I Forgive You, Mom
My morning began at 5 a.m. with Elias. He snuggled next to me and made weird noises with his mouth. Instead of showing my frustration with his saliva smacking sounds, I put on my robe and helped him down the stairs.
He watched a movie while I sipped on coffee and read the book I recently started. I wrote down some thoughts on paper. My thoughts were thankful and my words were pleasant.
The morning moved on with warm muffins out of the oven and surprisingly content children.
But when does it happen? When everything is fine, pretty, and pleasant...One of my kids decides to submerge his arms in the toilet and catch the falling drips in his mouth. The other little one is curious of what might happen when she cracks me on the back of the neck with a hard plastic Ninja Turtle sword. I snap.
What happened to the mom that woke up loving and patient? 5 a.m. patient mom has morphed into loses-her-temper mom and throws the Ninja Turtle sword across the room. Three little faces with large eyes look up at me, stunned. I can read their thoughts, "She will never be able to tell us not to throw toys again!"
I walk away, embarrassed. I hate how quickly anger can overtake me. The anger I invite into my home robs us of joy. Then pride, another joy robber, boils hot in my heart. I know I have to turn back to them. Even these little ones that stare stunned, they need to know about forgiveness. If I pretend it never happened, then my pride will continue to boil in my heart. They will live their life with scars that burn deep from a mother that was too prideful to ask for forgiveness.
My stomach churns until I hear my oldest son's words, "I forgive you, mom."
As the day went on I thought about my morning. I even laughed about it a little. I mean, come on, I was kind of like a ninja mom when I threw that sword. I also thought about the most important thing I will teach my kids through my lifetime: forgiveness. If my children can watch me humble myself and ask for forgiveness, then I am offering them the most beautiful gift a mother can give.
It is the most beautiful gift because it's the very gift Christ gave to us. Without Him forgiveness does not exist. If I have been given such a life-giving, joy-spreading gift, why would I ever keep it from my children?
Instead of feeling guilty about my morning, I can be thankful that God uses my weakness and faults to teach my children. I don't want to waste the difficult days, they are too important.
Sometimes it's hard to believe, but the ugliest of mornings can be used for beauty.