Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
This past weekend was insane for everyone. Between high school graduation parties, baptisms, birthday parties and kids’ sporting events, there wasn’t a single mom I spoke with who wasn’t running from Friday afternoon, right up until Sunday evening. I was no exception.
We had six parties, a horse show, karate, and a baseball game. Believe it or not, the flow was fairly smooth, and we enjoyed it all. However, it left us completely exhausted, and my house a disaster.
After my kids got on the school bus Monday morning, I wandered from room to room filling my arms with the debris that needed to be put away: socks, pajamas, sports uniforms, shoes, blankets, swim goggles, etc. My arms were full before I even got three feet. It was a very slow process.
My husband and I had a little tiff on Friday. I was so annoyed by it that I didn’t really talk to him all weekend. Although I was enjoying all the parties and social events on our calendar, there was this underlying tension in the air between us, and inside of me.
Typically, if I find five minutes in the midst of a chaotic time, I use it to sit with my Bible to recenter. There were five minute pockets here and there this weekend, but I avoided using them to be with God. I was secretly enjoying gnawing on my bone of contention with my husband. I felt I had a right to be miffed; I didn’t want that taken away from me. I knew that if I spent any time in God’s presence, I would have had to do something positive and forgiving about it. I wasn’t ready, and I plain old didn’t want to!
So I continued on with the weekend, and with my campaign of unforgiveness. Then it happened.
At one of the birthday parties Jocelyn went to, the kids played video games and won tickets. They exchanged their tickets for those plastic chachki toys we moms hate, the ones that just clutter our homes. Jocelyn got a squishy splat pig: one of those balls of liquid that you throw at the floor, it splats, and then morphs back to its original shape. She LOVED her new toy. Zack shared her feelings, and quickly became obsessed with it.
Over and over he squeezed and threw that pig at the floor. Despite my warnings that he was being too harsh, he threw it as hard as he could. Of course it burst when it hit the floor. Jocelyn didn’t even have the thing for 24 hours and her brother had destroyed it.
I imagined a flood of tears from Jocelyn’s disappointment and exhaustion (she is a powder keg when she lacks sleep). But she forgave Zack instantly. I couldn’t believe it! I was amazed that at her young age she could forgive so quickly. Talk about a six year old putting me to shame.
I wish I could say I followed Jocelyn’s example and immediately went to my husband to work through what happened between us. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. I did, however, begin to work through my resentment towards him in my mind (that’s something, right?). When he approached me on Sunday to apologize (which, of course, is what I was waiting for), I was ready to forgive him.
In retrospect, I do wish we had worked things through on Friday, when the issue reared its ugly head. Then I could have taken back all that festering resentment that tarnished our weekend fun. I still had a good weekend, but I’m positive it would have been fantastic if I could have forgiven my husband instantly, and included God with a clean conscience.
Questions For Reflection:
* When something goes wrong in one of my relationships, do I immediately try to repair it? Or do I enjoy festering in resentment instead?
* If I do enjoy festering in resentment, do I allow that to distance me from God?
It’s so easy to think about what we should do but so many things get in the way. I think God is willing to wait f or us . Although you might feel somewhat wanting right now, you are doing things right in your family. See what your kid did? It’s funny but to me it’s all about doing it right the next time God Willing.
I like your perspective, Eleanor. Especially about how God is willing to wait for us. I have a quote hanging over my sink by Kristin Armstrong. It says, “I can do more things right today than I did yesterday when I lean on Him.” It helped me so much when I first hung it there. Now I tend to overlook it. I guess it’s time to refocus, and keep it front and center. Thanks so much for your comment!