The other day my aunt and I took the girls shopping with the promise that we’d go to their favorite fast-food restaurant afterward. I’d invited my aunt along for emotional and physical support should my youngest have any problems. Sometimes my daughter’s sensory issues cause her difficulty in public places. If you’ve ever taken a child with autism to a store, you know what I mean.

She did well, though. She stayed in the stroller through two stores and didn’t have any fits. I was so uplifted. It had been years since I’d been able to take her to a store without a huge meltdown. Maybe we were about to enter a new season in life. Was it too good to be true?

With a spring in my step, I herded us to the little fast-food place. Because my daughter had done so well shopping, I’d hoped the same for her in this situation. We sat at a nearby table and watched her run around in the children’s area. She was so cute. From my angle, it looked like she was grinning and cooing at a family on the other side of the glass. It was so precious. Could she be engaging in a social game? That would be a huge stride forward in her emotional maturity. I couldn’t wait to tell her therapist.

So, imagine my surprise when another mom approached me and informed me that my daughter was spitting at that family. Not only was I embarrassed, I was sad. I felt like a failure as a mother. With misting eyes, I wiped off the glass then rushed the kids out the door.

After we got into the car I started crying. Because I’d thought she was doing so well, it hurt all the more. If only I’d done more, been right next to her, not expected so much. If only … My aunt shook her head. “You can’t let the Enemy discourage you. You give him victory when you dwell on things like this.”

My aunt was and is right. Discouragement causes defeat. There is nothing more that the Enemy wants than to defeat us as mothers and families. God doesn’t want us to focus on our failures. Remember, perfection belongs to Him. So please, moms, don’t allow discouragement to defeat you.