Today, I experienced a moment of grace.
At the hands of my precious children.
We had to reschedule Eliana and Nathaniel's weekly violin lesson for this afternoon, due to illness last week. (Normally, we go on Thursday evening, and Brent watches the other 5 children at home.)
It was an uneventful morning, and, because I thought I was ahead of schedule a bit, I decided to deep-clean the boys' room before we left for town.
Well, it took me longer than I expected, and before I knew it, we needed to be out the door in 15 minutes.
I came out of the boys' room and started to panic. My clean-just-an-hour-before-house was in shambles. Cabinets were open, drinks and snacks were covering the countertops, toys were scattered on the floor and couches----and to top it off, someone had left the pantry door open.
You mean you don't know what it means when the pantry door gets left open???
In this case, it meant that two
I felt like screaming.
Instead, like any good, godly mother (NOT), I started lecturing my children. I was overwhelmed, in a hurry, and frustrated about things that shouldn't really matter anyway.
But I lectured anyway. You know the type of lecture---the "Why did you guys make such a mess?" and "Why is Mommy the only one who cares about cleaning up?" kind of lecture.
I'm not proud of it. And the Holy Spirit started convicting me after a few minutes.
I sent the children to get buckled in the van and stayed in the house to pray. My heart was reminded of how inconsequential the toys and the crumbs and the FLOUR are in comparison to my children's hearts.
Oh, God, forgive me!
I got into the van and turned around to the children. "Mommy got angry just now, and it was sin. I didn't talk respectfully to you, and I hurt you with my words. I'm SO sorry. Will you forgive me?" I asked.
The GRACE that extended from these little people was amazing. "I forgive you, Mommy!" came from the smallest of children in the back of the van. "It's okay, Mommy! We'll try to help you more next time." from one of the older ones. The forgiveness was instant and unanimous.
Then Nathaniel (7) unbuckled and came to my side at the front of the van.
"Oh, Mommy, it's okay. We forgive you. And you know what? You're the most beautifullest person in the whole world to kiss." He kissed my cheek. I melted. :)
What struck me the most is the lesson I was reminded of today, in my moment of grace.
They didn't lecture me. They didn't tell me that "I'm sorry is good, but not doing it again is better." They didn't say, "Well, I forgive you, but you know there must be consequences for your actions." They just forgave me with open arms.
There's a lesson there, for us Mommies, if we want to listen.
GOD forgives, with no strings attached.
Our children forgive, with no strings attached.
The question, then, is, do I???
May we learn, as we parent these gifts on loan from God, to extend the moments of grace our children so desparately need, forgiving, restoring, loving, accepting, embracing.
I'm so thankful my children have learned this lesson. Now if only I can be like them when I grow up......:)