Grace and mercy … grace and mercy … rinse … repeat.
Some days it’s all I can do to remind myself to be gracious to others who might get under my skin or just make me shake my head in their general direction.
And then there’s me.
I know I get under some folks’ skin. I’m sure people shake their heads at me. In fact, I know they do. And boy do I have my days – just ask my kids!
I’m not quite sure what happens somewhere between “Mother of the Year” and “She’s Gonna Blow!” but it happened the other night. Somewhere in the piles of crap (a.k.a. papers, books, toys, and laundry literally strewn all over the room) and the stress of the week built up like a soap scum ring on the bathtub, I lost it. I went plum crazy.
There was head shaking, finger pointing, words flying, hands on hips … and two little wide-eyed girls wondering who this wild woman was and when their mother would come back.
And then, there was guilt.
My kids know they need to be responsible for their things. They know they need to tidy up their rooms. They know laundry doesn’t get washed unless it gets to the washing machine. They know it is not my job to clean up after them. Yelling at them is not going to ensure any of that gets accomplished. Sure they got right on it when the crazy woman started flailing her arms and spouting off unintelligible phrases, but that was out of fear (or shock) rather than out of respect and courtesy. And so I sent myself to my room.
And then there was grace.
I’m sure after the first half hour, my kids thought the aliens had taken me back, but then they found me – in my room – crying. They laid with me and comforted me. Me! The one who just went off on them for . . . what was it again? They may not remember what I said, but they will remember how I made them feel. And that made me feel terrible. With tear-streaked faces, they turned to me and said “We still love you.”
And then there was mercy.
And it is because they still love me, even on my short fuse – wild woman – train wreck days, I know we will get through this. Thank God for grace … and for little girls who freely give it – even if undeserved.