Saturday, September 7, 2013

saying I'm sorry

Any parenting advice worth its weight (from a book, blog or person) should include these words:

be ready to apologize to your children when you do wrong

That advice, however, can be one of those "easier said than done" kinds of things.  

Saying "I'm sorry" {to your babies or to a friend} is tough stuff because it forces you to not only see your ugly sinful heart, but to then admit it to someone else.  Our pride pushes pretty hard against that.  

And when your kiddos are involved, it can be even more difficult...

There are days when my patience is just non-existent.  I find myself feeling frustrated and aggravated by things that are really just "typical kid behavior." 

Now we're not talking about disobedient behavior here. We're talking "But Mom, I wanted the princess plate and she took it." Or "Mom, but I don't want to wear those shoes (as we're rushing out the door 5 minutes late already)." Or my favorite - "Mommy, I just spilled my juice...again...all over the floor you just mopped."  

Many days I'm able to smile and say "it's ok, accidents happen." But some days I have these crazy expectations that my 3, 7 & 9 year old should be able to function like adults and the end result is me loosing my temper and acting like the wicked step-mother.

And then the "mommy guilt" sets in.  If you are a mom, whether it's to one child or 8 children, whether your babies are 6 months or 26, you know what "mommy guilt" is.  Ugh.

In my short years of parenting, here's what I've come to realize...

Those moments are going to happen!  Go ahead and accept the reality - You. Are. Going. To. Loose. Your. Patience.  

You just are!  Don't get sucked into facebook and blog world by these moms who lead you to believe that every single parenting moment is pure bliss!  It just ain't so...

The "defining" moment is what you do after you realize that you've had one of those ugly spells.  Do you brush it off as just a bad day and assume that your kids aren't affected by your behavior?  Or do you go to them and apologize for your behavior?

Just today, I got frustrated with my Ellee girl while I was braiding her hair.  She is so very particular about every single strand of hair and this morning I just wasn't up to dealing with it.  Now I didn't realize that until I talked to her way more harshly than her behavior actually warranted.  

After she walked out of my room in tears, I was gripped with conviction over how I had treated her.  

I called her back in and told her how sorry I was for the way I had talked to her and asked her for forgiveness.  Of course that sweet child said it was ok and snuggled up to me and melted my heart.  Those big, brown eyes...

Not 10 minutes later, I heard her fussing at her brother for who-knows-what!!!  Sam is very skilled in how to annoy her and get under her 7 year old skin!  After giving him the run around for a minute {or two...or three} there was a long pause.  Then I heard Ellee repeat the words to Sam that she had just heard - "Sam, I'm sorry for talking like that to you.  I shouldn't do that.  Please forgive me."


They are listening.  They are absorbing.  They are mimicking.

Demonstrate humility.  Say I'm sorry.   And ask for grace.

grace, grace, God's grace
grace that will pardon and cleanse within
grace, grace, God's grace
grace that is greater than all our sin

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