Monday, January 24, 2011

Grace and Mercy

I was terrible to my children yesterday. I was stressed and tired and sick and... well, there aren't any excuses that make it okay. I apologized to them and tried to explain that I was feeling overwhelmed - but that it didn't condone my behavior. And then, 30 minutes later, they were back to telling me that I'm the best mom in the world, and begging me not to go to Walmart by myself because they missed me. Their allegiance is mind boggling. And humbling.

And then this morning, Lowell and I got into it. He thought my tone of voice was disrespectful and that I was jumping down his throat. I was baffled how he could think that and I was upset because he choose to pick a fight with me on a morning where I have a lot of responsibility and added stress... I have a hard time believing that I sounded negative. But I can't hear myself - and honestly, I suppose what matters is what he heard, not really what I said. So, I tried to humble myself and apologize but instead I sounded frustrated and angry. I guess I really wasn't ready to accept that he may have been right about my tone.

Even now, two hours later, part of me still thinks he really could've waited until my morning was over - or could've brought it up without mocking me or being critical. So, I guess I'm still not ready to apologize. :) But I'm thinking about it. Apparently humility has not been one of my strengths as of late.

It would be nice if he was thinking about apologizing too, but I've learned that my husband very rarely does that. He doesn't think about his actions or words after they've come out of his mouth. I'm not sure how much thought goes into it before they are done/said, but I know there is very little attention paid to the aftermath. He is very good at justifying his actions and behaviors and is rarely willing to examine them or consider that something different could've or should've been done.

This really upsets me. REALLY upsets me. But am I so different? I am quick to pounce on the things that he does that hurt/anger me but I am still arguing 2 hours later about my tone of voice. I justify myself and I make excuses for my behavior and I think of myself as soo much more humble and flexible than he is. Where's the grace and submission in that?!?!!

So once again, I'm reminded that whenever I see things about others that really get under my skin, things that upset me - its likely that those specific things bother me because I know that they exist within myself.

Thank you Lord for reminding me that the focus should not be on the limitations of others - but of the unique, wonderful blessings that they are in my life. And that I, of all people, don't have any room to complain about my little family! I'm just as messed up as they are! :)
And thank you that You've forgiven me for all of the multitude of sins that I commit each and every day. And please use the reality of how much I've been forgiven to increase the amount of grace that I bestow on those around me. I don't deserve forgiveness or grace, but its been given to me and therefore I can show the same mercy to those I love.