on….) because I just desperately want to finish whatever I’m working on…because I just want to. There… I said it.  I was being selfish.  Oh, how HUMAN and prone to failure I am… still.  After nearly 28 years as a believer.  (Yup, I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 4. 🙂 )

The thing that I fail to realize in those moments is this:  when I cling tightly to a project that I want to get done, at the expense of fulfilling my responsibilities to my family… that in those moments, in addition to being disobedient to the Lord (Really… let’s call it what it is…), I am actually missing out on the invitation that God had for me in calling me away from whatever I was focused on. I so easily take my projects into my own hands instead of trusting God that they’ll get done in His timing. Anyone else out there identify with this?  I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one who struggles with this stuff…. Anyway, there’s lesson number one:  TRUST HIM…. Let it go…. And prioritize my family’s needs.

Here’s the second thing that happened, which was really amazing to me.  About 30 minutes later, Isaac and I were driving down the highway and the Lord convicted my heart of my disobedience… and I realized I needed to repent to my son as well.

It went something like this:

“Hey buddy?  Mommy’s sorry that I made you wait so long after you woke up.  You were calling Mommy and I should have come and gotten you sooner.  Will you forgive me?”

I still don’t know how much of what I was asking that my almost-2-year-old actually understood… but immediately his little voice piped up from the back seat: “Yes.”

Shock.  Heart…. melting…. In my now puddle-like-state, I reply, “Thank you buddy… Mommy loves you….”

Still shaking my head in wonder at his response, I mused in my heart over how I need to remember more often to apologize to my son and ask his forgiveness…. And this realization hit me like a ton of bricks:

Something in my heart had been a little bit afraid to do that….even though I knew better…. Deep inside there was a core belief that if I admitted my failures to my children, they would lose respect for me.   I think I’ve had a need to always be “right” in their little eyes.


Oh, how DAMAGING that could have been…and how sweet of the Father to reveal that to me now while my little guy is young instead of in 10 years when we have 5 more kids.  I so desperately want to have the humility and faith do well in this area…. It’s all a part of the journey of stewarding my children’s hearts well. To my friends out there who are mamas… Can I ask you this question?  How do you do at asking your kids’ forgiveness and reconnecting with their hearts after you fail (in whatever capacity) in your parenting?  What have some of those conversations with your kids been like for you?  I’d love to hear from some moms of older kiddos too.

Thanks friends, for letting me share my weakness here today.  If you’ve read this, I’d looooove to hear your feedback.

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