Grace. A word that speaks forgiveness. A word that speaks mercy.Undeserved favor. A word that says what WAS is no longer.
Recently I had little bitty situation where grace flowed in and taught me a lesson.
Our kitchen trash can was on it’s last leg. But we try to make things last around here. The hinge of the lid had to be screwed in. The lid was cracked and finally I decided it was time. This thing had seen it’s way better days. But in typical Melanie fashion I shopped a bit. Researched a bit. Waited a bit.
Finally Target had one that I had my eye on on sale. In addition to the sale they were running a Cartwheel deal. I ended up getting it for 25-30% off. I was very happy. More savings equals more money in our pocket.
We had the trash can for about a month. When one day my 11 year broke the lid as he was supposed to be taking out the trash. The stepper part now just flips the lid off the back of the can. Very annoying.
When I approached him about it he said it was accident and that he wasn’t being rough. I wasn’t in the room when it happened but I just immediately began to get angry.
‘Why do they always have to break everything?’
‘When will children start caring about other people’s things?’
‘Why do you always have to be so rough?’
‘Didn’t I tell you how to use the trash can when we bought it 4 short weeks ago?’
All these thoughts began swirling through my mind and I was ready to throw it all up!
Every bit of it.
Instead I paused.
I gathered my thoughts and spoke GRACE.
“I know the trash can is broken and that really upsets me because I waited a very long time to buy one. I realize you may not have broken it on purpose but I am sad. Please be more gentle with things and if you don’t know how to use something please come and ask.”
So many times before I’ve spewed guilt and condemnation and judgement on those I love over the little things.
Can I say I was sort of proud of myself? You know gave myself a little pat on the back and a gold star.
Way to GO Melanie! You didn’t utter criticizing harm.
The next day in our house ugliness reared it’s head again. But this time it was between the two boys. My 11 year old was very angry that his brother destroyed something of his. And there was lots of arguing going on as is usual among brothers.
God so kindly tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of yesterday’s incident.
So I approached by oldest son and said, “Hey buddy, do you remember what happened yesterday with the trash can? Do you remember how I was pretty upset about you breaking something of mine? But instead of yelling and getting upset I offered you grace and kindness.”
He replied, “Yes”. He remembered. I asked if he could see how similar it was to today’s incident. And again he responded, “Yes.”
I could see the look in his eye. The thoughts reeling through his mind. Even if he hadn’t spoken the words I knew that he knew.
He walked over to his brother, offered an apology and told me that even though he didn’t like what he did he shouldn’t have treated him that way.
As a mother there are few moments that come close to the happiness you feel in that moment.
And all I could think was, ‘What if I hadn’t offered grace yesterday?’
And God said, ‘But you did.’
A. W. Tozer “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.”
It’s so true that leading by example is the only way to go. Had it just been words, grace would not have shown through.
Only by his love and mercy am I becoming the wife, mother and child that I should.
Praise God for parenting progress!
In HIS GRACE,
1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
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