The prompt for this week is…
I lost it again this morning with CC. The day started off well, he woke up happy, wanted me to lie down in bed with him. Then he wanted me to watch him do flips on the couch. I stayed for a couple of minutes, but then went into the kitchen to get breakfast started because we had all woken up later than usual and I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time until his ride for school came. I heard him screaming for me in the living room and then came the whining. I hadn’t had my coffee yet or my time with the Lord so my tolerance for whining on this particular morning was very very low. I went into the living room and tried to get him to explain to me “in big boy words” what he wanted from me…but the whining just went on and on and on. I felt the anger coming on and I couldn’t stop it. I used my stern voice which eventually became my screaming voice, but that just resulted in more crying and whining from him. Then I did what I had vowed I would never do – I took him to his room and spanked him in anger.
Thankfully my husband came out of the shower right then and rescued both of us. I went to the kitchen to cool down while Larry read a book to CC. He came bouncing into the kitchen a few minutes later as if nothing had ever happened. I’m glad he seemed to have forgotten the ugly morning episode, but I could not get over it so quickly. Words that someone had once spoken to me came back to me, “Be strict to yourself, but merciful toward others.” So often my attitude is just the opposite – I’m strict with others, but merciful toward myself. Most of the time I’m so quick to justify myself and this morning was no different. I got angry because he provoked me, because he wouldn’t listen, because he didn’t cooperate, so I have the full right to discipline him, don’t I? But on this particular morning I think a little mercy would have gone a lot farther than my harsh discipline. Why couldn’t I have humored him and watched him do his flips for one more minute? Or did I really have to insist on his using “big boy words” when I knew full well that he just wanted me to pick the pillows off the floor for him?
So after I packed CC off to school and put Turner down for his nap, I took my coffee to my room, sat in the glider and asked my Father for mercy. I know those who show no mercy don’t deserve to receive mercy, so Lord, forgive me. Forgive me for allowing my anger to rule over me. I come forward to the throne of grace again this morning to receive mercy and find grace for timely help. And you know what? Right then and right there, forgiveness and mercy came and erased the ugliness of the morning. It came and allowed me to face my children again, this mercy that triumphs over judgment. I think the coffee might have helped too.