When Grace Trumps Perfection


Confessions of a Far-From-Perfect Wife and Mom

By Angela Doell | Twitter: @adoell

It’s early morning and I’m curled up like a cat in my favourite place by the window, watching the sky crack open. I sip the first of my coffee, feeling grateful once again for the newness of the day. Heaven’s permission to start over. Fresh mercy. The Bible in my lap waits, open to Proverbs, but my eyes are drawn to the sky with expectancy. The shifting, fractured clouds promise light.

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. -Leonard Cohen

I’m relieved this morning to leave yesterday behind. It wasn’t my finest. The short story: I’d come home a little late from work, wearing the day like a tight girdle. I quickly shifted into Mom mode, pulled together a passable dinner, and gathered my favourites to eat. Sadly … within three minutes of sitting down something set me off and I fully and pitifully lost the cool I’d been trying to maintain all day. I’d interpreted a comment about the meal as criticism.

Tears came so fast I could only attempt damage control. I wasn’t precious about the food or especially offended by what was said–my emotions just hijacked the moment. Our dinnertime consisted of me pushing my food around on the plate and trying to sneak quick sleeve-wipes of my eyes and dripping nose while my family ate in silence and snuck sidewise glances, wondering if Mom was losing it. (I was, for the record. I was losing it.)

The rest of the night wasn’t much better.

I’m imperfect. My marriage needs attention. My parenting could use some work. Part of me really hates it when my husband and kids witness my frail, brittle, tired bits. I feel better about presenting them with my best performance. I dream of being unquestionably strong and capable, always fully present.

I could probably fake perfect for a while if I really tried, but my kids are so wise to me. I can’t hide much from my husband. What’s real, and what the morning sunrise reminds me of, is that the broken me is enough.

I’m a wife and mom in need of grace, just as they are. 

I’m sure today will hold conversations. Opportunity for redemption. My prayer is that my family will know my weaknesses as well as God’s mercy as we walk this thing out. I pray that as our children grow and inevitably experience insecurity and weakness themselves, they’ll know from experience that Grace makes a way.

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!

Lamentations 3:22-23 MSG

Photo: Creative Commons

About Angela:

Angela and her husband Rod have been married for 18 years and they have two children, Madison (15) and Miller (12). Angela works at Relate Church in Surrey, BC. She loves finding beauty in everyday life and is passionate about communicating the grace, hope and reality of a living Jesus.

Angela Doell

Angela Doell

Angela is a lover and a fighter. She and her husband Rod have been married for 19 years and they have two beautiful children, Madison (17) and Miller (14). Angela works with the creative & media teams at Relate Church in Surrey, BC where she oversees graphic design, art direction and marketing. She loves finding beauty in everyday life and is passionate about communicating hope and the reality of a living Jesus through media and design.
Angela Doell

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Angela Doell
  • Ashley Rogers

    So true….. Love your honesty Ang

  • Tammie

    I so had a day (or a few) like that this week. Love your post, well written and I will be taking some grace to start a fresh new day this morning!

  • Gracious, did I ever need to read this today. xo

  • Wow, thanks so much for writing that and being real. It is so funny how we try so hard to hold it together, but my kids are wise-and really, showing them our authenticity, our imperfections is a good thing-they don’t have to be perfect to be loved; they don’t have to hide their emotions either….. yes, mercy and grace are abounding at.all.times. thanks thanks

  • Stephanie

    SO good – thank you!

  • kelly

    oh angela, thank you for this today. God is so very smart and i am deeply thankful that you listen to Him 🙂 I am blessed more than you will know this side of Heaven because of your honesty that reminds me today that i’m okay and i’m normal~ and God’s got me, caught safe in HIs abundant Grace! <3 Love you, K

    Revelation 12:11 ESV

    And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death

  • Daniela

    Beautifully real you are. xo

  • So so beautiful. I needed this today… and every day. So thankful that His mercies are new everyday because Lord knows how much I need it 🙂

  • Thank you for this.

    I really needed this… like most of the readers.


  • Thanks for your honesty. Your transparency allows others to do the same and together we help each other walk the next part of the journey… free!

  • Karli

    What a beautiful post! I think it is actually important for kids to see their parents in those vulnerable *losing it* moments. It teaches them that it is ok to have those feelings and how to work through them. I was raised in a smile-through-any-and-all-unhappiness kind of house and learned that the appearance of happy is better than happy. It made for some brutally uncomfortable dinners and car rides. I’m also thrilled to say that as a family – we shattered that terrible belief system, it was so not working for us! Does it ever work for anyone in the long term?