By: Bridget Gumm |
This morning started off like any other morning. A tired, single mother of three children, with her husband and the children’s father in prison for the fourth year, and working to keep everything as normal as possible.
Yeah right! Normal for us does not fit the definition of normal that I have read in the dictionary. On-going stress and chaos may be a better description of our daily lives. A life where our hearts are hurting from our loved one being absent, and missing out on all of those precious moments that we would love to share with him. But non-the-less we survive.
On this particular morning, like any other morning, it was filled with the normal routine of waking up three daughters, and making sure they were ready to leave on time to get to the bus stop, with nothing forgotten or left behind. I too, needed to get ready for the day’s events. But this morning I did not use kind words or actions when it came to my middle daughter, Sophie. In fact, I ampositive my words and actions did quite the opposite. While the girls were getting ready for school this morning, I noticed Sophie was playing. I asked her if she was completely ready to leave for the bus. She said, “Yes.” So, I allowed her to continue to play until it was time to leave.
As I locked the door behind me, Sophie says, “Oh no, my coat!” I don’t really know why, but I was now very mad and upset with her. Of course, being eight, she never thought of her coat or backpack as being part of my, “Are you ready?” question. My getting so upset should have only been a minor annoyance of having to unlock the very door that Iwas still standing at, with my hand still on the key. But no, I was fuming because I was thinking of all the times yesterday that I had asked her to do things or to not do things and she disobeyed. So, in anger, unkind words of frustration and impatience flew out of my mouth. I immediately saw the hurt and pain this caused her. She cried and looked terribly sad.
God immediately convicted me and reminded me of the scripture in Ephesians 4:29. “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” I did not follow these very important, life speaking words on this particular morning. Yet God is so gracious to forgive and quick to forget. I knew Sophie would come home after school still effected by my words and actions. Still hurting in her heart, wondering if mommy was still mad at her and confused by it all. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not arrived, just today. I felt so small and down right stupid for acting so immature and unkind to an innocent child who had no idea of all the pain, stress, anger, hurt, and fear that I carried inside of me on a daily basis. She, unfortunately, received much of my built up emotions that I should have reached out to a mentor or friend to release all of that emotion on. I could have let them encourage me so that I could be the loving, nurturing mother my daughter needed.
The pain my words caused will leave a mark on her heart. I cannot take back my words or actions, but I can learn from this experience and try to show mercy, grace, and love to my girls daily. I missed the opportunity to apologize to my daughter that day, but since then I have been working to admit my faults and show them that I too am human. I have chosen to ask for their forgiveness, and that’s when healing has taken place for both my daughter and I.
“Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those that hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 NLT
Father, I pray that I correct my children in ways that are righteous, speaking edifying words only, and having patience. Remembering their minds are young and not as experienced as my own. Help me to remember Father, that they are as human as myself, that not one of us is perfect. Help me to remember that you give me grace and show me mercy daily for my shortcomings. Thank you Father, Amen
I want to encourage you to ask your children for forgiveness when you make a mistake with them. Also, tell them that you forgive them when they mess up. This will show your children that you too mess up and teach them how to forgive, be forgiven, and how to accept forgiveness.