This morning did not get off to a good start. It wasn’t dreadful but I found myself completely frustrated and even angry.
Our lovely children, who really are lovely a lot of the time, chose to ignore me throughout the “getting ready” part of the morning. Asking once, twice, and even a third time to do simple tasks like using the toilet and getting dressed is irritating to any parent, but especially when it has lately become the everyday routine. Somehow, they have not been taking me seriously.
We made it downstairs to breakfast and as any mother would do, I got the children eating first. By the time I finally sat down to have my porridge, we had minutes to go before getting into the car and off to school. Giggling away and goofing off are a speciality of Anna and Luke and I’m happy they really enjoy themselves. But when it interferes with a schedule we need to keep, in order to be punctual to school, anxiety and frustration start to brew within me.
“Brush your teeth! Shoes on, coats on! Not later….right NOW!” I found myself shouting out for the hundredth time.
They were grating on my nerves so much that after getting them in the car, I removed their favourite stuffed animals and cuddly blankets from their hands and threw them back inside the house. We drove to school in silence as my blood continued to reach a boiling temperature!
After parking up, I lectured them on timing and how it really made me frustrated that my instructions had been completely ignored. They wouldn’t dare behave like that to their teachers and they certainly demand my full attention when they want something. Both Anna and Luke chose to ask forgiveness and promised to work harder at obeying me next time. Despite not feeling it, I chose to forgive them and we salvaged the morning together before school drop off.
Will my kids be cheeky again? Most definitely! Will they be told off afterward? For sure. Will Anna and Luke have to ask forgiveness again? Yes indeed. Will I choose to accept their apologies yet again and forgive? You bet!
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8
After steaming off on the drive home and venting to my husband before he left for work, I cooled down enough to let God teach me something. Just like love is a choice, so is forgiveness. It doesn’t mean forgiveness is easy, especially when our hearts have been hurt deeply or repeatedly. But forgiveness starts with a choice to give hurt to God, allowing Him to begin softening our hearts, and letting the Holy Spirit give us supernatural strength to release our hurt.
Whether for big or little grievances, may we readily choose forgiveness and in doing so, remember just how much God graciously forgives our mistakes through Jesus. Did I mention this incident happened on Ash Wednesday? It turned out to be a very tangible example on a significant day of how much love and forgiveness we are offered, not because we deserve it but because of God’s overwhelmingly deep love for us.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.Ephesians 4:32