As the end of the year approaches it’s only natural to begin to take an account of one’s wins and losses in the previous year. In doing so, I recently found myself frustrated. In so many attempts to excel, there were so many fumbles, so many unintentional messes created. However, in the midst of my disappointment, I was reminded that the Father has never required perfection from me and has actually anticipated every mess that I’ve made.

This summer, I potty trained my first born. In the process of her training, I dressed her in regular underwear, knowing full well she was going to have accidents. I knew messes would be made, and I knew what that would require of both myself and her: patience in the process and lots of encouragement. With every new endeavor we have embarked upon as mother and daughter there has been an element of mess. It has been my intent to never reprimand her for getting it wrong one, two, or even 3 dozen times.

Each mess created in the process of trying has drawn on my desire to nurture and to teach her. And, of course, I’ve made my own messes in mothering her along the way, but if I can demonstrate patience and kindness toward her as she grows, how much more does the Father extend the same care toward His kids?

God is a good Father. He isn’t waiting for us to mess up so he can rub our noses in it. He is both expectant of and drawn to every opportunity to love us through and train us in our mistakes. It’s impossible to learn and grow well without a margin for error. As we take an account of 2019, we can be gentle toward ourselves. If the Father isn’t holding our messes against us, neither should we hold them against ourselves.

Antonette Weatherly is a wife, mother and minister who lives in the Sherman area. You can find her weekly serving at Victory Life Church. She can be reached at