Grace Meets Us

You are asleep in my arms, my precious little angel.
I linger in the silence, the dark, exhausted.
Even the soles of my feet ache.
There were moments today when I thought I’d lose it,
and moments when I did –
when I felt myself cracking open,
when I felt like a failure.
I’m too attached to “getting it right” –
believing that your outbursts mean
there’s something wrong with me.
How many other women through the centuries
thought it was their fault,
that something was wrong with them?
God, how “mom” has taken the blame for too long now.
My nerves get so sensitive to the noise,
the sudden shifts of a four year old’s mood.
And yet, now, here, you sleep.
The top of your head is in the crease of my elbow.
You are so peaceful now. You’ve let it all go.
Yet, I still hold the moments of the day too close.
“Let it go,” I hear from within me.

And I see how tangled I am in this web of self-blame,
of taking too much responsibility, of trying too hard.
Here is the Divine’s hand, reaching for mine
and I can simply take God’s hand and step out.
The tangled mess in my mind loosens
and that’s when Grace meets my willingness to surrender.
It’s all perfect,
a part of being human,
nothing to resolve or shift.
And I rest beside you now,
both of us,

Lisa McCrohan, MA, LCSW-C, SEP

from Gems of Delight


Four years ago, I was lying there with my youngest child, realizing I was holding on to so much.  I can look back now and see that I was under-resourced and trying to do wayyyy too much.  I was too attached to “getting it right.”  And I’d question myself if something didn’t go smoothly – a playdate, a conversation, a workshop, etc. I would jump to “There must be something wrong with ME.”  I really do believe this is one of the biggest lies we get sold as moms these days.  I’ve sat with many other women in psychotherapy and Compassion Coaching who tell me similar stories and hold this similar belief.  Beliefs like:

“There’s something wrong with me if my child acts out.”

“There’s something wrong with me if I don’t get the job.”

“There’s something wrong with me if I can’t kick this addiction.”

“There’s something wrong with me if my partner isn’t happy.”

“There’s something wrong with me if I can’t keep it together this Christmas.”

And so we take it all on and hold it all in.  We are holding so much (and holding so much IN) that we become sensitive to everything — noise, things not going according to plan, etc.  So we vie for control.  We work really hard staying on top of everything.  We hardly rest.  We attach our sense of self-worth to the ever changing moods of others.  We neglect our needs.  And then, this is the biggest B.S. of motherhood:  we don’t believe we are worthy of being tenderly cared for and so we go overboard on self-sacrificing.

That day, four years ago, I heard God say, “That’s one big fat lie, Lisa.”

This is what I heard:

God: “You are sensitive because you are tired and holding too much. You can rest. You can let go of what just happened a moment ago (or ten years ago) and begin again right here, breathing in this moment – the softness of the covers, the rhythmic breathing of your daughter, and the warmth of her head against your arm. There is nothing wrong with you. Don’t attach your sense of self to the changing moods of your children. They are their own persons. Let go of ‘getting it right.’ Instead just be human, be authentically you, and acknowledge the needs within you. Watch your little ones. See how they let Grace meet them right where they are! They begin anew in each moment, forgiving easily, letting go easily, and resting. I am here reaching out to you, always here to hold you, and for my Grace to flow through you.”

Watch my little ones — how they let go of stuff so easily. 

Let myself rest.

Acknowledge my needs.

Let Grace meet me where I am.

That’s what I’ve been learning to do.  My children show me how to forgive and how to move on. They show me how to not take on so much.  They show me how to begin again and to go out and play.

I let myself rest.  I take naps.  I take sleep seriously.  And I am better rested today than I have ever been in my adult life.

I acknowledge my needs.  I am not going to be the martyr.  I am choosing to go about motherhood as a resourced mom.  And that means I let my family know what I need, and I devote the money and time to my self-care.

I let Grace meet me where I am.  I believe in “right effort.”  And right effort is NOT me striving.  It’s me showing up and asking the Divine to guide me, to open my heart and mind, and to show me what I need — to be about in my work, to be about in my family, and to be about in my soul’s journey.  And I am learning more and more to just “fall into trust” of the Divine.

This holiday season, consider these four self-nourishing tips:

Watch your little ones.  See how they let you know what they need, how they forgive with big hearts, and they move on.  Let their simple wisdom guide you.

Let yourself rest.  Sleep is one of the basics I talk to clients about.  It’s so over-looked. And yet even a few days of sleep deprivation set us on edge and we aren’t as focused as we can be.  LET YOURSELF SLEEP!  Like my mom told me, even if you can’t sleep, let your body rest.  And then you’ll learn how to rest!

Acknowledge your needs.  Much of my work with clients in psychotherapy and Compassion Coaching is about holding space for clients to listen for the need within them — the needs from early childhood that weren’t met, the human needs we all have of belonging and love, and the needs arising right now in a person’s life.  When we get to the need, we can address it and nourish that part of ourselves that has needed acknowledgment and tender car

Let Grace meet you where you are.  Let Grace meet you — right where you are — in the mess, in the addiction, in the shame, in the tiredness, in the desire, and in the hope.  Fall back into trust with Grace and let Grace pick you up and show you what is possible.

Prayer: God, you call me to let your Grace meet me right where I am in my day – in my shame, in my “taking too much on,” and in my desire to rest. You reach for my hand, asking me to surrender the negative beliefs I have about myself and to let your Grace wash over me so I can rest. I’m taking hold of your hand.


Dear Ones, I am grateful that many of you have reached out to me and are giving my book  and even Coaching as holiday gifts to your dear ones.  It means a lot to me and my family.  My writings and offerings support us in being able to continue to work for a more compassionate world.  Thank you for supporting small businesses, “mom businesses,” and local artists.


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